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New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

 
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:19 PM
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New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

Hi, someone sideswiped me the other day and did a lot of cosmetic damage to the passenger side of my car. Insurance wants to total it. I am the original owner and have all the service and maintenance records for it. It has always been in the garage or covered when at work. Except for a few misc parts, it is all original and has 205,000 miles. I have had people stop me to try to buy it. The insurance says it is only worth $1800 but I find it hard to believe. I am pretty I could have sold it for more before it was damaged. How can I prove that to the insurance company? Does anyone know where I can get a cheap fender and door? There weren't any at local junk yards. Any advise from anyone? Should I buy it back from the insurance company and try to fix it myself? Won't it have a salvage title then? Help please? Thanks!!
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:02 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

It all depends on where you live and how your insurance company works. Here (in Aus) if an insurance company deems the cost to repair a car is more than 80% of the market value of the car then they will write it off, but here that is what's known as a repairable write-off. It's only if a car has massive structural damage that it will be called a statutory write-off in which case it goes on a register and can never be driven on the road again. If it becomes a repairable write-off then the insurance company will sell the car to you for what they deem the scrap value is, or likely what a wrecker would give them for it.

The "market value" thing is a PITA though. Since most 4th gens on the road are now absolute beaters that have been torn to shreds by teenagers for decades the resale value has taken a nose-dive, meaning a decent enough scratch is enough to write off most '90s cars. Insurance companies will insure generally for market value (basically the value of an average example), some will go for an agreed value usually at the expense of higher premiums.

If it is only damage to the door and front fender then it might be worth getting back and bide your time until you can get your hands on replacement panels, but any painting or bodywork that needs to be done to the rest of the car will quickly add up to more than the value of the vehicle. Unfortunately if you don't want to stuff around then the $1800 cheque might be better than nothing. The insurance company is unlikely to budge on this figure, they'll just quote the BS about the market value and they won't care if yours was a better-than-average example.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:04 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

wow original owner. I only know one other person that's still the original owner of a 4th gen. take it to a body shop and see how much the estimate would be to fix first and dispute with insurance that its worth more and that theres a small collectors market for these cars
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:47 PM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

Tassie basically covered it. Unfortunately, to the wider world, a 20-year-old Prelude is just a used car, and looking up the value on the Kelley Blue Book website, $1800 is up on the high end of the scale for a '96 with that mileage.

I've always regarded buying an old car back from the insurance company as a bad deal -- why take the insurance money and then pay most of it back to them to get the car back? The only time that really works is on newer cars, where you may be able to buy it back and fix it yourself for much less than they give you. Otherwise, you'd be better off just not making a claim in the first place...you'd have to talk to your insurance agent to see if pulling the claim is an option. Preludes aren't easy to find in junk yards, but you might try Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market, which lets you search across the country.

A car written off by insurance in most states will have a salvage title, and each state governs that differently -- some won't register them at all, some require an inspection before registering them, some treat them no differently from any used car. Again, if you just fix it, you bypass that pain.

MOB5TA...unless you're talking about me, you know two. First 4th gen sold in the Sacramento (CA) Valley...47 miles on the clock when I drove it off the lot in Nov '91. Didn't see another one on the road for nearly 3 months. :)
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:53 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

got any pictures of the damage? also depending where you are you could find the parts needed to replace for pretty cheap. I'm sure someone has a door or OEM fender for sale if you keep looking. i know in south florida i could find that stuff if it was needed.. infact i know of a 96 for 400 dollars as a parts car with no title with the parts you need
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:56 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

Trying to post photos....
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:59 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

Photo of fender
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:01 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

Interior photo just to show it is in good shape
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:02 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

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Old 07-24-2016, 01:06 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

Try this again
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:25 PM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

from the pictures it doesn't look very bad, i was imagining a lot worse. that car looks to be in great shape, if you can i would take it by a few body shops and see what they would quote you for repairs
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:09 AM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

I am in CA. I found someone that would fix it for $800, not replacing any parts. Then he said if I want to sell it, he would buy it! Lol! I wish I was I FL, looks like you guys have all the parts!
It is in great shape. It was always garaged or covered at work. The front dash had a cover on it so it isn't faded or cracked. The drivers seat could be re-done as it is starting to wear from use. It has been a great car and has never left me stranded.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:44 PM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

Hey, sorry to hear about the damage to your ride. Any update?

This is exactly what I've been working on with my insurance this month. No accident, but I've been looking in to options to prevent having my '94 totaled in the event of a cosmetic or very minor hit like you had.

From what my agent and others have indicated, there's no way to add a plus up in coverage to sort of pad the total value. I looked in to special collector insurance too, but unless you have a car with value of in the tens of thousands, like a vintage mustang or something, that's not an option either.

We try so hard to take care of our cars and all of us risk losing them to some idiot that's not paying attention. It's a real crime.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:44 PM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

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Old 08-19-2016, 06:20 PM
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Re: New here, need help with totaled 1996 Prelude

Who cares about salvage title, realistically unless that car is low mileage there is no point in title status, where I live in Tennessee it doesn't mean much, hell mileage doesn't even mean anything after a certain age,You got to ask yourself (what can I buy with $1800?) if what you can get is a better car than what you got now go for it and sell the car to them, or buy it back from them and now you got $1400 in your pocket and a car with some cosmetic issues, Now can you repair the damage for 1400 and maybe have some left over, only down side is a "salvaged title" which doesn't mean anything since the car is not worth a lot in their eyes. You can always counter offer their estimate on the car and hope to get more, but in reality just buy it back, use that cash to fix the issue and the rest put towards some bills and move on.
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