Strategy For Dealing With Insurance Reimbursement For Totaled '99

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Our 1999 Diamond Pearl White GS300 was hit by a college student in his Yukon Denali, right in front of a police station where we live. The rear driver's side door was demolished and the damage unfortunately extended into the rear quarter panel. Our car was in excellent condition and only had 125k miles.

The other driver was at fault (he immediately proclaimed "my mother's going to kill me" and said "sorry, I wasn't looking...") It was a four-Stop intersection and my wife (a very careful driver) was already in the middle of the intersection when this guy pulled out, not looking where he was going, but driving with his eyes and head turned in the direction of a police car nearby. We later discovered this guy's family lives nearby in a $15 million mansion (and he likely lives in a frat house on the nearby college campus) and is the last of a big brood of sons. The mother's a wealthy widow and her name was also on the insurance policy. (I know these details are irrelevant, but I can't NOT mention them...)

Damage to his Yukon Denali was minimal.

They are insured by C***b.

C***b provided us a brand-new loaner on their nickel and I'm still driving it almost a month after the accident. Their first settlement offer was appropriate to the Lexus' great condition, but I had put over $6000 into it during the past 25,000 miles, including a totally new AC system for $1200 only 7 months before the accident and a new brake controller and master cylinder (more than $3000) in 2010. I submitted my receipts and a spreadsheet of these items (none of which can be called "routine maintenance" expenditures), and they came back with a trivial bump to their offer, based only on the tires (which I've put 20,000 miles on) and acknowledging nothing else.

I plan to hold out for at least $2000 more. We already have another GS300 (bought with cash), but as we are building a home, our lender told us (months ago) not to make any big expenditures. We had planned to drive the 1999 GS a couple more years and then hand it down to our son. We can wait a long time, and we'll just rack up miles on the loaner in the meantime.

Anyone here have a perspective to share? would arbitration (if it gets there) provide me with a better settlement in this circumstance (wherein they offered more than the blue book value of the car but did not offer enough for the big-ticket repairs I made)? You would think they'd be in a rush to settle given that they are paying for this loan car as long as we use it. I have never had a settlement from any insurance company take so long as this one...

Comments please!

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I suspect you are not going to have much luck getting reimbursed for your A/C and brake repairs on a 14 year old car. Maybe take the money and run?

I never deal directly with the other person's insurance company - only with the company that insures my car and I let them settle with the other insurance company ... did this again last fall when my 00 LS suffered $7,700 damage. Did the same thing in 1999 when a previous LS was hit and the damage total was over $10,000 and two other times since 1999 - never dealt with the other insurance company.

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I agree with Jim, bad timing but the offer seems pretty fair to me.

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Jim and Steve are both giving you the best information, given your situation. I just totaled my 2010 ES350 last October and I let my insurance company do the negotiating. worked out great.

Where your being squezed, is that no one (Insurance Co) will reimburse you or consider repairs or add-ons you did to a 13 year old car, since it would all be considered standard maintenance and repair.

Your one other chance may be shoping the car around for salvage value. You'd be amazed what kind of prices some of those recyclables and other parts are worth.

Good Luck


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