January 18, 2018 1:22 PM   Subscribe

2010 Honda Minivan with 70k totaled when the driver in the oncoming lane lost control on an icy road and we briefly shared a lane. Seeking advice on how to deal with the insurance company so we are fairly compensated? Minnesota Edition.

Nobody was hurt, fortunately. I was hoping to shuttle kids in this thing for another 4-5 years at least . It was paid off and we put 10K a year on it tops. The other driver was ticketed for something that amounted to driving too fast for the conditions. I'm expecting my insurance to make some kind of offer in the next few days but are there ways to negotiate this or is it basically take it or leave it? It's got brand new snow tires on it and the body shop it's sitting at says they can't touch them. My coverage doesn't include a rental car, but would the other driver's insurance reimburse me for it? I have no idea. Any advice, past experiences, would be appreciated.
posted by roue to Travel & Transportation around Minnesota (7 answers total)
When something like that happened to me I challenged the first offer from ICBC (the single payer car insurance system of British Columbia). I sent them screenshots of craigslist and AutoTrader ads posted online for cars nearly identical to mine that much higher than the offer they made me and I sent them a copy of the receipt for the brand new tires I had just installed. It worked and I got a lot more out of them than had I just accepted the first offer.
posted by Poldo at 1:43 PM on January 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

In MN and our pickup got totalled in September.

If you can, keep the receipts for the snow tires. That will add to the value of your vehicle. They will do a search for similar vehicles for sale on carsoup, etc, to know how much to offer you. You will want to do the same searches yourself to counter offer. Do you know your trim level, year, mileage, any after market add on?

Basically be an advocate for your lost asset's value.
posted by jillithd at 3:04 PM on January 18, 2018

I just went through this.

If the other driver was cited their insurance company should cover a rental and either pay for fixing your vehicle or offer you a check if they think it sustained more damage than its value (totalled). The new tires will be added to the value of the vehicle.

If they total it you will have the option to take the check and get a different vehicle or take a slightly smaller check and get it fixed yourself.

If the other driver was cited your insurance company shouldn't need to pay anything and if they do it will likely affect your rates.
posted by irisclara at 4:35 PM on January 18, 2018

My advice from a previous thread
posted by Think_Long at 7:17 PM on January 18, 2018

When they make an offer, be sure to ask what it would cost to buy back the vehicle from them. I'd also figure out what you have to keep in mind for your state.

I bought back a totaled car in Washington state for about 15% of the amount insurance paid me when they deemed it a total loss. After a detailed discussion with a body shop I trust, I was convinced that the damage was not a safety concern, so I was comfortable buying it back.

The body shop performed what they called a "rough-out" – they replaced a handful of parts, and bent the rest of the car back into shape. The car absolutely did not look like new, but it was incredibly cheap and it still drove great. It was then registered with a Salvage title.

You might not want to drive a car with lingering visual damage, but it might still pencil out well to resell it yourself.
posted by reeddavid at 11:36 PM on January 18, 2018

This document from the MN Department of Public Safety says that you should contact their insurance company about a rental car for you: Page 16 "If you need to rent a car following an accident that is not your fault, check with the liable driver's insurance to determine the amount of rental car coverage."

When it comes to the offer, they should include tires, gas and anything else that was damaged in the accident.
posted by soelo at 8:08 AM on January 19, 2018

I went through this recently. You can absolutely try to get more money for the car, though you may not need to. Try to get ahold of all the receipts/maintenance records.

If it helps, though--I was prepared for a fight and I ended up getting way more than I expected or even hoped for. Who's doing the appraising? I had my insurance company do it instead of his; I thought I was more likely to get a higher amount that way, since they weren't paying.

Write down any and all expenses you incur; you can ask your insurance company for reimbursement. Good luck.
posted by Amy93 at 2:31 PM on January 19, 2018

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