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  #11  
Old 01-03-2020, 03:22 PM
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This will vary depending on what state you're in, but ...

Regardless of what the insurance companies think, there are surely state laws that govern liability in cases like this. So I would look into that. Figure out how firm the ground you're standing on is first, and fight for what you want based on that.

(In many states) The fight is between you and the parties that damaged your car, not the insurance companies. The insurance is there to step in at the end and write a check, based on the agreement with their clients. And of course since they're writing the check, they will want to handle things throughout the process to be sure things go in their favor. But you have no contractual relationship with those companies, and their policies and preferences can be ignored.

The insurance companies are likely to try to bully you into going along with things like everyone else does. But considering you have a Dinan 4.8is, you're probably not a herd animal. Good luck.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2020, 04:22 PM
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Sorry to hear about the accident, but, thankfully, it doesn't sound that bad and you weren't hurt. Vehicles can be repaired or replaced. People, not so much.

First of all, while you have no contractual arrangement with the opposing insurance companies, they have a duty to defend their customers. So, like it or not, that's who you have to deal with. (You can go through yours 1st party if you have collision coverage, and let them subrogate against the others, but they all behave pretty much the same.)

Since you have no liability in this mess, you're in pretty good shape. You just have to come to agreement on valuation and how to handle your damage. Above all, those at fault are legally obligated to 'make you whole' - this means put you back financially to where you were before the accident.

My advice is don't get too concerned or upset about this first go-round. This is the plain-jane claims settlement process. Insurance companies don't use KBB, NADA, or any of that. They have their own industry database for what cars are worth, and it's always quite a bit lower than what you see. Think of it as wholesale (and buy-in-bulk wholesale at that) vs. retail. When insurance companies have to replace cars, they don't buy at retail, and it's actually pretty accurate for run-of-the-mill stuff like Accords and Camrys.

I've been a higher-up at a few large insurance companies in the past and have always driven 'special interest' (i.e. unique, but not necessarily valuable collector) cars, a few of which were involved in claims like these.

You'll have to press them a bit, but what I've found to be very effective is not talk about money at first. You're dealing with a clerical person and not someone who knows or cares about cool cars.

If they're looking to total your car, tell them they have to find a suitable replacement. Be reasonable, but give very specific parameters - mileage, options, color, anything about the condition that makes yours unique (i.e. always garaged, no corrosion, not sun-baked, etc.). Your customizations, to the extent they're not damaged, can be moved over to your replacement car. They are obligated to do this work, and they can't just low-ball you and wash their hands of it. Tell them to show you actual cars you can buy with their offer, and go from there.

At that point, leave the choice up to them - either fix your car right, find a comparable replacement, or come up on their total-loss offer. When they find out how difficult it is to find a comparable replacement, they'll usually be willing to pay what's necessary to fix your car right or will come up quite a lot on their total-loss offer to close it out.

Oh yeah, don't forget that if your car is totaled, you should be paid for tax, title, and other fees that you'll be charged when transferring the replacement into your name.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2020, 04:52 PM
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^All great advice. The process takes time. All the cases I can recall with enthusiast vehicles take months to settle completely. Usually entails multiple back and forth offers. It's a process, and one that has to be navigated. Is what it is.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2020, 09:02 PM
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If you have the liquid cash available, and you know for a fact that the other has high enough policy limits (I'd imagine they do). Nothing stops you from paying out of pocket for the repairs yourself at a shop you choose and then submitting it to their insurance. If fault is clear (sounds like it), you will have a tangible dollar amount (loss) that their insured caused you that they will have to cover. It may take a while to get repaid with this kind of hardball stunt, but it would get the car repaired.


This won't work if you take it thru your insurance company as you are bound by the procedures set forth in YOUR policy.

<edit>
Looks like you may be in NY? If so, small claims court may cover 5900 (says 10K max). You'd have to pay to get the car fixed (have to have monetary damages) but then could file yourself in small claims court. As soon as the person who hit you gets served papers and if his policy limit was high enough you'll soon have a check.

https://www.nycourts.gov/COURTS/nyc/.../general.shtml

Last edited by Ebasista; 01-03-2020 at 09:12 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2020, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e39_touring View Post
Sorry to hear about the accident, but, thankfully, it doesn't sound that bad and you weren't hurt. Vehicles can be repaired or replaced. People, not so much.

First of all, while you have no contractual arrangement with the opposing insurance companies, they have a duty to defend their customers. So, like it or not, that's who you have to deal with. (You can go through yours 1st party if you have collision coverage, and let them subrogate against the others, but they all behave pretty much the same.)

Since you have no liability in this mess, you're in pretty good shape. You just have to come to agreement on valuation and how to handle your damage. Above all, those at fault are legally obligated to 'make you whole' - this means put you back financially to where you were before the accident.

My advice is don't get too concerned or upset about this first go-round. This is the plain-jane claims settlement process. Insurance companies don't use KBB, NADA, or any of that. They have their own industry database for what cars are worth, and it's always quite a bit lower than what you see. Think of it as wholesale (and buy-in-bulk wholesale at that) vs. retail. When insurance companies have to replace cars, they don't buy at retail, and it's actually pretty accurate for run-of-the-mill stuff like Accords and Camrys.

I've been a higher-up at a few large insurance companies in the past and have always driven 'special interest' (i.e. unique, but not necessarily valuable collector) cars, a few of which were involved in claims like these.

You'll have to press them a bit, but what I've found to be very effective is not talk about money at first. You're dealing with a clerical person and not someone who knows or cares about cool cars.

If they're looking to total your car, tell them they have to find a suitable replacement. Be reasonable, but give very specific parameters - mileage, options, color, anything about the condition that makes yours unique (i.e. always garaged, no corrosion, not sun-baked, etc.). Your customizations, to the extent they're not damaged, can be moved over to your replacement car. They are obligated to do this work, and they can't just low-ball you and wash their hands of it. Tell them to show you actual cars you can buy with their offer, and go from there.

At that point, leave the choice up to them - either fix your car right, find a comparable replacement, or come up on their total-loss offer. When they find out how difficult it is to find a comparable replacement, they'll usually be willing to pay what's necessary to fix your car right or will come up quite a lot on their total-loss offer to close it out.

Oh yeah, don't forget that if your car is totaled, you should be paid for tax, title, and other fees that you'll be charged when transferring the replacement into your name.
I think this advice right here is what to go with. This is someone who has direct experience with the inner workings of this industry. Sucks all around, but there is light at the end of the negotiation tunnel!
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  #16  
Old 01-04-2020, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebasista View Post
If you have the liquid cash available, and you know for a fact that the other has high enough policy limits (I'd imagine they do). Nothing stops you from paying out of pocket for the repairs yourself at a shop you choose and then submitting it to their insurance. If fault is clear (sounds like it), you will have a tangible dollar amount (loss) that their insured caused you that they will have to cover. It may take a while to get repaid with this kind of hardball stunt, but it would get the car repaired.

If you go this route, you will likely pay out of pocket the difference between the insurance estimate and the amount you pay up front for the repairs.

Most states have 'prevailing rate' laws/regs that basically say the consumer has the choice to have his car repaired anywhere he wants, but the insurer only has to pay the prevailing hourly rate for the area. There are usually similar rules about customary procedure, too, so if you deviate and go off on your own, you'll pay the difference out of pocket. I know this sucks, but it's there to prevent fraud (stuff like the body shop pads the claim to cover your deductible, you have a friend in the body shop and you both pad the claim and each pocket a little cash, you get a little 'extra' work done that wasn't accident related, etc.), which drives up rates for everyone. It happens.

Again, don't worry, this is a very small claim (minor damage, no injuries), and in the end, I bet you get your car fixed to your satisfaction. You'll just have to do a little coaxing to get the adjuster to vary a little from the routine stuff they're used to dealing with.

Also, good body shops will be of help in this area. Those usually aren't the ones with an antagonistic relationship with the insurance carriers that advertise how terrible insurers are and how they'll fight so you don't get screwed (hint: you'll get screwed by paying out of pocket, and they'll blame the insurer).

Find a few body shops in your area that do a lot of BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, etc. work and ask them what they think about the carriers you'll all be dealing with. Good body shops will know the adjusters, and they'll be able to work with them to get 'supplements' (payments above the original estimate) approved to cover what needs to be done and done right.
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2020, 06:30 PM
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I recommend contact several 'injury' lawyers in your area that have experience negotiating with insurance companies, see about what your budget will come out too and don't settle for anything but a full no-shortcut repair with OEM parts.

I was rear-ended at low speed, and I had my vehicle damage repaired and also collected a cool $12,000 for some minor injury.

Lawyer up, and never talk directly to the insurance adjuster, they're only out to screw you.
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2020, 09:27 PM
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^I don't like insurance companies either... But I'm also not big on frivolous litigation.

E39_touring has given excellent information.
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2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
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  #19  
Old 01-08-2020, 06:17 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice everyone. Work has been crazy but finally got the update for everyone. After going back and forth with the insurance adjuster who was actually a nice guy I explained to him that if he totaled out my car for 8k then I would want to to be paid for all of my mods put onto the car within the last 12 months as well as maintanencr. After going back and forth we came within 500 of my mechanics original estimate. My mechanic can stretch it to get the job done but I’m leaning towards looking for a mint condition 4.8is lower trunk lid and rear bumper that has factory paint. I may just pick up a 4.8is from an Salvage auction if it’s in good enough condition and swap the parts or maybe part it out to the forum if there’s enough interest. Will keep everyone posted but the good thing is I am keeping the car! After going on the hunt I realizednrhe only equivalent replacement would really be an X5m and two M’s in the driveway may be more maintanence then I have time for. Our cars really are the best value per dollar on the market for an suv.
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  #20  
Old 01-08-2020, 06:32 PM
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They do repairs to 70% of the value. Given this cap, $5,600 in repairs gives a value of $8000. They told the shop to cut repairs to $2,900, this gives a value cap of $4,150, that does not sound right -- the math is correct, but the value seems low.

If you have done repairs recently to extend the life of the car, they can/will consider raising the value.
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