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Author Topic: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??  (Read 482 times)

SuperChilena

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Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« on: September 20, 2017, 11:18:08 PM »
Hi Every n thnx for the add!

I need some explaining about salvage value?  If we take the loss, and keep the trailer, can we still use it, trade, sell or get it insured again?.  What exactly is it and whats the difference between that and blue book value?  We have a 2003 35ft KZ sportsman.  Half asleep my husband took out a steel barrier at a gas station in KY.  Our axel bent and the corner of our slide also bent out, along with damaging some siding.  We took it to a repair shop to get an estimate, and my husband told the guy to go ahead n replace the axel so we can take it out before season ends. He assumed the insurance would pay for it.   They also sent in an estimate for the body repair.  We paid 8000 cash for the trailer, nothing is owed on it and it's still in good useable condition.  Even the slide still works only the corner is bent.  We usually pay out of pocket for repairs, but since we had to report the accident, figured we would go thru insurance.  We have full coverage with state farm and they're going to give us the value in 3 days, but then the agent told us salvage value will be calculated too??  We live in Illinois and our allowed to keep the trailer, but if we do, can we still use It, if we take the loss n use the check to pay for the repairs needed?

Any input is greatly appreciated!!!

grashley

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 11:54:26 PM »
This is how it works with cars, and it should be the same in your case.  I just went through this a year ago with my Miata.

By definition, if the cost to return the camper to PERFECT condition exceeds about 75% of the value of the camper, it is considered not worth fixing, therefore a "total loss".  Here are some options.

Accept the payment of the value of the camper, less deductible, then buy it back from the insurance company for what a junk yard or scrap yard would have bought it for - the "salvage value".  You now have a "Salvage" title, and it is sometimes hard (for cars especially) to prove repairs have made the vehicle roadworthy, and should be allowed back on the road.  You are also barred from obtaining full coverage on this camper ever again.

You can accept the insurance company payment as above and they "bought" the camper.

In my case, I settled for a cash payment of a little less than 75% and kept the car, with a clear title.

Specifically, My 2001 Mazda Miata was rear ended at a stop light last summer.  It broke out the left tail light, bent the left rear fender, trunk lid and a panel between the lid and bumper, and damaged the rear bumper.  About $4200 damage on a car they valued at $5000.  My research on the cost of a replacement of same model,  same age said it was worth $7,000.  I found one on e bay with the same damage mine had, but on the right side, asking $4000!!!  The repair estimates, by insurance company edict, require all new, OEM parts. 

I settled for $3800 and kept the car with a clean title.  A different body shop used junk yard parts and bent out the rear fender and repainted the damaged and replacement parts.  He charged $3200 for the repairs, and only an expert could find the damaged area.  I can't!

This happened in KY, about 7 miles from Illinois in June, 2016.  Hope this helps!
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 01:07:23 AM »
there is nothing wrong with buying your own vehicle back as a salvage vehicle. It's done all the time, I've done it several times.....yes it is worth less because of a salvaged title but it's still a valuable vehicle.

In the motor cycle world,  an insurance company will total the bike if it just falls over because they don't want the liability of a repaired motorcycle. In Calif. all it takes to put it back on the road is a 'Brake & Light' inspection.

Buy it back,   you should get a check for about 8k and you can buy it back for about 20% of that.  Who cares if you don't have any comp. coverage, you've already been paid in full for it,   it will still be a very inexpensive and enjoyable RV after it's repaired.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 01:24:13 AM by TonyDtorch »

Isaac-1

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 01:43:18 AM »
Body damage repair is a lot more expensive than most people think, my car was in a minor accident a few months ago, a guy backed into the left rear corner.  It left a dent about the size of the palm of my had and scuff on the wheel the size of my finger.  Total insurance pay out to fix it was just over $7,000, and the repair took 6 weeks, in which the insurance company was providing me with a rental car to the tune of $1,200.
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glen54737

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 06:33:33 AM »


Accept the payment of the value of the camper, less deductible, then buy it back from the insurance company for what a junk yard or scrap yard would have bought it for - the "salvage value".  You now have a "Salvage" title, and it is sometimes hard (for cars especially) to prove repairs have made the vehicle roadworthy, and should be allowed back on the road.  You are also barred from obtaining full coverage on this camper ever again.

My parents did this a long time ago after their trailer went on it's side in the ditch cleaned and repaired it and used it for several years. I'm not sure about the insurance on it. 
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johnaye

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 07:41:09 AM »
You may have trouble getting physical damage insurance on a salvage title.  The same goes for selling it.  Salvage titles bring less money at sale.  If you can live without physical damage insurance, collision and comprehensive, and you do not plan to sell the trailer go for it.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 09:52:27 AM »
As Johnaya says, some states brand a vehicle with a special salvage title, sort of a warning to future buyers that it suffered major damage. Problem is, once the insurer labels it "uneconomic to fix", the state only issues the "salvage" title, regardless of the extent or type of damage. Sometimes the damage is cosmetic only but still extremely expensive to repair, e.g. hail damage.  Sometimes a moderately damaged vehicle gets unfairly tarred with the "salvage" brush.  Some insurers avoid such vehicles because of potential hidden damage and loss of value,  and many buyers & dealers avoid them as well. If a person doesn't have the tech skills to determine the real extent of damage, they assume it was severe. The net result is a loss of value.  Check your state rules for titles and the issuance of branded salvage titles. There may be special requirements for inspections before it can go back on the road. Or not.

Check out this article on the Illinois title system and how it handles Rebuilt or Salvage titles:
https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/vsd224.pdf

You may be able to negotiate with the insurer over the buy-back price. They probably used an estimate for the salvage value, perhaps from an RV salvage yard, so you should not pay a high amount to buy it back.

The way it works is there are two separate transactions. Once they declare it economically unfixable, you get the "fair market value" amount, basically a check from the insurer. Then you can make a salvage bid to buy the vehicle back yourself. Typically the owner gets first right of refusal on the salvage buy-back, but there is no rule about that in most states.   If you make the deal with the adjuster at the same time as the settlement, he can often arrange to deduct the salvage buy-back price from the settlement payout, but it's still considered tow transactions. They pay you first and become the owner of the damaged RV, then you buy it back from the insurer and get a title again.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 09:59:20 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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NewmanRacing

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 10:20:37 AM »

I settled for $3800 and kept the car with a clean title.


This is what you do. I did the same thing with my daughters car when some punk ran a red light here in Illinois.

Insurance company paid for a total loss. We kept and repaired the car. The title stayed clean.
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SuperChilena

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 10:39:27 AM »
Thank you everyone for the info!  It looks like settling for less to keep a clean title is our best option.  State farm just notified us it might take another wk to get value.  They're backed up w trailer damage claims from the hurricanes. 

According to the DMV in Illinois, we can keep the trailer if it's 9 yrs or older. (Thnx for the link Gary!)  Not sure if that means we don't have to buy it back from ins. Co, but it will still be issued a salvage title.  I personally think the shop is trying to scam, cause they just called my husband telling him the breaks need to be completely replace..looking at 900-1000 for both. 

I wonder if we can request to go elsewhere for a new estimate, like crossing over to Indiana or Wisconsin. It might be cheaper.

Then our new tow vehicle just got estimated 4800 repairs.  Right after getting back hm, a 19 yr old slammed into our truck.  She also had state farm lol.  I won't be surprise if state farm drops us!! Lol

Triple Slide Jayco

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 10:55:00 AM »
I bought my 2016 Jayco from an auction that has tons of salvage title rvs'. I repaired it myself and had to get it "inspected" prior to titleing it in my name. Mine has a salvage title. I had to call the police (that's who inspects them) and they had a checklist and it was easy, maybe 50 bux or so. The problem was getting one to answer the phone to do it. Very hard to pin someone down. I insured it and its all set. It was used one time from original owner and he paid 45k and I have about 12k total into it. A steal in my mind.
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grashley

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 06:53:56 PM »
State Farm should not drop YOU because another of their insured hit you!  TWICE!!! 

My suggestion is to talk to the adjuster and tell him you want to keep the camper.  Will he please re appraise the damage to be just less than the "total" limit.  They are usually happy to NOT have to buy and dispose of the camper, and there is no title work.  You keep the clean title.

You have a good example of what Triple Slide said about salvage campers.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Insurance Co. Claiming trailer is total loss, damage is minor??
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2017, 08:29:03 AM »
Reminds me of a TV show where a family was touring the USA in an Airstream and it took a lightening strike to the propane tanks.. Not much left.

They bought it back, re-conditioned it and continued their travels.

now that was fiction, But as others have posted, reality.. No different.

Insurance normally sells to a salvage yard.. You can buy from them.. Or direct (in some cases) from INsurance.
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