Insurance write-offs / salvage buy-backs, etc. (liability vs. 'full coverage')

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
As I noted a few minutes ago, 'book value' of my '03 Envoy is down to $2000, :frown: so any sort of accident (no matter who's at fault) would likely result in a write-off by my insurer (a major company who's been good with claims / settlements).

At that value, I've been thinking that maybe it's finally time to drop collision / comprehensive on this truck (it would likely halve the premium on this one; I pay about $45 / mo for each of the two trucks.) Yearly mileage is < 10K / yr on this one.

The Sierra still has a residual value of about $5K, so I'll maintain collision on that one for a while longer.

If I did that, would it affect my ability to 'buy the truck back', if it was a minor enough accident that it could be repaired, or would I lose that right with only liability coverage? As I mentioned in the other post, I'd really like to hang onto the truck, if it's feasible.

Since I've maintained full coverage on most of my vehicles, most of my life, I don't have a lot of experience judging "when it's time" to drop it. TIA for replies / thoughts.
 

smt 59

Guru
I have always kept the full coverage on my vehicles until the end, if in a collision sometimes if the damage is minor they will repair. My daughters VW Jetta was hit from behind two years ago and we were sure it was a write off but they repaired it and the repair costs were just below the value of the car. It was almost 10 years old at the time.
if you can afford to keep it on, I would.
 

Sparky

Moderator
They will not be fixing your vehicle without that coverage so it won't matter, it won't be checked at a shop by them to even classify if totalled or not in most cases.

If you get hit by someone else, their liability insurance will pay for repairs to your vehicle, or it may total it at that point and you buy back from that insurance if wanted. Your insurance being liability only won't matter in a case like that.
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
My wife's car got totalled by a windstorm a couple of years ago. Basically the passenger side door and window was scratched by a shingle. It's an '02 CR-V. It had full coverage at the time. I took the buyback option and replaced the whole door for $100. And we got a rental Jeep while they dicked around with it. Insurance would not allow full coverage anymore after that. So the gamble paid off in our case keeping full coverage but that was my wife's requirement at the time.

In 2013, I had an at-fault accident with the '02 TB where the front end got some moderate damage (bumper cover, grill and right fender) after a bad lane change. Insurance was going to total it but my body shop showed how it was still in good shape despite the age and Km (>200k). It got fixed and kept comprehensive until the value really took a nosedive and the rust was getting bad. So the gamble then also paid off.

So here's my current situation. The '07 TB has a current book retail value of $5200CAD and I have full comprehensive on it. It's in near pristine condition with its low KM (145k). It was repaired no problem after some cosmetic and windshield damage after the same windstorm. The '06 Saab also has a theoretical book value of $5200 but it has a lot of rust and higher Km (>215k). That one I didn't have full coverage on it and it currently uninsured as I am not using it in winter. If I happen to fix it up, I may put it back to full comp when I have it back on the road.

That's another option you could look at is park one for the winter and suspend liability, keeping fire, theft, etc. on the other. You could do the same in summer but if you need a spare vehicle at either times because the one you're using goes down, you'd have to reactivate it.
 

carshinebob

Registered Member
In the U.S. how insurance companies settle claims depends on what State you are in. Each and every State has different laws on the books for how insurance companies operate. So getting advice from our forum may be good advice or not depending where it comes from. Since I operate a body shop, I work with my customers and insurance companies all the time. Here in Michigan, as the value of my vehicles goes down so does the premium I pay for collision insurance. So as I pay less I will get less back if my vehicle is totaled. An example is; I'm paying $61. every six months for collision coverage on each one of my Bravadas. If one is totaled I'll get about $2500. So for me The extra $61 doesn't really seem like a big deal. Plus I'll very likely buy back the totaled vehicle and part it out or fix it. typical buy back on a vehicle that old will be about $400. or less.
I have to admit I have an advantage in that I help my customers settle claims all the time, I know the claim adjusters and I know the rules of the game in Michigan. ~BOB
 
In the U.S. how insurance companies settle claims depends on what State you are in. Each and every State has different laws on the books for how insurance companies operate. So getting advice from our forum may be good advice or not depending where it comes from. Since I operate a body shop, I work with my customers and insurance companies all the time. Here in Michigan, as the value of my vehicles goes down so does the premium I pay for collision insurance. So as I pay less I will get less back if my vehicle is totaled. An example is; I'm paying $61. every six months for collision coverage on each one of my Bravadas. If one is totaled I'll get about $2500. So for me The extra $61 doesn't really seem like a big deal. Plus I'll very likely buy back the totaled vehicle and part it out or fix it. typical buy back on a vehicle that old will be about $400. or less.
I have to admit I have an advantage in that I help my customers settle claims all the time, I know the claim adjusters and I know the rules of the game in Michigan. ~BOB

That's really interesting. According to my insurance company here in New York (that just went up by another $8.00 a month for the next 6 months) said prices on insurance are going up because the cost to repair newer cars is more expensive do to all the different sensor on the bumpers, projecter headlights and side view mirrors with cameras. 6 months ago it went up by $4 a month this year that doubled. I've been with this insurance for 8 yrs and my rate has never lowered. I've had full coverage since the purchase of the Voy and NO accidents on my record. Yes my wife got rear ended last yr but there was no damage to the truck at all (can't say the same for the old ladies car that hit the Voy.Accoding to my wife the old lady shouldn't be on the road).

So basically (and this is what I told them) because ppl choose to buy and car manufacturers choose to make these things I have to pay up just in case I or someone else driving my truck swipes someone's side view mirror? The answer I got was "pretty much".

I tried getting quotes from other insurance companies after that call and believe it or not my current insurance company is still $100-$200 cheaper than any of them.
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Thread Starter
Thanks to everyone for responding.

Moose -- Yeah, I had explored suspended coverage -- I used to do it on my S2000 when I put it down for the winters. Back then, I saved about 1/2 on the premium.
Sitting down? I was quoted a difference for the Envoy of $3.xx /mo premium. No, I didn't forget a number before the '3'. SMFH.

Sparky -- Reading between the lines, it sounds to me like I'd be better off dropping down to liability-only. And then I read CarshineBob's note, saying the opposite. (Bob - all I can say is that I'm glad you guys are getting rid of no-fault over there... you guys had some outrageous premiums, compared to the rest of the country!)

Xavierny25 -- Funny how our premiums are supposedly tailored with the specific vehicle as a risk factor, and yet, we're all in a common risk pool when it comes to determining collision repair expense? SMH again. I feel ya, brother...

TBH, I dunno if I'd be even allowed a buyback, here in IL (not many ppl here talk about that option.) I sure hope so.

Appreciate the responses.
 
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Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Moose -- Yeah, I had explored suspended coverage -- I used to do it on my S2000 when I put it down for the winters. Back then, I saved about 1/2 on the premium.
Sitting down? I was quoted a difference for the Envoy of $3.xx /mo premium. No, I didn't forget a number before the '3'. SMFH.

So does that mean if you get liability only, it's just $3? (sarcasm kicks in)

I hate insurance. Don't get me going on the Caprice insurance. Absolute nightmare.
 

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