I was in a car accident in December 2009 (not at fault, no injuries) and I have been trying to get my vehicle repaired by the at-fault party's insurance. I went to the body shop they recommended, and got an estimate for $2,600. They came back and told me that it was a total loss because that exceeds 75% of the vehicle's value. After getting several other quotes, i've discovered I can get it repaired elsewhere for less money, well under 75% (best quote i've received is around $1,300). Now they are saying they have to go by the previous quote. Obviously, if I would have known this, I would have gone to the other place first. I was under the impression there's no legal total loss percentage in GA law, that each insurance company sets their own. Is this true? Any advice would be helpful
Mr. Cruz - thank you for the info! I'd absolutely LOVE to be dealing with my insurance company at the moment, but I don't carry full coverage on this particular car (more than 10 years old, higher mileage, etc). I believe I will from this point on, however. My company has always been great and has always given me sound advice and quick response. I think i'm out of options unless I decide to file suit.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Generally, the percentage used is anywhere from 70% to 80%. This percentage is an insurance industry practice and in most cases is not related to a state law. There are only a few states that require a vehicle be declared a total loss when a certain threshold is met. Most states allow an insurer to repair a vehicle all the way up to 100% of the vehicles value.
Best advice is to contact the Consumer Services Division of the Office of
Commissioner of Insurance at (404) 656-2070. Ask whether GA has a total loss threshold.
If NO Georgia state law threshold you can either file suit against the at-fault diver or agree with the at-fault driver’s ins carriers’ total loss assessment. OR (this could be a better option) you can go to YOUR insurance carrier and ask them to repair the vehicle at the least expensive shop. You will have to pay your deductible, but YOUR carrier will then go after the at-fault carrier, who will then refund you the deductible.
Contact a local personal injury lawyer for more details- most offer free consultations. Good luck.
Richard A. Cruz, Esq.