Other parties ins wants to total my suv w/ minimal damage


New member
I was in an accident before Christmas.
I was at a red light, the person in front of me didn’t go and the person behind me hit me.
The person behind me was at fault and their insurance has took over the claim.
My car (2011 Kia Sorento) has minimal damage, just the hatch is crunched in and not operational.
Everything else on my vehicle is as it should be.
The at fault parties insurance wants to total my suv and only give me a couple thousand for it.

What options do I have and what should I do?
@chowardreborn Your options are:

(1) Accept the total loss and the payout from it. Before you do that though, make sure that the total loss valuation report has your vehicle details correct, and inform them if there are errors about the trim level, year, make, model, that kind of stuff.

(2) Prove to them (with recent car sales) that the value of your vehicle is more than what they’re offering. Cars still for sale don’t work.

(3) Ask them about owner retained salvage. Which is where you get to keep the vehicle for a lower payout.

I would NOT recommend option 3. There’s usually so many issues with this one (getting it fixed to be road legal costs money, finding insurance on a vehicle with a salvage/rebuilt title is difficult) that it RARELY makes financial sense to even consider it.
@chowardreborn You can either take the money, or you can opt to take a reduced payout to buy back the salvage and take responsibility for repairing it. The latter is really not recommended unless you know what you're doing. You have no idea how much damage has actually been done to the vehicle - "hatch is crunched in" could well mean that the rear of the unibody is bent, which is going to cost far more to repair than the vehicle is worth. Insurance companies don't total cars for shits and giggles.

Valuation is based on the condition of your car and the selling prices (not advertised prices) of similar vehicles. If you think your valuation is incorrect, ask for the valuation report and make sure it accurately describes your vehicle.
@chowardreborn Your vehicle is now 13 years old, so it didn't take much damage to total it because it's not worth very much anymore. Honestly, they did you a favor. The value of Kias has tanked due to the theft issue, and you are lucky to be getting out of that mess with a few bucks in your pocket.
I guess my main questions are 1) is there a way to argue more money? Most used vehicles are going for $10k-$15k to get something decent. [obviously I know my vehicle is not comparable bc it is older and has more miles but it is my daily driver and is worth more to me]
2) can I “make” them fix it rather than totaling it out? They said it was not “economically efficient” to fix it, but for me it is. I’ll have to get a car payment which I wasn’t expecting and cannot afford right now.
@chowardreborn No, you cannot. You're not entitled to have your vehicle back, you're entitled to be compensated up to the fair market value of your vehicle 1 second before the accident. It's going to cost substantially more than the vehicle is worth to make repairs, so you're going to be paid out the value of the vehicle.

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