VW TDI owner: am I fully insured?
August 9, 2016 9:43 PM   Subscribe

How are insurance companies going to handle VW diesels?

I made the apparently wise choice in late 2012 to buy a Volkswagen Golf TDI. With the emissions scandal and settlement I now own a more valuable than expected asset. In addition I have moved to where I rarely drive. The net effect is that in looking at my settlement options, I can hold the car until December 2018 and then turn it in for almost as much cash as I paid for it.

The question is what happens if some yahoo (or me?) totals it in the meantime. Would normal car insurance cover the total value I am owed? I essentially have a non-revocable offer from VW that exceeds "blue book" by about 9-10k and that makes me a bit nervous that I'd lose the benefit in an accident. Does anyone know how this situation is being handled.
posted by meinvt to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Doesn't your insurance policy tell you? The insurance payout will be described in your policy, and my guess is that any buyback from VW will not directly affect your hypothetical payout.

However, to the extent that that buy back results in increased values of the cars, it may affect the sum insured, or you may have the ability to increase the insured value by pointing to an increased market value. Of course, your premium will then go up to reflect the higher insured value ...
posted by GeeEmm at 9:58 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is highly dependent on the details of your insurance policy. Read it, and/or call your agent.
posted by mskyle at 4:14 AM on August 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Only your insurer can answer this question.
posted by fixedgear at 5:23 AM on August 10, 2016

Also, though, the chances of a reasonably-valuable, six-year-old car that you don't drive very much being *totaled* in the next two years are probably low, unless you routinely leave it parked in dangerous places.
posted by mskyle at 6:24 AM on August 10, 2016

You need to check with your insurance company - there's no other way to answer this. However, I find it unlikely an insurance company will care about VW's settlement, or even have the mechanism to allow for it. They only care about resale value at as low a level as they can justify for a payout. You'll have to negotiate with them beforehand to get anything else out of them.
posted by Brockles at 6:58 AM on August 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think this is actually a question for VW, because they have basically guaranteed that they will buy the car back at a given price, and haven't stipulated conditions .... what if we barely roll the car into the lot?

I'd guess that the insurance company will treat it like any other accident, by their tables -- repair up to X value, cut you a check beyond that for a totaled car -- but the question is really whether VW will make up the difference that you would have had otherwise.

For example, either your insurance company repairs it and you still get $20k (say) from VW when you turn it in; or they don't repair it but give you $10k, and then the question is whether VW will give you $10k.
posted by Dashy at 7:31 AM on August 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

And remember that the settlement provides a different but nonzero amount for people who don't turn in their car. So in that case you'd maybe get $10k from your insurance, and $5k from VW?
posted by Dashy at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2016

Your jurisdiction would help. Here the real risk is if the offer only applies to people who owned the car on a specific date and an accident totals the car. In my jurisdiction a totalled car gets a non salvage title and technically is no longer a car but merely a collection of parts. VW's offer probably doesn't apply to piles of parts. And buying a replacement wouldn't get you the VW money if you needed to own the car on a specific date.
posted by Mitheral at 3:25 PM on August 11, 2016

So, I just got paperwork from Audi today (mine is that). Regarding your question, if your car is totaled after Sept. 18? 2016 and your title is transferred to your insurance company, you'd get only the restitution from VW/Audi (the $5100ish), and presumably your insurance company would give you whatever it valued the car at (which is probably questionable).

Otherwise, the only question was something like 'will your car arrive under TDI 2.0 power to the dealership?' implying that is the only qualification.

I'm assuming you'll get your own paperwork shortly. If you don't, post here and I'll write it out.
posted by Dashy at 11:22 AM on August 16, 2016

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