Wednesday, March 04, 2009


It's been an eventful week!

Yesterday as I was sitting in my living room, watching TV, minding my own business and listening to the rain, I heard a loud thunk out on the street.

For some reason, my intuition told me to get up and look. I did. A green Dodge Caravan rear-ended my car and left the scene. As luck would have it, the mail man was approaching right at that time. He got her license number.

It was an 18-year-old kid, probably talking on her cell phone. When she hit my car, she panicked and ran.

Not a good move.

Naturally, I had to make a police report. I called the police, they came out, took a report, blah blah blah. Thank goodness for the mail man taking down her license plate! The police went to her house.

I was rather stunned by the whole thing.. but figured somehow, it would work out. Things usually do.

This morning I took the car to the body shop for repair where they declared it a "total loss". The young lady who wrecked the car did, thank goodness, have good insurance. I got a rental car a few hours ago which I will have until the insurance company settles with me.

Here's my question for you guys: Any advice for dealing with the insurance company to get as much money as possible for an old vehicle?

I will be using that money for a down payment on another used car, one that is better and newer. That means I'm stuck with payments for a while. Double payments for six months since I am still paying the person who loaned me the money for the one totalled yesterday. I am going to be so broke that losing weight really shouldn't be a problem since I'll barely be able to afford food.

I know the insurance company will try to get by with as little as possible but I don't want them to take advantage of my inexperience, either.

So... regale me with your insurance stories!



Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I have no wisdom or experience about this sort of thing. Just want to say I'm sorry it happened to you.

Anvilcloud said...

No help from here, just a bit of commiseration.

flutter said...

gah, what a pain! glad you're ok. There isn't really a way to "get the most" from an insurance company, unfortunately it's kind of a you'll get what you get kind of thing

Carol said...

I have no words of wisdom to offer, either. I think that insurance companies consider themselves gods, and we are at their mercy.

Sorry to hear about your car. I'm glad that the woman had insurance!

Leann said...

I'm glad I don't have the experience to share with you on this one Chani. Sorry. I'm terribly sorry that you had to lose your vehicle in such a manner, but as we know, everything happens for a purpose. You're a 'glass half full' person so I know you'll come through this just fine.


Olivia said...

I, too, know nothing about the insurance, except that I think I agree with one of the commenters that you get what you get, based on the Blue Book---there is a standard amount for a car of that year, that model, etc. and that is what you get.

But I was thinking, it's nice to know that you won't have that old car driving to Crescent City, but instead a better newer one, which will be just as well. I am sorry it happened, but on the other hand, since it did happen I'm glad you'll be safer.

Even though the payments will be harder for a while...maybe you could buy the car right before you go to Crescent City and then it will be more know, make the car payments with the insurance money and then put down what you have left, but you'll be having lower expenses too, so you can pay easier.

I am thinking that this is going to work out, Chani!

Hoping for good things for you, Love, O

meno said...

Been there.

You do NOT have to accept the first offer her insurance company makes.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what meno said.

They'll lowball you on the first offer, then bump it up a bit to avoid litigation. They aren't going to want to go to court and pay big lawyer fees over a small settlement, and that gives you a tiny bit of leverage.

Blog Antagonist said...

I think the only way to get what you deserve in a situation like this is to hire an attorny. Unfortunately, that could cost almost as much as you could expect to recoup.

I'm so sorry that happened to you. If it's any comfort at all, now is the time to buy a car. My husband just bought a brand new car for a ridiculously low price. We had planned to buy used, until we realized we could have new for the amount we had planned to spend.

Anonymous said...

I wish had some advice to give (some people would pay me to hear me say that,lol). I think it IS a good time to buy a car in terms of bang for your buck and I agree about negotiating with the insurance can't hurt. It is good to look at the blue book to get an idea of what figure their using. You could try talking to your friendly regular repair guy, if it's had a lot of work done perhaps that might get you more? See I did get some advice out of myself!

S said...

Oof. I'm sorry, Chani.

I find insurance companies inscrutable, so I'm definitely not one to ask.

MARY G said...

What Meno and starrlife said. Hang in and be sweet and stubborn as hell. They will try to work down from book value; you need to argue for value added (you planned a move around having a car, etc.) And, yeah, new cars are almost as cheap as used, given the manufacturers' need to move product.
And good luck! So providential the mail man got the licence. Maybe it was meant, to give you a better vehicle for the move.

Woman in a Window said...

Not a one. Sorry. But you do delight me with your levelheadedness. I'd cry but would hope to be more level.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had advice. The last wreck I was involved in, the insurance company settled with us in a way that I thought was more than fair. I hope they do the same with you.

Carla said...

I am sorry to hear about this. But at the same time, glad that you weren't in the car and that the postman was able to get the license plate number. I hope you get a fair settlement that allows you to get a decent vehicle.