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Old 09-02-2015, 10:20 PM
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Calculating my diesel YJ's value for insurance payout

I was t-boned today on my way to work in my '89 YJ. Pretty bad damage on driver side from door back to the rear bumper. Broken rear leaf spring and drive train damaged (possible frame damage), so it had to be taken away on a flat bed... In short, the "book" value is not even remotely relevant when looking at my Jeep, so how is this going to go down with the insurance company on assessing its value for reimbursement/settlement?

The persons insurance company who hit me has already determined she was at fault and the adjuster is calling me tomorrow to assess damages. So what now? I have at least 4 or 500 hours of time/labor put into this project in addition to the over 10 grand in parts and the 3000 i payed for it when i bought it. The "book" value on it is a joke. Anyone have any experience in this situation? I am not seeing much online as far as what the standard "policy" is in situations like this. If I were to look for a Jeep with all the features listed below, I cant imagine I could ever find one even close for under 15-20 grand. Another 89 yj can be had for 2 grand, but I no longer have the resources or time to build another Jeep like this.

Here is the quick list off the top of my head: Installed a rebuilt 5-cylinder Mercedes diesel engine, full sand, primer, and paint job w/ metallic burnt orange, rewired entire Jeep, custom dual CV driveshaft, slip yoke eliminator, steel armor all around, ford 8.8 rear, transmission upshift adapter cable, 4.5 inch lift, new suspension components all around, hella offroad lights, dual battery tray, steel front bumper with grill guard, steel tube rear bumper with heavy duty tow package, custom dash, all aftermarket gauges, vinyl floor, corbeau vinyl moab driver, passenger, and rear seats, corbeau brackets, seat heaters installed in both front seats, rear view camera, custom overhead rearview monitor, custom leather center console, aluminum radiator, dual high low fans, hella horn, secondary trans cooler, derale trans filter, family roll bar upgrade, roll bar padding kit, poison spider hood louver, HID headlights, 8500lb winch, rear tailgate mounted steel storage box, 33" bfg mud terrains, 17" rims, 3" exhaust, full soft doors, rampage frameless top, rear tonneau, 800 watt brand new sub/amp, new soundbar, 160 amp alternator, grant steering wheel, grant wheel adapter, offroad jack and mount, custom intake, cowl snorkel conversion from an H1 humvee.

Thinking about all the money that went into the above kind of hurts. Anyone ever been hit in a Jeep or other rebuilt classic with way more money vested than the "book" value where the other driver was at fault???

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Old 09-03-2015, 12:48 AM   #2
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:56 AM   #3
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They may likely use the rate of the regular vehicle to decide. I dont think they will take into account all the mods or engine/drivetrain swap, but i could be wrong.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:27 AM   #4
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I've often wondered about this. Since the other person is at fault, it doesn't matter what the book value is. She caused a huge loss to you, and she (her ins. company) should make it fair to you.

That being said, I'm sure that you are in for a long, drawn out fight. And may even require a lawsuit. Patience and persistence will be needed.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:39 AM   #5
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I'd talk to a accident lawyer if I was you.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:55 PM
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Yeah I am going to at least give the insurance company a chance to make things right, I am not looking for a "windfall", but I am also not OK with driving a 25 year old wrangler with frame damage... I ran through the pricing on most of the modifications and Im at 12 grand so far, and those are reasonable used part prices on 75% of them, labor/install would be somewhere around 1-1/2 times that. So it would literally cost me around 30 grand to have someone take an 89 wrangler and get it to where my Jeep was at. That is at a labor rate average of 70ish dollars/hr which is very low.

There is just a surprisingly low availability of information on this subject, so I will update when it is settled. Hopefully the insurance company just plays straight, if not, I will have to go the attorney route.
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:21 PM   #7
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Please post updates as things move forward
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:31 PM   #8
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Don't know insurance laws where you are, but here you have the right to have the vehicle repaired by the shop of your choice. I would find an off road shop capable of doing what you did to your YJ and get an estimate from them. Then you'll have to fight with the insurance company to get them to pay
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:48 PM   #9
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Unless you have an agreed upon replacement value with your insurance company I wouldn't expect to receive more than NADA retail value.
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Old 09-03-2015, 03:44 PM   #10
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Unless you have an agreed upon replacement value with your insurance company I wouldn't expect to receive more than NADA retail value.
He's not claiming it on HIS insurance company. He's not the one at fault.

He'll have to get the other driver's insurance company to pay (or get the driver to pay).
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:43 PM
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Yeah this will be a 3rd party claim as my vehicle was damaged by another insured driver who was determined to be at fault. I do actually have an agreed value policy under my comprehensive coverage for somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 grand. I pay extra for it, but if the jeep is stolen, flood damage, fire damage, or a tree falls on it, there are not receipts or justification, they would have to provide up to 12k to either repair or replace.

The big issue I am envisioning right now as I deal with the other driver's insurance company is that the concept of repair cost comes after the establishment of value in determining total loss. i.e. if they try and claim the vehicle is only worth the "book" price, then if the repair + salvage value yields above the "book" (which obviously it would on a stock 89 wrangler), then they would try and deem it a total loss, which means that you do not have the option of having them pay for repairs. Rather, your only options are to accept the full "book" payout and say goodbye to the Jeep, or the "book" payout minus the salvage value and keep the Jeep, or refuse the settlement and file suit. I don't think there are any states that require an insurance company to repair/make whole your vehicle, because you would have some jerk with a 95 buick trying to force an insurance company to pay 30 thousand dollars to repair his car after it got crushed by a tractor trailer... Having said that, I have 4 years of my life and a ton of money invested into this Jeep, which I did so with the full expectation of enjoying the fruits of that labor for many many years to come. I can't just do it again if you know what I mean...
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:27 PM   #12
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Since you do have the extra insurance for $12k, my guess is that's what you'll end up with. If the other insurance won't pay it, yours will, and then they'll go after the other insurance company or driver for compensation. It should work the same way as if you were hit by someone without insurance. You pay for insurance , it should cover you, especially since you opted for the higher value insurance. Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:09 PM   #13
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It's a 89 YJ, they are going to total it that's not even a question. If it was a newer JK with frame damage chances are they would total that too.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:16 PM   #14
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Yan agreed value policy under my comprehensive coverage for somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 grand.

The big issue I am envisioning right now as I deal with the other driver's insurance company
You should not be dealing with the other drivers insurance company.... that is what you pay premiums for.... your insurance company deals with them.

And the dollar value will be specific... not somewhere in the neighbourhood of......
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:34 PM   #15
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You should not be dealing with the other drivers insurance company.... that is what you pay premiums for.... your insurance company deals with them.
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Let your insurance company fight first. You have agreed upon value, they don't want it coming back on them so they have a dog in the fight. That agreed upon value could really help you out. Since you have that you probably have your receipts for your work, that would help too. Their insurance is to make you whole. Be fair but be firm. I'd also consult with an attorney in case you need a bigger dog in the fight, don't hire them just seek advice so you know when or if you need to bring them in.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:03 AM
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My agreed value policy is for comprehensive only and it's for somewhere around 12k, it was 4 yrs ago so I don't remember the exact number, maybe it was 11 or 12500 ... I do not carry collision on the Jeep. So my insurance company will not be paying any up front or back end costs on fixing or replacing it, unless a tree falls on it while it's parked at three storage lot... my understanding is that they only negotiate for you when you have collision coverage...
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:33 AM   #17
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You put $12k comprehensive but not collision? So if you stuffed it into a tree by yourself you would be out of a ride too? Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:33 PM   #18
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Like said,let your ins fight for you.Hopefully they are good fighters.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:01 PM
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You put $12k comprehensive but not collision? So if you stuffed it into a tree by yourself you would be out of a ride too? Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.
go into your insurance policy and get a quote for adding comp coverage, it is absolutely nothing compared to collision... I was not going to be sinking 100 extra a month into collision coverage. I live in a major metro area, I am concerned with with someone stealing it or a tree falling on it way more than me running into a tree. Liability+12k agreed value comp was only 50 bucks a month... If I were paying 100 more per month for collision, that comes to almost 5 thousand dollars I would have paid over the 4 years i have owned it.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:08 PM   #20
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You should not be dealing with the other drivers insurance company.... that is what you pay premiums for.... your insurance company deals with them.

And the dollar value will be specific... not somewhere in the neighbourhood of......
That is not what you pay premiums for. Why do you think that? Where in your policy does it state that? There's no provision that says that (*). Unless you're in a no-fault state, but that's only a few states, and doesn't seem to apply here based on what the OP has stated already.

**BillieBob, I see you're in Canada, so maybe up there your insurance does cover it, but... in the States, it's covered as below.

Their client hit you, their insurance pays. Why would your insurance company pay when someone else hit you? It's their fault, their insurance pays.

*Of course there are clauses in the insurance policy like uninsured/underinsured that cover that, but this does not apply to this situation. The other person DID have insurance, so their insurance should pay.

If you put in a claim under your insurance, that wasn't your fault, the only way your company can cover it is if they count it "at fault". Thus, if you have full coverage (collision coverage), then the claim is paid under collision, counts as your fault, and you have to pay the deductible. Of course your insurance company wants their money back if they think they can get it from the other insurance company, so they request it from the other insurance company. Most reputable companies play nice, and if fault is clearly 100% one way, the other company MIGHT give your insurance company their money back. If this happens, you get your deductible back, and it does not count against you as an at-fault accident as it was subrogated.

If its never successfully subrogated, it stays on your record. Why you ask? Because your insurance had to pay for damage to your vehicle. Doesn't matter who's fault it was, if your company pays out, it goes on your record. *Except if it's comp, or if its a no-fault state.

Here's a situation that happens all too often. You get hit by someone who has one of those hotline insurance companies. You have your insurance cover the $1,000 in damage. They go to the other company, tell them that their client was clearly at fault, and they want to be reimbursed for the claim they paid you. The other insurance company doesn't believe their client was 100% at fault, and doesn't want to pay. Tells your insurance company to bring it up in court. Of course your insurance company won't go to court over $1,000 as it'll cost way more than that in court costs/attorney fees, so they drop it. Since they never got their money back, you never get your deductible back and it stays on your record.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:12 PM   #21
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Let your insurance company fight first. You have agreed upon value, they don't want it coming back on them so they have a dog in the fight. That agreed upon value could really help you out. Since you have that you probably have your receipts for your work, that would help too. Their insurance is to make you whole. Be fair but be firm. I'd also consult with an attorney in case you need a bigger dog in the fight, don't hire them just seek advice so you know when or if you need to bring them in.

He doesn't have collision coverage. His insurance won't cover this accident at all.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:14 PM   #22
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OP, who is the insurance company that the other party has? This is the biggest factor as to your payout and fairness of payout.

A reputable company will take into account the upgrades.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:17 PM
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OP, who is the insurance company that the other party has? This is the biggest factor as to your payout and fairness of payout.

A reputable company will take into account the upgrades.
Would rather not say while its still in progress, but so far all of my interactions with them have been very smooth and I don't get the feeling of getting the runaround...
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:00 PM   #24
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There is a lot of misinformation in this thread.

Please go take your auto policy to an attorney for a free initial consultation about the process in your State and your rights in the process.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:19 AM
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Just to update, my policy is not relevant since I do not carry collision. In hindsight, I should have been carrying collision given the value of the Jeep, but is moot at this point. The at fault drivers insurance has been going back and forth with me, and they have come up some. The biggest problem right now, is that they are trying to claim that a diesel engine has no value addition to a Jeep. They say that people do not care if it is gas or diesel. They are saying that 28mpg with my diesel does not add value when compared to if it still had the 4.2L gas guzzler getting 10mpg.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:27 PM   #26
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Thanks for the update.

Of course, the insurance company will say anything to pay less...keep after it. They may try to wear you down and drag things out. Stay strong and make sure that you are fully compensated - the other driver is at fault - her insurance company needs to make you "whole" again
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Old 09-24-2015, 02:35 PM
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Yeah I'm just going to hang in here and wait them out. I am not going to be deprived of what I am owed and what was worth. I would like to try and keep it too, but with all the medical stuff, I can't do any of the work on it myself now, and I would have to actually pay someone to do a complete frame replacement. I honestly don't think I could stomach watching someone else work on it. So I don't even know at this point. I would have to have it towed to a buddies place and let it hang until it can be fixed some day.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:22 PM   #28
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I had a similar incident where I was hit. I just wanted my vehicle back to what it was before I was hit. Their insurance company came extremely low on the estimate. I argued with them to no avail. Finally I told them you know my neck and back are really starting to hurt me. Had my check in a few days.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:08 AM
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I had a similar incident where I was hit. I just wanted my vehicle back to what it was before I was hit. Their insurance company came extremely low on the estimate. I argued with them to no avail. Finally I told them you know my neck and back are really starting to hurt me. Had my check in a few days.
As much as I would love to have my Jeep back and can't stand the thought of not being able to drive around with the top off hearing the turbo spool up, the injuries scare me much more. I just wish I could go back to before this happened when all I had to worry about were the million other things that I have going on in my life.

Looking at the Jeep now, I really don't think it could ever be fixed without doing a complete frame off and putting in a brand new frame. At that point its essentially back to square one as the tub may as well just be replaced given all the work it would need to fix the damage. I am not even asking for all the time and work I put into it to be accounted for, which I should actually be compensated for. This isn't a Jeep that was rebuilt 10 years ago and has since fallen apart, I literally have spent over $20k in the last 3 years building this Jeep. We all know these builds take time, and for it to be taken away right at the end is just heartbreaking. And I did ALL the labor, with the exception of the one time when I had a tire shop mount and balance the BFG MTs.

I think it just comes down to the insurance company having a hard time understanding that people actually do spend 15,20, and even 30k+ on restored built up Jeeps.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:23 PM   #30
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It's not that the insurance company doesn't understand what your vehicle was worth. It's just that they don't care. They will try to pay out some token based on the lowest published value that they can find. If you want to recover more than they offer, the best way is probably to contact an attorney. Threaten to sue them and negotiate a settlement. You'll need documentation of the value though.

I've been through this twice. (Well, once was actually my Mother.) Both times, the vehicles were struck by state-owned vehicles. So there was no insurance company. Just a sleazy lawyer with unlimited time to waste. In my case, after a couple of emails, the local School District (who operated the vehicle) made up the difference of what the state wouldn't pay. Really, the amount was so small, compared to a sleazy lawyers salary, that they were stupid not to pay, because it probably cost them more to argue with me.

In my parents case, their lawyer negotiated a settlement to cover the cost of the (brand new) vehicle and medical expenses. But my parents rejected it because they wanted to leave the claims open indefinitely... they basically didn't understand the concept of a "settlement." *facepalm*

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