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Re: Accident []
Posted by Peter Duniho - (more from Peter Duniho - on Wed, 8 Sep 2004 22:54:13
In Reply to: Accident [], Jim Norris -, Tue, 7 Sep 2004 20:12:00

There are at least two issues here. One is whether you have to give up your
car, and the other is how much money you should get for it.

In the first issue, I don't know what OH state law is, but in WA state
(where I live), only your own insurance company can 'total' a car, giving
you a lump sum and taking the damaged car in return. When dealing with a
third party, the worst they can do is not give you enough money to repair
your car; they cannot force you to give up your car.

I would hope that OH would be similar, but I don't know whether it is. You
really ought to be taking your question to the OH insurance commissioner's
office, not an Internet mailing list (as useful as it might be most of the

In the second issue, that's just the vagaries of insurance valuation.
Again, I don't know how OH is, but WA state does have an appeals process if
an insurance company tries to give you less money for your car than you
think it's worth. If OH is similar, it will be up to you to find comparable
sales that support your claim for higher value.

As for whether undervaluing your car establishes a norm for all Saabs, not
really. It may encourage the insurance company to lowball replacement
values for cars in general, but a proper valuation comes from the
marketplace. That is, how much comparable cars are bought and sold for on
the open market. If an insurance company tries to undervalue a car based on
that, you should be able to contest the valuation successfully.

If you cannot successfully contest the valuation, either your state's laws
are screwed up (that is, they don't allow you to contest the valuation) or
your perceived value of the car is incorrect (that is, the marketplace has
defined a different value than what you think is correct).

Peter Duniho
'90 900S
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