Travis writes this adventure:
On Dec. 19, 2005, I was rear-ended by a State Farm insured. She was lost, in rush hour traffic, and too busy talking on her cell phone to worry too much about driving. She plowed her '92 Toyota Tercel into the rear of my '99 Dodge Neon. Neither her car nor mine were drivable. I had mine towed to a dealership with a body shop.
The following wednesday, I called State Farm to find out the status of the claim. NO CLAIM HAD BEEN FILED. Maybe their insured was still on the phone, who knows. So I let them know what happened, and they said they had to talk to their insured. Hours later that day, I got a call stating they were accepting responsibility for the accident, and that they would get someone out to look at my car. Finally, on January 3rd, they call back and tell me they're going to declare the car a total loss.
The woman explained to me the repair estimate was $3400, so they were going to cut me a check for $3700. I said "wait, I thought you just said the repairs were only thirty four hundred. Why would you give me MORE? She replied that THEY would be getting my car!
I explained that is not an option, since I owe more than that on the car, and it's under lien. She replied they are under "no legal obligation" to pay off what I owe the bank. I told her I was not interested in some kind of payoff, just FIX MY CAR. She rattled on something about when an estimate is within a certain percent of the "total loss" declaration, they can declare it a total loss. I again explained that I owe more than their "payoff" and cannot afford to pay a thousand dollars to a bank for a car I would no longer possess. She simply said that it's not their problem.
Then it came to light WHY they were willing to give me $3700 for the car- they fully expect ME to BUY BACK the car from them, which would mean they'd only have to write a check for $3100 (the difference between the retail and salvage retail). I told her she needs to have someone call me back that is more qualified to answer my questions. I've yet to hear back on it.