mensch

My 1976 Corolla CS and insurance woes

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Was rear ended by a truck 4 weeks ago and going through the very slow insurance claim process.

This is really emotionally traumatic for me, as I bought my car in 1991, she's my first and my only car I've ever owned. I actually love my car. She has supported me through tough times.

I am really nervous about the upcoming valuation and smash repair quote. I have no idea how to handle the concept of a write off or how to navigate these waters. Also just feeling really raw and vulnerable.

Any advice on how to handle this process, where to find parts in Brisbane, and any understanding smash repairers around Brisbane, who I could use if I get the opportunity to fix her?

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Find as many prices for similar Corollas so you have a value in mind that you can demonstrate to them.

If you want to have it repaired, bargain for the right to the car, as many companies pay it out then take posession and auction the wreck.

I'd expect it takes a tiny accident to write these cars off, labour at panelshops is so expensive that minor accidents are writing off 10yr old cars now. I'm amazed as what I see at Great Western Wreckers.

Best-case I expect will be to get a thousand bucks from the insurance company and retain ownership of the car. Then you need a mate who is a panelbeater to help you strip and repair it. A chassis machine can pull a chassis straight, or a donor car can be cut and the rear-end welded into place. 

Look up regulations for statutory writeoffs, you don't want the car declared that or it can't be repaired for the road again.

Good luck-

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Get friendly with the assessor and find the point for maximum pay out without writing off the car then get it fixed your self. This will depend on weather your car is insured for fixed amount or market value.  Keep in mind they are in the business of writing off old cars cause it is way easier for them. 

If you dont have agreed value fully comp insurance, unfortunately it is unlikely you will come out ahead. The car is an old junker in the insurance eyes.

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Talk them into classifying it as a non economical write off and buy it back off them then go in search of a decent panel shop. Have you got any pics of the damage? Panel beaters are ridiculously dear for proper old fashioned work. If they can't unbolt it and chuck it in the bin and slap a new one on they arent interested. I got shunted by a distracted soccer mum in a mini van packed with feral kids. It damaged the tub on my ute and coz they can't get a replacement one they wanted to write her off. I kicked up and the insurance paid me out. I'm still driving it with the damage checking every day on gumtree for a tub. don't get bossed around by the insurance company. Believe it or not they are not on your side.

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Valuer just left. Fingers crossed but not hopeful based on his face. Showed all my receipts of work I've had done to her, examples of other cars for sale like her. Not sure if it made any difference.

If they come back and want to write her off, as she still drives well - I've spent a couple thousand on her mechanics over past few years - how do I arrange to not have her deregistered so I can get her fixed myself or at least sell her registered to someone who wants to fix her...?

To questions about damage, the iSuzu truck hit her rear left corner high, so has slightly impacted the chassis. Rear left corner above headlight all dented, bumper bar pushed in, boot askew. Worst damage she's ever copped as other accidents were just bumper or panel related as only cars hit me, not trucks.

I'm pretty sad right now.

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On 8/10/2018 at 12:18 PM, Big G said:

Believe it or not they are not on your side.

I am understanding this. If any smash repairers appreciated old cars she could be fixed, but they're all so busy with their fleet repairs etc they can't be bothered. No appreciation for quality.

What is the difference between a non-economical write-off and a write-off?

Edited by mensch

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On 8/10/2018 at 11:01 AM, ke70dave said:

Get friendly with the assessor and find the point for maximum pay out If you don't have agreed value fully comp insurance, unfortunately it is unlikely you will come out ahead. The car is an old junker in the insurance eyes.

Fully comprehensive market value with same insurer since I bought her in 1990. Unfortunately even 10 years back when I enquired insurers wouldn't insure an old car for agreed value. Seems to be a relatively recent thing I wasn't aware of.

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If she has a bent chassis I don't like your chances of them not writing her off. The difference between an non economical write off and a write off is if the car is too expensive to repair compared to its insured value. So 4k for repairs 3k for market value not economical to repair. A write off is when the car cannot be repaired to be safe. The insurance company don't care about classics or sentimental value. Its just business. I have my daughters KE55 insured with Shannons for 7k if it gets written off she gets the car and 7k. It costs me $60 a month and she is a first year green P plater. Fingers crossed for you.

Edited by Big G
typo

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