BGerrells

1988 Buick Reatta accident question

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My 1988 Buick reatta was hit in the parking lot this morning while at work. No note left and no witnesses. It banged up the rear pretty bad. Currently I have  Collision insurance with a $500.00 deductible.  I've never had any insurance claims and wondering if I should report it to the insurance. How do insurance companies work with the value of such an old car? Is it worth even reporting?

 

 

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I'd want to pull the bumper and see if the "frame" is damaged. If not you may be able to straighten it or just replace the pistons.

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If you can repair it yourself for $750 to a grand maybe best not to turn it into insurance. If your not sure how to fix it, get a couple estimates, if it's over $750 to a grand, maybe best to have the insurance co cover it.  On a side note, I like the color with the red interior and color matching wheels, very nice.

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I had a similar issue happen to me, woman backed right into me, totaled the whole driver door. I called my insurance comany and their first thought is that they were just going to total the whole car, after some negotiations (and begging) they paid me out the value they thought the car was worth, so I guess I am a somewhat rare case maybe, but a call wouldn't hurt and you would for sure meet that $500 deductible.

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Talk to your agent and let him explain to you the best way to proceed. I would have also called the police to file a report. Go get two estimates from the shops you like and come back with what parts you need. You might find that the estimates will not total out the car but buying used parts [for a Reatta is there anything else?] and then going back to the shop of your choice and have them put them on and paint if neccesary. 

 I had a similar situation when I was cut off by another driver, and did the used parts thing and made about $800.00 on the deal.

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Profiting from an insurance claim is considered insurance fraud.  

 

Anyway, talk to your agent and still try to get a police report.  Many companies will make this a chargeable claim without a police report.  The thinking is that there is no way to really know what happened, and if it was really important to you, you would have called the police.  

 

Also ask yourself, it is worth having collision coverage on that car?  

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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I beg to differ. In my situation I had one quote but a company adjuster from American Family met with me and looked at the estimate of repairs, looked at the car himself and then went to car-part.com and got quotes on parts needed. He then wrote up his offer, showed it to me and said this is our offer. I asked if I accept the offer do I get to keep the car and there is no "total" or "rebuilt" change to my title? He said no changes and if you accept I will authorize a check to be sent.

 I accepted and used parts vendors from this forum and Gibson's [my local you pick salvage yard] to save on my parts purchases.

 This was all above board and with an insurance company's adjuster involved. 

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2 hours ago, 39BuickEight said:

Profiting from an insurance claim is considered insurance fraud.

 

I have to disagree. The insurance company is paying for a loss based on the "estimate" of damages done to your car. You are under no obligation to spend the total amount of the the check they give you (based on an above board estimate) that you agree too.  They are paying your loss due to legitimate damages that you incurred in an accident.

 

You are under no obligation to even have the car fixed if you choose not to do so. You can sell the damaged car "as is" if you don't want to have it repaired OR, you can stick the check in the bank and continue to drive the damaged car is if is legally safe to drive. I have done both.

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In those cases where a vehicle is not repaired, you have not profited, therefore it does not address the fact that profiting from an insurance claim is fraud.

 

You are actually supposed to return any money not spent to correctly repair the vehicle, if you repaired it correctly for less than you were paid.  That never actually happens, but the insurance company only owes to correctly repair the vehicle less your deductible.  If they find out less was spent to do so, and they still insure it, they don’t like that.  Each carrier handles it differently.  Most of the time it’s the shop telling the carrier about it.

 

Shops can also get into trouble when it involves not charging a deductible.

 

It’s rare, but does happen.

 

It all goes back into the social/mutual aspect of insurance.  Every single insured shares in the losses.  

 

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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A number of years ago I sold a used car to a guy for his daughter to drive. Selling price was $2500.00 Less then 6 months later I recieve a phone call from the guy's insurance company asking me how much did I sell the car for. Before I answered I asked what had happened. The rep said that the daughter had totaled the car out and he was claiming the car was purchased for $2500.00 But a check with the DMV showed he paid sales tax on $1000.00 which is why they had to ask me. In the state of Wisconsin if a car is totalled out in less then 6 months the insurance company is bound to reimburse for the full value. The insurance company wanted to pay based on the $1000.00 but the guy was holding out for the $2500.00 and I was the guy that could settle it.

 Before I gave my answer I asked what would happen to the guy who bought the car, and he said that the state would go after him with a fine and for the missing sales tax. 

 I told the insurance company the truth... $2500.00

 and I never cheated on the tax due on a car purchase again. 

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I would do as Padgett suggested and pull the bumper first and check the frame. Those 25+ year old bumper pistons aren't very dependable and most times will not return due to leakage or rust. Sometimes if they haven't failed you can pound on them and they might pop out.

Edited by SCOTT's 90's (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, 39BuickEight said:

n those cases where a vehicle is not repaired, you have not profited, therefore it does not address the fact that profiting from an insurance claim is fraud.

 

You are actually supposed to return any money not spent to correctly repair the vehicle, if you repaired it correctly for less than you were paid.  

 

I agree that reimbursement for a loss isn't profit even if you cash the check and pocket the money so as you say it wouldn't be fraud. Returning money not needed must vary from state to state.

 

Here is an example of me receiving money from the insurance company and not spending a nickle of it on the car.  I had to come to a sudden stop due to a light turning red. The car in front of me made a panic stop forcing me to do the same. When I slammed on the brakes the nose of my truck went down and the rear went up.  While the rear of my truck was up the lady behind me wedged the nose of her Chevy Corsica under my chrome step bumper.  It left a little red paint on the bottom of my bumper and scuffed the rubber trim strip on it. When the police came she admitted it was all her fault because she was talking to her baby in the back seat. No one was hurt. I took a Brillo pad to my bumper to get the paint scuffs off. It wasn't a new truck so I figured I could live with a scuffed bumper. I didn't want to turn it in to my insurance.

 

About three weeks later my insurance agent called and asked me about the accident. He said It did $3600 in damage to her car which was mostly plastic in the front.  He said he wanted me to come by his office so he could look at my truck. My first thought was that the lady in the Corsica had turned in a claim against me.

 

When I took my truck to my insurance agent he said both the lady in the Corsica and me were insured by his company and he wanted to settle any damages that might have occurred to my truck. I told him I had already buffed off the paint and I wasn't concerned about the bumper rub strip being scuffed up. He noticed a slight kink in the bumper that I hadn't noticed. He calculated that it would cost $450+ to replace the chrome bumper and rub strip. I told him I didn't want to replace it fearing it might cause my premium to go up. He told me that wasn't a problem since the lady had admitted fault. I took the check and pocketed it. I made it clear that I had no intention of changing bumpers and there was no mention of me having to give back money that I didn't spend on repairs. That bumper was on my truck when I sold it...

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Makes sense.  That’s also a liability claim, not a first party claim, and those guidelines are completely different for a million reasons I won’t get into.

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