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My 2002 EX CRV and I ran into a deer in rural Michigan on Sun night. The thing is totaled as it crumpled the radiator, hood, front quarter panel, passenger door, and whatever else goes along with hitting a deer at 75 mph. The CRV had 214K miles on it and a little bit of rust on a couple of areas. For Kelly Blue Book Standards, I would have called it "fair" condition (actually better than fair since it had brand new tires, the interior was clean/not ripped, non-smoker, etc.) Was I a little tired of an 11 yr old car? Getting there - but it sure was nice having it fully paid off and no car payment for the past 7 years. I had performed the the recommended maintenance per my Honda Dealers little book (every time I took it there it seemed like there was some sort of major thing like a timing belt/chain, fluid flush, whatever). The brakes were good, new A/C compressor. Long story short, I know the mileage was a bit high but hey, I loved the car, drove it alot, and had a 100 mile round trip work commute for 5 years, but took care of it the right way. It should be worth something, right? Especially given I had FULL COVERAGE insurance on it despite my agents recommendation to drop full coverage to save us $160 a year..(which I decided was not worth the minimal savings if only to protect myself from AN INCIDENT LIKE A DEER JUMPING IN FRONT OF MY CAR.

Anyway - after hitting the deer and totaling the car my insurance agent now tells my wife "it's not worth much" and is reluctant to give a price and suggests that the new tires are maybe worth $450. (I have to get this 3rd hand since I haven't spoken to the insurance guy myself).

Am I wrong here in assuming that full coverage insurance implies some sense that at least I'll get something for my car and not be suddenly vehicle-less through no fault of my own? WTF? Why do we pay for insurance? I've never had a claim like this so maybe I'm the idiot for keeping it fully insured all this time? Kelly Blue book shows the value at between $3100 and $4500. I know KBB is not all that real world - so let's cut it in half or so... Shouldn't I expect to get $2000 for my totaled car?

Can someone with knowledge or experience please comment on this? I'm screwed now and will have to pull $ out of my 401K for a down payment on a vehicle that I can afford. :( Any advice would be appreciated.

This is in the State of Michigan by the way in case that matters.

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That sucks -- sorry to hear. I'm assuming your reference to "full coverage" means you have collision coverage. Unfortunately, collision coverage is as to the pre-crash value of the car, not its replacement value post-crash. Your carrier will have the vehicle appraised, and will (or should) pay you the appraised value, less any deductible you may have. The appraiser should consider items like new tires in the car's value, not that you'll recover their cost dollar-for-dollar by any means. You'll have the option of accepting the appraised value and signing title to the carrier, or keeping the wrecked car if you accept the appraised value minus the salvage value of the car (what the carrier would have sold it for to a salvage yard). Considering the apparent damage, I wouldn't recommend the second option as the repair costs could be in the stratosphere.
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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In NJ, Deer Hits are covered under Comprehensive (same as glass breakage, storm damage, etc)

When our Acura was hit last fall, the insurance company made us an offer...when we objected, they promised to reconsider if we could show retail prices were higher.

For an hour on CraigsList and Googling dealer adverts, and they raised our payout 20%.


They also gave us the option of purchasing the car back (which was less damaged than your V, it still drove fine) for scrap value, about $400. If I was younger and it had been our only car, I would have taken the buyback.
 

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I hope it works out for you Pearsonweb, I can relate to your dilemma. Sometimes it seems insurance and many other things are stacked against the little guy.
While the car is probably worth more to you running than totalled I dont agree with the adjuster that it would only be worth the tires, if that were the case we should all be able to go get a free 2002 over 200K miles CRV.
Good Luck to you!
 

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From my experience full coverage is useless on any vehicle after 6-8 years depending on the manufacture. The reason is cars today are so expensive in repairs especially with airbag system and the risk of stuff rusting or electronics that full coverage won't do any good. Full coverage does NOT provide any extra coverage at all. Not to mention if structure damage it cost some money to get fix also.

With the age of the vehicle, the only thing you should have is collision, and uninsured motorist protection. If you do have comprehensive coverage then get a higher deductible for lower rates.

I should know. I got rear ended twice with my 1989 corolla back in 2010. Both times 2 different insurance companies try to declare my car totaled :mad:
I called my insurance company and spoke with them about other alternatives and finally they manage an agreement after speaking on my behalf where they just will give the other persons deductible to me. 2 incidents x $500 deductible = $1,000 This was low speed accident < 20 MPH and these were REAL bumpers. So all I had was an indentation of the users lic plate in the rear bumper. No broken lights and no other visible damage. I guess I didn't complain about whiplash or any other injury, so they probably just gave me the deductible and kept me quiet.

So all I did was go to the junk yard and pick up a new bumper slap it on and good to go :D

but.... I did notice that the gas tanks seal was broken so I was leaking gas when I filled the tank all the way up... might have been a coincidence.. 20 year old rubber seal would be very brittle..
 

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From my experience full coverage is useless on any vehicle after 6-8 years depending on the manufacture. The reason is cars today are so expensive in repairs especially with airbag system and the risk of stuff rusting or electronics that full coverage won't do any good. Full coverage does NOT provide any extra coverage at all. Not to mention if structure damage it cost some money to get fix also.
Not sure what this means -- you won't find an insurance policy or declarations of coverage with the term "full coverage" in the USA. I realize banks and auto dealers sometimes use that term as a shorthand (the meaning of which differs), but it's not a useful term in the insurance/legal world.
 

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For full coverage as far as I can tell includes comprehensive coverage and rental car assistance. So basically things that can damage your car that is out of your control. act of god stuff?
Don't know how rental assistance would help if your car is deemed total.. Once it is officially declare totaled I assume they wont let you keep the rental car for long.

Also with new cars, not included in full coverage, but can be included is gap insurance. Basically if you total your car the insurance will pay the difference from new to when you go off the lot. Once the car is registered you lose 10% of the value I think automatically. That is why when people make low down payment or no down payment on a car without gap coverage you basically end up in the black if the car is deemed total.

When I buy my cars I always make sure I have enough for at least 15% of the total sales price. Not the MSRP, but the total price after negotiations and fees all finalized. In case something happens and the car is deemed total you don't end up owing money on a car that you can't even drive.


The regular policy is the basic stuff like collision, property damage, bodily injury, uninsured motorist protection.. (in this economy it cost like $10 more a month but you don't know who is behind the other car).

So full coverage is just comprehensive coverage which may or may not include car rental depending on your policy.
 

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As an auto adjuster for 9 years, I felt I had to impart some knowledge on this thread. "Full coverage" is a term consumers or un-informed agents use, but has no real definition. My customers would think full coverage meant rental, which it usually doesn't, or that full coverage meant if they caused a serious accident, they wouldn't have to pay a dime out of pocket(which wasn't true either). It is best to just look at your actual policy/declarations page and see what coverages you have. The best I could figure, when agents would use this inappropriate/vague term to customers, it meant they were providing the minimal liability coverage, collision and comprehensive.

I am so surprised when people say they should drop collision and comprehensive(separate coverages, collision covers you in, surprise, a collision, and comp covers things like theft, fire, flood, animal hit, Act of God/tornado) after they pay off their car. I just paid off my car, but it is worth several thousand dollars if it was involved in an accident. I would rather have the several thousand dollars now than the $50 it costs me each month to pay for the collision coverage. Then you can take that amount and use it as a downpayment on a new car.

As for the value on your car that was totalled, I'm assuming, since you haven't talked with the adjuster directly, that they haven't inspected your vehicle yet and don't even have the value ready. That is probably why they wouldn't give you a dollar amount. They have to confirm it is a total (looks like it to me), then they will consult local dealers and find out how much your vehicle is being sold for, compensating for mileage and any options. I would recommend looking at NADA.com. National Automobile Dealer's Assoc. You can look up the value for your used car and it is much more reliable than KBB. If you don't agree with the value the insurance company gives you, look online for LOCAL used cars or call around to dealerships and you can dispute the value that way.

Keeping up the maintenance on your vehicle doesn't INCREASE the value of your car, it just makes sure your value doesn't DECREASE. If your tires are brand new and you have the receipt, you might get a few hundred dollars added to the value, but changing the oil, keeping the car running, that is sort of tied into the base value of the car. People would always argue with me, saying, oh I had to replace my trans 2 years ago and I should get that money back. Your car wouldn't be running if you didn't replace your trans and we wouldn't be having this convo. You can always be pushy, and argue with managers, they might increase the value just to get you off the phone.

Finally, this is just my own personal opinion and hope for people. Make sure to look at your actual limits of liability coverage so you can protect yourself in an accident you caused. In Michigan, I believe the state minimum liability is $20,000. I've handled so many fatalities and $20,000 doesn't do ANYTHING if your loved one is killed in an accident. You can be sued for anything above $20,000 and if you have property or assets, the attorney can go after them very easily. Make sure you are covered appropriately for the worst case scenario, not just trying to pay the minimum amount. So many people don't even think about this portion and it was my job to offer these wimpy little settlements to a grieving family. Ok, end of rant.
 
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