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Old 11-28-2005, 06:14 PM   #1
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Default How much for "total loss" and how much to repair hail damage?

We had a pretty good hail storm here last night, and my truck sustained some hail damage. I'm going to give it a good look over tomorrow, haven't looked at in the light to see how much damage there really is there. I've heard that hail damage on the roof can be expensive to repair, and that's where my next question comes in. What book value do insurance co's go by for total loss vehicles? Unless i find a lot of dings tomorrow i don't think i'll even claim this, but i can hope...KBB says the truck is worth about $6K in trade, a dealer offered me $4500 a few months ago (truck has previously been in a wreck, and has some dents and dings on it now). Best case scenario here for me...There's more hail damage than i've seen so far and it's no cheap to repair, insurance co total's the truck, GAP coverage takes care of the rest of the loan, and i buy the truck back from the insurance co and still have my daily driver and no more payment on it. Worst case there's only the couple dings i noticed today and i don't even call the ins. co.

My pervious experience with a totaled vehicle was really long and complicated. '98 TA goes to body shop. Initial estimate is $6K, insurance co says "fix it". est. goes up to $10K, "fix it." $13K "fix it." $15K "totaled." So with that past experience (damage going over what i paid for the car before they totaled it) i have no idea what to expect if there is some damage. Also, anyone know if it is possible to tell the insurance co that i don't want it fixed if they aren't gonna total it?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:58 PM   #2
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I have no Idea about your situation but the idea of totaling out the truck getting out of the loan and buying it back are something that I have never thought about for that situation. Good Luck and Great Idea
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Old 11-29-2005, 06:44 PM   #3
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The following is based on my personal experience with total loss vehicles as well as a conversation that occurred earlier today between an insurance agent and customer regarding a possible hail damage claim on a pickup truck:


In most cases, you can't buy a vehicle back from your insurance company. If a vehicle is deemed a total loss, the insurance company will present you with the amount they say it's worth and will give you for the vehicle. If you want to keep the vehicle, they may present you with a lower payout. This amount can vary widely or may not be available at all. They may simply deny the claim if you express interest in keeping the vehicle.

If you accept the original amount proposed by the insurance company and do not immediately express further interest in the vehicle, they will pick it up and sell it at auction. Unless you are a dealer or have connections (that sounds wrong ), you won't be able to attend the auction to repurchase the vehicle. Also, finding out when and where the vehicle will be at auction can be quite challenging.

It's hard to guess what an insurance company will value your truck at. The starting figure is usually close to the NADA value of the vehicle. From that deductions are made for dents, dings, scratches, burns, discoloration of upholstery, etc.

You can certainly tell the insurance company you don't want it fixed if they decide it's not a total loss. Once you report the claim, they will send an adjuster out to look at the vehicle or ask you to bring it in for inspection. They will then tell you what course of action they are willing to take. If you decide to discontinue the claim, in most cases it will be reported on your policy as a "Zero Loss Claim." This may cause you problems in the future when and if changes are made to your policy. Though nothing was paid out, there is still an incident on record.
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Old 11-29-2005, 07:00 PM   #4
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Our minivan went through a helluva hail storm back in Amarillo (we got a new roof on our house, and our skylight was broken as well). Total to repair the van was ~$6k.

3 repaints later, the damn thing still has peeling & chipping paint problems, but we gave up on it. They replaced the roof (it leaked through the luggage rack holes after that, but they 'fixed' it - and we got new carpet out of that), and the 3rd brake light in the hatch has never worked since (but it is hooked up).

We should have traded the van in immediately after getting it painted. But we like it a lot, and now it's a beater van (blue kool aid everywhere kind of thing). We plan to keep it for a couple more years now, since our 3rd kiddo will be going through the sippy cup phase in not too long...

Anyhow, either find a body shop that does great work, or plan on trading it / selling it when it looks its best.
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Old 11-30-2005, 10:23 AM   #5
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I'm not planning on getting it fixed either way, i don't give a damn about how my beater truck looks. I know several people that have repurchased their vehicles after the insurance co said it was a total loss, and they haven't had any issues with it. I'm still trying to figure out if i even want to call my insurance co and get started with this.
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Old 11-30-2005, 10:58 AM   #6
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If i'm wrong somebody please put me in check. But I believe that that the amount that the ins. co. will base their decision on is the KBB retail value. If the amount of the repair exceeds this retail amount it becomes a total loss. (Actually it only has to exceed a certain % I think.) If the vehicle becomes a total loss the amount of the settlement is this retail value. The cost of keeping the vehicle is about 10% of said value. A good friend of mine owns a body shop and deals with this kind of crap. I'm just spewing out info that I pick up hanging out there.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:28 PM   #7
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I would guess that all insurance companies do it a little differently. I was rear-ended about two months ago; the person who hit me was insured with State Farm. They told me they use the NADA guide for pricing and if the damage is 70% or more of that, it's totaled.

Fwiw, NADA on my car was about $6700, but the car really wasn't worth more than about $5500 or so. Good luck.
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:00 AM   #8
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Still debating on this one. Gonna call the insurance co and at least mention a hail storm so that if i decide in 2 weeks they wont think i made some **** up. I might just wait for tornato season next spring and find some good hail storms...
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:00 AM
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