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Car Insurance Question

April 28th, 2005, 02:40 PM
This past Monday my husband was involved in a head on collision. He's fine as is the driver of the other car. The accident wasn't my husband's fault so we didn't have to pay the deductable. We have been waiting since Monday evening for the insurance company to have the car towed to their garage and find out what would be happening. We just received a call that the car is a total write off. Since I'm not familiar with the laws here or insurance for that matter, when they write off a car, I know it's the value of the car (blue/black book value). We are pretty sure we owe more on the car the the book value (really long story). How are write offs done, is it just the value of the car from the book value, do they calculate any upgrades to the car?

April 28th, 2005, 02:51 PM
How upsetting this accident - thank goodness you husband is ok!

I am not sure if this varies from province to province. I did have one vehicle written off and the fact that the mileage was extremely low for the year of the vehicle brought the price up considerably. I received a fair price that I was satsified with.
Upgrades should also be brought into consideration, I would think, depending on what it was done - and when.

Good luck with this!
I believe you can contest the amount offered if you feel it's too low, but I dont know if this is successful.

April 28th, 2005, 02:59 PM
Thank you Shamrock. I believe our mileage just passed the 100,000 mark (has 70,000) and we were buying this car, already used. It was a 2001 Ford Focus Wagon SE. WAS really nice :( I asked because I'm wondering and it's not a really big deal, but we put brand new winter tires on in November and paid almost $1000 for all four. We still have the wheels that came off the car when we got, still in great shape (as we wouldn't buy the car until new tires were added). We weren't surprised to hear it was a write off considering it was manual and could idle nicely when in gear and no clutch was needed as well as the frame being twisted, airbags exploded, hood embedded nicely into the motor and wonderful black smoke that poured out. We did alot of upgrades (repairs as well). Can anyone explain the No Fault Insurance (this is all new to me, I'm use to hearing Full Coverage and Liability).

April 28th, 2005, 03:00 PM
I'm glad that nobody was hurt.

A friend of mine was in a car accident and totalled her car as well. The insurance company gave her what she would have received had she sold her car privately.

My parent's had a customized van once that was stolen and never recovered. When the insurance company evaluated the van's worth they took into account the upgraded stereo, TV and VCR as well as all the other options that were in the van. They also took into consideration and reimbursed us somewhat for the repairs the van had received just before it had been stolen.

I'm not sure if this is the same in all provinces though.

April 28th, 2005, 03:11 PM
I used to be an insurance adjuster, but dealt with injury claims from auto accidents. I'll try and help though. Also, injuries don't always show right away, and can show later. Make sure your husband sees a doc anyway just to document it. Also, if he does get pain a few weeks later, best thing is to just keep going and do his regular activies. Rest makes Rusty as we used to say, because rest will just make the muscles more stiff and sore. It's better to work through the pain, and he will get less sore faster.

Quebec has a totally different system than the rest of Canada, and I used to work in Ontario.

Basically, if you think the car is/was worth more, you have to prove it. Regular maintenance, and things like new tires (if it needed them) won't count as an upgrade, and may not be worth more. You might, if you speak with the adjuster, be able to get a little increase for the new tires, but maybe only 20-40% of what you paid, because depreciation on tires is high. If the car had other things like new engine, new parts like stereo or things done in the last 6 months, and you can prove it with receipts and such, then you might be able to get more for an upgrade as well. But you have to prove it with paperwork.

The write off amount is usually an average of the blue or black books (I think there is a red book as well). You can also input there as well. Look for the same model and year of car with the similar mileage on autotrader online. Search for a long time and see what you can find. If you can find a lot of the same car as yours worth more, then prove it to the insurance, and you might be able to get higher. It's all negotiation.

Now...No fault. No fault means that no matter who is at fault, you deal with your own insurance company. There is still someone at fault though. In Ontario, there are "fault determination rules" that apply to every situation. If a person stops suddenly in front of you, and you rear end them, you are 100% at fault no matter what the person did in front of you. It's the law and you can't argue it. I don't know if they have anything like that in quebec though.

April 28th, 2005, 03:48 PM
With the tires, I know it's not an upgrade, but a must in our books for the winter. We just wanted to know if it's possible to give the original tires back and get the winter ones back.

From what I've gathered, as my husband doesn't like to talk much about it, the fire department showed up because there was black smoke coming from the engine and from inside the car. They ended up cutting the battery cables. The police of course showed up and an ambulance took my husband to the hospital. He goes back on Monday to be checked over again. His neck is really sore and where the seatbelt goes across his shoulder locked and he's bruised there. Other then those two things, he seems ok, or so he says.

I'm guessing we will find out about the total, we could careless about getting more, we just hope it gets completely paid off.

Do they calculate the items in the car? The two high back boaster seats in the back got throw around on impact and when I called the manufac. of them they told me to get new ones since these were involved in an accident. The police officer told us that as well. So we did purchase new ones Tuesday as we needed to run errands (and we currently have the garage rental car) and I won't go anywhere if my girls aren't in their carseat and secure. There was really nothing else in the car besides CDs and a bin with jumper cables etc.

Sorry about all the questions, I'm just not use to the insurance thing here.

The Ontario law of the rear end accidents is the same as in TN (or at least when I lived there 7 years ago). No matter if the car in front stops and you hit them in the rear, you are at fault.

April 28th, 2005, 03:58 PM
I don't know about in quebec, but the items in the car aren't considered part of the car, and therefore are not covered by the car insurance (that means anything in the car, including CD's, car seats, clothes, computers, anything that might be in your car). To claim the things that were in your car, we were always told to tell our claimants they had to be claimed from your property insurance (i.e. your home insurance or tenants insurance, as they are considered your property). Only things physically attached to the car are considered covered for the accident.

Now..those are technically the rules, but I have seen adjusters be more leanient and pay for some things, but not always. Once I had a claim for a woman a few weeks before christmas, and she had $1000's worth of presents in her van. She wasn't too happy to find out they had to be claimed from her home insurance, as she had a $1000 deductible. That's the problem with it, as usualy home insurance has high deductibles, and making a claim will make your rates go up.

Because I learned all of this, I don't keep things in my car that I don't have to. I know some people who travel around with all kinds of things in their cars like ice skates, clothes, CD players, hockey equip, all of which wouldn't be covered in an accident by the car insurer.

The other option, is if the other person is at fault, you might be able to convince their company to pay for it. This is easy but risky. YOu could write them a letter, outlining the issue at hand (how their insured was at fault) and how you lost X items (document them and their cost, and if possible, send photocopies of receipts for them for proof). Explain that you would like to be compensated for the items, and to call you at their earliest convenience. THis letter will be forwarded to their liability department, and a claim against the liability portion of the at fault driver policy will be opened. THen the adjuster should call you (could take a few weeks). Be careful though, because if you settle for these items this way, and it turns out your DH has serious injuries in the future, you could be prevented from suing in the future. That's why it's risky. If it's only two booster seats, then I wouldn't bother, and just pay for them out of pocket and not worry about the liability or your home insurance going up.

Regarding the tires, they were winter ones? You just want the other tires back and to switch then? I think this is illegal, as the car must remain altogether after an accident, you can't switch parts for the settlement. You can only settle for what was in the accident. And I wouldn't risk using the tires that were in the accident, as they could pop or fail in the future due to the stresses put on them during the force of the accident.

April 28th, 2005, 04:09 PM
Thank you once again for explaining things. My husband just got off the phone with the insurance company and tomorrow morning he has to return the renter to the garage and then they will take him to Enterprise to get a renter until everything is done.

April 28th, 2005, 04:49 PM
My hubby totaled his pick-up several years ago (his fault). We have State Farm Insurance. They compiled a list of 10 want-ads selling the same year and model pick-up with similar accessories. Then they paid us what they determined was the average price. So, what we got was enough to actually replace the vehicle, more than the blue-book value. We're still with State Farm. How a company handles claims is as important as how much the policy rates are.

April 28th, 2005, 04:52 PM
We, well, the husband has insurance through TD. I'm not covered to drive the car even though I have a driver's license.

April 28th, 2005, 05:06 PM
im glad no one was seriously injured, thats what is most important.

next company shop around there are some great insurers out there.

not trying to hyjack but i thought you may find this interesting-

a few weeks ago a friend of mine purchased a $25000 car, it was her first fancy one so to speak, she lives in the far nth australia, very very very hot place..

she was going out to the pub that night, she opened the car to get her purse, not noticing her big wolfhound jump in the back seat. she locked the car and went out for 5 hours. when she returned she could not ifnd the dog, her hubby noticed the car window all fogged up. they found the dog unconcious on the back seat, but alive and she recovered quick.

WELL while she was loced in the car she paniced before passing out, she tore the entire fabric covering off the roof and scratched the tinting off all the windows, the cat was a mess. (not that my friend held that against the dog, jsut glad she lived).

well she could not sleep so rang her insurance company late at night. they informed her that they WOULD COVER THE LOT, thats right the dog did $3000 worth of damage and she only payed $300 excess, now that is a generous company. and they were actually concerned about the dog and my friend, saying not to worry for the car, they would fix it, and to jsut get herself back to normal. needless to say i am about to change to that company, what a way to get customwers, word of mout is sure working for them.

sorry if a little of track, but its just interesting and shows there are great companies out there for pet owners, jsut look around. good luck with it mate.

April 28th, 2005, 06:23 PM
I have a feeling after this we will be changing companies. My husband has never been in accident (well, small fender bender as he was rear ended by a lady talking on a cell and not paying attention and then loudly bragged it didn't matter about the damage to her car she was getting a new one). We were told our rates are going to go up and that he's high risk now. I'm not understanding this, as we had no choice by to claim this on our insurance and why would he now be high risk for something that wasn't his fault in the least. Gosh, I'm thinking of going to horse and carriage and living in a cave :(

April 28th, 2005, 07:34 PM
Stamp, that's how insurance works these days. One accident (minor) and you are fine, a second accident, even if both were not at fault, your premiums will go up no matter what insurance company you are with. Depending on where you live, they will go up after only one accident. So many factors go in rating your insurance, but if you are in two accidents, you are put in a different rate group. They assume the routes you take for driving are high risk now, so they charge more.

I would suggest you stay with TD. they are a very good company (I can tell you which ones are and which ones aren't). If you switch, you will get cheaper rates the first year, but higher rates the next, higher than if you stayed with TD. That's how they get you. You shop around, insurance companies know when you look at other companies to get quotes (it's all recorded and tied to your license). They quote you really cheap, and you switch. Then after one year, you get a huge increase. And that increase will be more than what you would be paying to stay with TD. It's a common misconception of people that they need to switch if their rates go's better not to.

April 28th, 2005, 07:49 PM
Only this accident was claimed, the small rear ender one was never claimed or reported, it did no damage so neither claimed. We were with a different insurance company before and their rates were great but hubby changed because he wanted our renters insurance and car insurance together. I'm unsure of what he plans to do and that cave and horse/carriage are sounding better by the minute! :) Thanks for all the advice :thumbs up

April 28th, 2005, 08:00 PM accident that is a total loss can put you in the high risk. Was it on the way to/from work by chance?

I once got a claim and looked at her claim history. She had been rearended 13 times in a 12 month period!! Her policy was just about expired, and she called me "you guys are cancelling my insurance and no one with insure me!". We get that a lot in claims, and have to explain to them that we only deal with claims, not your policy. If you have questions about the policy, see your broker. She still screamed at me for 20 minutes. Oh well. Not even the Facility Association would take her (The facility is a group fund of insurance with ALL the insurance companies who put money into it to insure high risk drivers. If you have facility fund insurance, you are paying close to $1000 a month).

April 28th, 2005, 08:05 PM
He was on the way to work and that morning I convinced him to take the cell because the weather was crappy. Good thing I did! Not even 5 minutes after he called me to tell me what happened (while sitting on the curb), my 6 year old daughter's school called to tell me she was freaking out because her dad was in a wreck. Apparently her bus went right by after it happened and saw the car all smashed in and smoking and was just totally freaking out.

One accident is too many. I guess I wish some things worked against the people who do stupid things, like make left turns when there's a huge sign telling them not to, but it won't happen. Oh well, talk about a slap of reality eh :)

April 28th, 2005, 09:54 PM
My step father was in a bad collision back in September. The other driver did an illeagl left hand turn, right infront of him. Totalled the car. She didn't have insurance, or at least, CAR insurance (she had motor cycle insurance... and was driving a sunfire). Our car was a write off as well.
In Ontario, we thought we would only get the blue book value of the car. No, we were given the cost as we would receive if we sold the car privately. Basically, works VERY well to give an approximate value.
The other thing that we were able to do, we had JUST filled up the gas tank that morning. We were able to give a receipt for the gas, as well as the washer fluid and oil change, and the cost of these were partially returned to us. So just make sure you ask tons of questions of the insurance company.