Totalled Taurus

Hi,
I have a 93 Taurus wagon, 3.8, 145k miles
A short time ago while my daughter was driving the car was struck on the right side by a van entering a traffic circle. Damage was
superficial, RR door creased slightly, and same crease runs on to RR quarter panel around the front of the wheel arch.
Car was declared "totalled" by other driver's insurance company. They offer:
1) They take possession of the car and pay me $1676
2) I can keep the car and they pay me $1464, but I must have the car inspected by MD State police ($25) and get new "Salvage" title ($60). Whole process expected to take 4 - 6 weeks waiting for processing by opposition insurance company and MD DMV.
I don't know what the vehicle will be worth with a salvage title so am unsure whether I should keep the car. If I keep the car we plan to sell it and upgrade to a Honda Civic/Toyota Corolla for my daughter.
Anybody been through this process or know the likely value of a salvage title car compared to one with a clean title. KBB for a clean title is $1500 or thereabouts.
Al Moodie.
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One is NEVER required by law to transfer their vehicle to an insurance company, unless it pays you the salvage value.
You do not need to re-title any car just because it was in an accident. Insurance companies "total" a vehicle when the cost of the repair exceeds the value of the vehicle.
Lets say the value of an "X" model year vehicle is $10,000 and the exact same vehicle that is one year older is $7,000. They both have the exact same damage, that is superficial and does not effect the safety of that vehicle. Both are drivable after the accident. When the adjuster determines the damage to both is $8 000, they will repair the "X" model and "total" the one year older vehicle.
If the damage is as you described, one does not even need to repair that type of damage, as long as one can open and close the door(s.)

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if you are going to get rid of it anyway just take the money. KB
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Kevin wrote:

So basically, what you really need to know is what is the street value of the car? How much, in its condition, can you expect to get for it with a 4-sale sign on it? Take that number and weigh in the cost for the inspection, salvage title, $200 difference between the payoffs, plus whatever you feel your time is worth to run around getting all this done, plus storage and loss of the vehicle for th 4-6 weeks (if it has to sit). If your going to advertise in the paper or online, factor that in as well. Based on that, only you can answer if it's worth it, but if it were me, it'd have to have a walk-up street value of $2500-3K to be worth the hassle...
IYM
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"IYM" wrote...

Well put. I'd say take the $1676 for it and be done with it.
I'd expect to get no more than $1000 out of it by putting it up for sale. This assumes it's in good shape though, so the damage probably drops that down quite a bit, even if it isn't structural damage. Probably gets haggled down to $500.
- Chris
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IF you keep the car, do NOT let them do anything to your title!
First off, realize they 'total' a vehicle because they have to make sure they don't loose out from hidden damage or other problems 'down the road'. The car may be fixable a lot cheaper than the totaled out value. With that in mind, and if you keep the car...
Tell them you are having the car "Repaired under contract" and take the salvage value they offered. Do NOT agree to anything regarding salvage, total loss, or whatever.
I had an accident in my Intrepid. It wasn't that bad, but the car was older and they pulled that crap on me. I had it fixed then ran into all kinds of problems because they reported it 'salvage' without my permission. The problem was I wasn't allowed to START work until the title was 'salvage' and the car was inspected. Then it needed another inspection. It was a nightmare, as I had the car already finished. For about $2000 LESS than the claim.
I complained to the insurance company and when I made it formal, they offered to get me a rental at their expense while I went through the 6 week (or longer) procedure to straighten it out. But then I went to the State Police to start the procedure, and found out the title was kicked back, and never salvaged. Turns out that I had paid the car off, and since I had the phsical title, not a loan company, the insurance didn't file the title correctly! So I lucked out. I would have had a problem if I ever went to sell the car, but I drove it into the ground at 200K miles.
DO NOT LET THEM SALVAGE THE CAR!!
Find out what the law says 'exactly' in your state (here it's 'repair under contract') and keep the car!
Mike

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Dang, sorry to hear somebody else ran into her.
Good to see that the airbags still worked after 16 years.
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I'm curious as to how the insurance company got the title to your vehicle, without you transferring that title to it before an authorized title transfer agent, who "certifies the person(s) signing the title is the actual owner(s)" of that titled vehicle? One must first transfer a title to "brand" that title albeit, Taxi, Police, Flood, Salvage etc..
Normally, in the title states with which I am familiar, only those vehicles for which a "Salvaged" titles are issued, are those for which a "Certificate of Junk" was previously issued, by the titling state.

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On Fri, 23 Oct 2009 11:16:19 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

The insurance company did get title to the vehicle. Vehicle has Kelly Blue Book value of $1500 approx. Vehicle is involved in accident, superficial damage, but cost of repair is $2500 Insurance company declares car a total loss, they offer to take the car and title from me and pay me $1500 or I can keep the car and they pay me $1400. To get the $1400 insurance company says I must send them the title, which they will send to Maryland DMV which will brand the title as salvage. Then before I can drive the car with a salvage title I must take t to have it inspected by Maryland State Police ($25) Insurance company says all of the above is required to comply with MD State law. Sounds weird to me but I don't know.
But now with the second accident the car is undriveable and economicaly unrepairable, it seems that BOTH insurance companies want the title so they can brand it "Salvage", which it now definately is. I am told by the first insurance company that they will have to co-ordinate with the second insurance company to ensure that the title declared salvage, a bureaucratic maze.
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Sorry first line of last post should read:
The insurance company did NOT get title to the vehicle.
Al Moodie.
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You missed the point of my post. One is not required to transfer ones title, to an insurance company, of one forgoes the salvage allowance.
It is not possible for the insurance company to "brand" a title that was not transferred to it, period.
I do not understand why the you believe a SECOND insurance company could be involved with a vehicle you no longer own? You stated in you reply that "The insurance company did get title to the vehicle," therefore the question of re-titling and branding your title is moot, because you made the mistake of transferring title to them when you were not required to transfer your title.
wrote:

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Mike Hunter wrote:

He followed up his post with a statement that the title was *Not* transferred.
It may be that in MD, insurance companies are required to retitle the cars as salvaged whenever certain conditions are met, like the damage is more than a certain percentage of value of the car or when the car is deemed beyond repair or if the car is structurally damaged and beyond repair. You're welcome to do a web search if you wish to find out.
I think it's more likely that the people who handle the claims saw that the car repairs were too expensive and automatically said that the car had to be retitled without knowing if it were true. Then, it's up to the owner to stick up for his rights under the law and policy. It's like with health insurance, the insurance companies don't really care about the people involved, only about decreasing their payments.
I suspect that you're right that the title doesn't need to be redone, but only that the insurance company is covering its butt rather than gather facts to make a good decision to help it costumer.
Jeff

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Perhaps, but my comment was to that post. Apparently YOU missed the point of my post, as well. Stick to what you think you know, one is not required to transfer ones title, to an insurance company, if one forgoes the salvage allowance, period.
That is one reason we have titles, NO ONE can do anything with that vehicle except the registered owner(SO.)
The only reason an insurance company can deny a claim for a loss by its insured, is when ones policy does not include a particular coverage (I E collision) or the loss exceeds ones policy limit(so) or the current value of the loss.
In that case the loss exceeded the fair market value of that particular vehicle. If ones car was a year or two newer with the same exact damage, it may not exceed the value, and the company will pay to fix the newer vehicle with the exact same damage regardless of the severity of the damage.
Ones loss is the total of the value, less any deductible, including the salvage value and the state tax. IF you decline the salvage value, they reduce your loss total by that amount. If you accept the salvage they take title to the vehicle and recover the salvage value from a salver.
One can do with whatever one choose with the money they receive, there is no legal requirement to repair a vehicle that can pass any required state vehicle inspection.
.
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Evidently, here in Mass the insurance company declares the loss, then the title and funds 'cross in the mail' with the finance company, and the insurance company files with the state. The fact that the car at the time was fairly new was a 'wrench' in their system. Technically they had to wait for me to turn title to them, but they didn't, they filed paperwork with the state. That was the big oops on their part that I could have held their feet to the fire for. That's why they offered to get me a rental car and pay for all inspections until it was straightened out. I found out later I could have held out for a lot more, even claiming 'loss of value' to the car as it now would have a salvage title instead of a clean title.
Thing is, I called the State Police (they are responsible for auto fraud and handle the 'salvage' program) and Lt there was the one who gave me the scoop on things. Hey, I just wanted a car to drive. In the mean time, I got my renewal registration notice in the mail, and the SP Lt told me to just renew it. It had a valid insurance coverage policy linked to it. The Lt basically I had a legal registration and legal insurance, and if anything crashed and burned, it would be the insurance company that would have to straighten it out. So I did. In fact, I renewed the registration a couple more times, finally junking the car when the rust got to it. I never lost out, but I think the insurance company could have if anything crashed and burnt..
The Intrepid accident was my fault. (Well, adjucated my fault. The sun was on the horizon, and a contractor pickup truck missed his turn, so he stopped and was backing up on the roadway, and I rearended him. He denied he was backing up, even though our collision contact point was 20 feet past the driveway he was turning into. With the sun on the horizon I didn't see him until too late.) Since then I demolished my Pontiac (wasn't my fault at all) and that time the insurance company totaled the car, and I had to produce title to get anything.
Mike

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You are in luck, the owner of the vehicle that pulled out is now responsible for your total loss so you no longer have the collision deductible to worry about. ;)

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