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Thread: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

  1. #1
    Heroes never die, they just reload! Turbo Mopar Staff Frank's Avatar
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    Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's
    Advice from ScottD


    How many times have you read a thread where someone has had their Turbo Mopar hit by a careless driver and then are at the mercy of the insurance company after they offer them 2 cents for their beloved Turbo Mopar? You never know when an accident might happen. So be prepared! Some preparation on the front end may lead to saving you some headaches down the road.

    Things to do BEFORE you have an accident:
    1. Have your vehicle appraised by a professional appraiser. Using an appraiser who is I-CAR or ASE certified is beneficial. You want an appraiser that has some kind of reputation and good standing, and can testify in court on your behalf if necessary. You want the appraisal to reflect a true fair market value for the vehicle. An appraisal that simply increases the value of the car without basis for doing so will not hold up in a court of law. A good appraiser will do some market research and have some supporting sales to document and support the appraised value he/she assigns to the vehicle.
    2. Obtain agreed value insurance for your vehicle. This is still easier said than done at this point since the majority of our cars are still well under 25 years old. Most large insurers like Hagerty and Grundy require that the vehicle be this old for classic car insurance. There are some insurers out there who will provide classic insurance for the numbered Whittier built Shelby Dodges. It may vary from state to state. If you have another vehicle you drive daily, have a garage to keep it in, and your Turbo Dodge is eligible for classic insurance with agreed value I recommend getting it. Yes there are some additional usage restrictions with classic insurance, but it is cheaper than regular insurance, and if you have an accident, the agreed value will be tougher to challenge. Yes, it can be challenged (this is where having a reasonable appraisal comes into play), but will be more difficult for the insurance company to do.
    3. Document your vehicle. This includes recording the maintenance and upgrades performed on the vehicle. Document the production numbers on the vehicle to attest to its rarity. Examples like the GLHS are fairly easy to document what they are because so many web sites have information on these cars. Something unique, like an 89 Daytona C/S AGS competition package, are tougher to document. I had an 89 C/S AGS hit in 2002 and I had to document what it was to the insurance company. I had a magazine article from 1989, the option and accessory report from Chrysler showing it was one of 269 built, all my receipts as well as other documentation. These things are important, take the time and gather this information now rather than later because you might not be able to find it then, and really thatís the last thing you want to be doing after an accident because trust me, Iíve been there!




    Things to do AFTER you have an accident.
    1. Do your negotiations in writing. Create a paper trail. I donít like to be sucked into over the phone negotiations with an insurance company. Why? For the simple fact that a phone conversation creates plausible deniability. It is way too easy for the insurance company to deny what theyíve said to you over the phone. I prefer to communicate in writing and via certified mail. In the event you go to court, this leaves a documented paper trail and you have confirmation that the insurance company has received your communication to them, a fact they canít deny. It also shows you are serious about pursuing this issue.
    2. Document your vehicle and your claim. This is where your documentation gathered before the accident comes into play. Provide the production history on the vehicle, receipts for the work youíve put into it, a copy of the professional appraisal, a copy of the agreed value policy you have on the vehicle, anything you can to substantiate the value of the vehicle.
    3. Be patient and donít cave in to bully tactics. Remember that their first offer is going to be their worst offer. These companies prey on people needing money and needing to get their car back on the road. If you are into Turbo Mopars, hopefully like many of us you have more than one and arenít reliant on the car for daily transportation. Insurance adjusters are under the gun to settle quickly, they want these claims off the books. In speaking with several Turbo Mopar owners who have been through this it seems that the insurance companies wonít budge on their offer for several months. Iíve heard from 4-6 months waiting before the insurance company will budge on their offer. It also depends which insurance company youíre dealing with. Iíve had four losses (none my fault) and the experiences Iíve had vary by company. Three out of the four instances were total loss cases, in two cases the company was eager to settle, in the third case the company seemed to care less. In my book theyíre all difficult to deal with, but some are better than others.
    4. Be professional. Donít make outrageous threats or demands. And keep your temper. I know this can be difficult to do, but youíll get better results if your firm and not just a raving angry lunatic.
    5. If theyíre trying to total the car and youíre going to fix the car, make that known. It seems like these days theyíll total our cars for a door ding. Perfectly fixable and in many cases still driveable cars are being totaled. Donít settle for a salvage title. And try to negotiate out of the salvage value being deducted. Insist that the settlement money you are being provided will be to fix the car and that you are fixing the car.
    6. If the car can be fixed, do your research on who you want to fix it. Donít take it to the closest place or cheapest place. Take it somewhere that you know does good work, that others have used and can attest to the quality of the work.
    7. Know where to file a complaint. Insurance companies are regulated by state. Each state should have an Insurance Administration who has oversight. Donít hesitate to use them. The state of Maryland has an on-line complaint filing system.
    Last edited by Frank; 08-12-2006 at 09:33 PM.
    Frank Katzenberger
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  2. #2
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    There is some really good advise in there. Thanks for taking the time to write that up. I had always thought that collector/classic car insurance would be outragious compared to ordinary rates. I just might have to look into that now.

  3. #3
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    This one should be sticky!!!

    Everyone needs to be better educated in this area AND negotiating skills are a MUST!!!

  4. #4
    Heroes never die, they just reload! Turbo Mopar Staff Frank's Avatar
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    It is already a sticky.
    Frank Katzenberger
    Squirrel Performance - Home of the best turbo calc!!!
    http://www.squirrelpf.com


    91 Daytona Shelby - It is getting there

    87 Shelby CSX #418 - Near stock is a good thing!

    94 Bronco 302 XLT - Shorty Headers, 3" exhaust, cold air intake, & Soft top



    "... to get the best out of it, you have to go beyond the line. Where bravery becomes insanity. Shall I turn into this hairpin bend at a 100mph? Why not!"



    Visit the new Knowledge Center today!

    Check out the one and only Shelby Dodge Registry!

  5. #5
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    Sorry.....I'm not too smart....

  6. #6
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    When I had my old Falcon, I had agreed value/collectors insurance. Some of the things I remember were, The car had to be garaged, the car was to be used only for car show/cruises, trips to the mechanics, parades, stuff like that. You had to have a fairly new daily driver. The car would not be covered if stolen from a place like the mall. There was a milage cap too. The value was only 2K, but the cost was $50 a year, compared to what I paid for my daily driver that was nothing. This was 15 years ago, but I'd figure the savings will be comperable. If you don't have a "collector" car, but you have an old car with lots of new parts, especially high dollor items (engine, trans), KEEP ALL YOUR RECIEPTS.

  7. #7
    turbo addict Turbo Mopar Contributor Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    Thanks for the heads up Frank. How much does it cost to get a car appraised?

  8. #8
    turbo addict Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    I paid $200 to have my Spirit R/T appraised. A larger company (whose name I now forget) wanted $350.

  9. #9
    turbo addict Turbo Mopar Contributor Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    If you get your car appraised, wont your rates go up for the vehicle? Especially if they look at mine, pop the hood, turn, look at a damn 18 year old kid who drives it.

    I think they would screw me.

  10. #10
    turbo addict Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    I think appraisals are more helpful if you have a car that's worth some $. Like let's say a nice 86 GLHS or 89 CSX. I had my R/T appraised (after it was hit unfortunately) to try and get a fair settlement for it.

    For your car, and please don't be offended, I wouldn't appraise it. Document all the mods and money you've put into it. But an appraisal wouldn't really help you unless you have something else to drive daily, have a garage, and were going to get classic insurance for your Spirit. Then an appraisal might help you establish an agreed value for the car.

    The problem with classic insurance is that most companies won't recognize these cars until they are 25 years old. Some do, I'm trying to find some for my own cars.

  11. #11

    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    the insurance and banking commission is indeed a great asset. when you make a complaint, they actaully investigate. I got a car paid for after my insurance company told me i would get nothing because didnt have full coverage and that driver had only a minimum amount of insurance. i sent an email to the comission explaining what they told me, in a few days my insurance company was on the phone telling me it was going to get fixed. i only paid my deductible, but it took over 6 months to get the money to fix it

  12. #12
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    Some insurance companies will go on stated value to a point then over that you need an appraisal.
    Progressive automatically insured my 80 Eagle at $5500 as a classic with minimal restrictions on milage and no restrictions on storage.(was it worth it let's just say I didn't argue...)

  13. #13
    turbo addict Turbo Mopar Contributor Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    Never thought this would come in handy. Thanks Frank.

  14. #14
    turbo addict
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    i know the feeling of how insurance companies can screw you over, when i wrecked my 66 wagon, i had to screw around for 6 months before i got some money and i still didn't get near the value of it, man it was lame. Also carry a digital camera so you can take pictures, heck a phone camera would suffice. Then you can get some good evidence that the other person screwed up(if they did) Then after i got the money i started fixing her, sent the radiator off and then burned up the car trying to remove the gas tank and also torched my arm, that is something i will never forget

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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    Great advice! I wonder if I can get classic car insurance on my 85 Laser XE. I should try since my car has every option including Mark Cross leather and the interior and paint is nearly perfect.

  16. #16
    turbo addict Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    You should be able to get classic insurance on it. I have collector's insurance on my 86 GLHS now and will be adding my Spirit R/T shortly once it is back from the body shop.
    [B]Scott[/B] 86 GLHS #408 88 Shadow ES 92 Spirit R/T 04 SRT-4

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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    im keeping EVERY recept, all of it, that way when my insurance companys like "heres 1500 dollars" i can say no... heres my 5000 dollars in recepts. some guy did it with his blazer up here, a customer if my dads, this guy had a lemon that he put like 17000 dollars into since he bought it, 2 complete engines, the entire drivetrain, rust repair, collision repair etc etc.. he ended up getting like 10 grand for a blazer that was worth like 800 dollars

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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    Quote Originally Posted by t2_85_lebaron View Post
    im keeping EVERY recept, all of it, that way when my insurance companys like "heres 1500 dollars" i can say no... heres my 5000 dollars in recepts. some guy did it with his blazer up here, a customer if my dads, this guy had a lemon that he put like 17000 dollars into since he bought it, 2 complete engines, the entire drivetrain, rust repair, collision repair etc etc.. he ended up getting like 10 grand for a blazer that was worth like 800 dollars
    Trust me, receipts don't mean squat. After 9 years of modifications and $10K+ upgrades, I ended up with $1,200....and I had to fight like hell to get that, and that's with receipts for every nut and bolt! Fortunately all the hardware survived the impact to live again, but I still had tons of time swapping parts. This time we're on agreed value. I don't get burned twice.

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor CSX321's Avatar
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    I have agreed-value with Grundy on the '87 CSX. There are no mileage restrictions, but it must be garaged, can't be a daily driver, and can't be raced. It's about $190 a year for a value of $10K. (More than it would sell for, but less than I have in it.)
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    Re: Insurance and Accident Do and Dont's

    Quote Originally Posted by amcpacer View Post
    Great advice! I wonder if I can get classic car insurance on my 85 Laser XE. I should try since my car has every option including Mark Cross leather and the interior and paint is nearly perfect.
    Yea, im with grundy. They are one of the few that will insure them as classics. DONT tell them its EVER raced. Immediate denial of the policy.

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