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Real Car Insurance

Insurance that will restore vehicle to previous condition
  [vote for,

Since most insurance companies prefer to total vehicles rather than pay ot have them repaired to previous condition it seems a great oppurtunity to make some good money. I'd gladly pay extra if I could specify the value of my vehcile, eg, my old car has over $15,000 invested. To get insurance, the vehicle is inspected, and all reciepts are verified, as well as a conplete set of digital photos. The owner would be charged $500 for such a service to validate the worth of the vehcile. Every 2 years the scenario would repeat for say $200. Then when and if an accident occurs, the insurance company would either repair the vehcile if the damage was under $15,000 or total it out at the $15,000 figure. The extra bi-yearly charges would prevent the scam artists from bying a junk car and inflating its value or pulling the parts off to work a scam. Please note that these charges would be beyond what would be normal fee for comp and collision.

It makes no sense that a 2001 Buick has more value than my restored old car. Yet the insurance companies charge similiar rates for collision and comp, yet the repair charges for my old car are 30% of what they are on new. Eg a new engine is $7630 from GM, my old cars motor can be purchased as a reman for about $2100. Granted the 2001 Buick cost $17,000 new, my old car cost $2000 when purchased, plus about $13,000 in parts and hundreds of hours ot time. The Buick is worth maybe $10,000 now, my old car from an insurance co, puts it at $2500. Yet, the old car will run circles around anything with the exceptions of the $50,000 plus vehices. IMHO, old restored cars typically have better performance, comfort, and reliability, at the expense of emissions, safety, and in some cases gas mileage.

amuron, Nov 29 2002

Agreed Value Insurance http://www.hagerty....n_insurance_faq.asp
"Agreed Value insurance policies guarantee a customer will receive all of his/her money back in the event of a total loss." [half, Oct 04 2004]

"You can have fun driving a Volvo now" http://www.business.../01_50/b3761144.htm
30 Nov 02 | "...Volvo expects to top last year's record sales of 422,131 cars and profit of $650 million. 'We're a top performer within Ford,' says Volvo Cars President Hans-Olov Olsson." [bristolz, Oct 04 2004]


       is this a WIBNI or a rant?
po, Nov 29 2002

       The author raises a valid point, and uses a valid example. It's such a waste to see excellent cars get "totalled"
thumbwax, Nov 29 2002

       Like "Stated Value" or "Agreed Value" insurance?
half, Nov 29 2002

       just dropping in [half]?
po, Nov 29 2002

       The only problem with the agreed value insurance such as Hagerty and some offers is it is not for "daily drivers". When the weather is good, eg not snowing, I try to drive my old car and can really rack up the mileage. My neighbor has an MG which he uses for parades and shows. Hagarty would be fine, its too bad they can't expand their coverage to include daily use for a higher fee.
amuron, Nov 29 2002

       Please explain the acronyms WIBNI or a rant? Yes it is a rant, and yes I want to buy it, not sure what WIBNI is as I am a newbie.
amuron, Nov 29 2002

       Are you sure you can't get AVI with daily use? Seems like a pretty narrow combination to be missing.
egnor, Nov 29 2002

       [amuron] - Welcome!   

       WIBNI means 'Wouldn't It Be Nice If'. For more information, check out help (under meta on the left). Valuable reading for new people.
madradish, Nov 29 2002

       Hey thanks for the pointer, I always check things like FAQ, but help is a new one.   

       Is it a rant, probably.   

       Is it a WIBNI, it would be nice, but it also seems a pretty easy business decision to make. Insurance is a pretty simple concept of risk management. Eg insurance companies know statisitcally what claims will be, they know how much the market will bare price wise, and as such their income is guaranteed. The only exception is when the statistics are wrong eg the 500 or 1000 year statisical event.   

       As such, It seems like such a simple concept, and a way to increase revenue (eg the inspection fees), I don't understand why its not available. It would be often easier to look at old vehicle statistics for claim figures that to try and interpolate figures on new vehicles.   

       The market I'm sure is there as well (for collector cars currently), for new model cars, if not now, certainly in the future as car prices increase.   

       Eg If one had a 5 year loan (a bad idea IMHO), for quite a period of time, the insurance's companies valuation will be much less than the total amount owed, thus agreed value policies for daily drivers would seem quite marketable, perhaps after a few finance companies get stung with totaled vehicles, it will be mandatory for long loan terms and thus force the insurance industry to offer it.
amuron, Nov 29 2002

       One problem is that many vehicles, depending upon the specific type and extent of crash damage, simply cannot be repaired. The damage can be hidden in some cases but not really repaired to the levels that match the pre-crash integrity and safety of the vehicle.   

       One example is when a car is severely damaged in a rear-end collision. The common approach to "repairing" these types of crash damage is called a "rear clip" or just "clip." The clip is where the damaged car is cut in half and the rear section is replaced with, usually, the rear section of a wrecked car that was in a front-end collision.   

       The cuts are typically made through the A-pillars (the roof supports to either side of the windshield) and across the floorpan of the car at the back edge of the front doors, just behind the drivers seat. Despite elaborate frame racks and jigs, it is almost impossible to mate the sections back together without errors in alignment. Worse, because of the way that many monocoque, or unibody, cars are built--using structural members rolled inside of other structures--it is difficult, if not impossible, to properly weld the inner structures; they simply cannot be accessed to weld. This results in weakness where the clip is attached. I know I am not really interested in owning (or riding in) a vehicle whose roof pillars or floor have diminished structural integrity. And I particularly don't want to be in another accident in such a compromised vehicle.   

       I think I'd rather have them total it.
bristolz, Nov 30 2002

       The cut and chop methods would be applicable to say a 2001 Buick. Eg current insurance typically will pay for and require cut up and chop on newer vehicles where it is may not be safe to do so, but it is a cost savings to the ins co. Now, if we go back at least 35 years, that is not so, as unitzied construction was just starting to occur. In fact on most collector vehicles, the sub frame can easily be straigntened and if necessary, a new one can be fabricated.   

       Concerning the strength of A-pillars and rollover accidents, I wouldn't trust anything wihtout a roll bar, or perhaps the high end convertibles with the pop-up roll bar. I think there is un-necessary paranoia about vehicle safety and the chop shops. New cars are not all that safe to start with, putting price and style way above safety. I don't thing one looses much protection even if structural integrity is slightly compromised. Safety needs to be designed in from the beginning, and its not being done.   

       It is quite easy to acheive a safe car from an engineering standpoint, yet it is just about impossible to market one as its not a priority with consumers.
amuron, Nov 30 2002

       So, safe cars are undesirable? I think not. Volvo seems to have made a lively business out of it. Being safe and being appealing are not mutually exclusive.   

       And, yes, I am really talking about unibody vehicles. I am amazed that anyone really tries to fix them given how they are built.
bristolz, Nov 30 2002


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