Join Date: Nov 2015
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Glad your situation has worked out.
I've been watching a number of these threads with interest, mostly with regard to how quickly insurance companies seem to be willing to total out vehicles these days. I think a brisk used parts and salvage vehicle market has been incentivizing the insurance companies to lower the thresholds they're willing to pay out for repairs vice just totaling the vehicle, taking possession and then reducing their cost exposure by selling the salvage at auction.
My own situation three years ago really brought this thought to me. I hit a deer at highway speed in my first gen Tundra. Until that point, the truck was in great shape with good drive train, clean body panels, a new frame, clean interior, etc. When I called the insurance 24-hour call center from the roadside immediately after, they had me text in a couple pics of the damage. The deer strike nailed the hood, grill, front bumper, left front fender, and passenger door. The radiator was shot as well. The strike may have also tweaked the cab firewall, but that was really unknown. The insurance customer service rep called the tow truck company and informed me that in his estimation, the vehicle would be totaled and that he was instructing the tow truck driver to take the truck direct to the auto salvage and auction facility, which was 20 miles further than the nearest “preferred” body shop. All of this happened before the tow truck even arrived at the scene.
The insurance company adjuster totaled the vehicle. I had my settlement check within a week of the deer strike. When I went to the auto salvage place to sign over the title and drop off the key fobs and second set of keys, they brought my truck up to the front using a large forklift with extra long forks under the truck. I removed the rest of my stuff. I also noticed that the windshield had been marked in big white letters, “STARTS/RUNS.” The next day, it was sold at auction; a friend of mine who spends a lot of time there said he saw it get sold. He didn’t note the selling price. That old truck was salvaged out before I even had the deal closed on my new truck.
I’ll bet they got at least $3K for my old truck at salvage auction, which lowered their payout to about $5K or less for my deer strike. That was less money and hassle than it would have taken to actually fix the truck, and perhaps deal with any aftermath like shoddy autobody work or unknown damages found during the repairs.
We’d probably be surprised how little damage it actually takes these days for insurance companies to consider a vehicle a total loss. I’ll bet those “adjusters” are also giving the insurance companies an estimate of the wrecked vehicle’s salvage value in addition to an estimate of what it will take to fix the vehicle. If the numbers work right for the particular situation, the insurance company will salvage that vehicle, even though the body work might be significantly less than the book value of the vehicle.
2015 Double Cab SR5 TRD Off Road
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