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Discussion Starter #1
About 2 years ago I was involved in an accident with my 08 GXP. One of those things you nver want to have happen. Here I am minding my own business and a full grown Elk bull decides it's wants to go for a drive with me. Well not really.. I was driving down the local state highway doing about 55-60 mph or so having a nice chat with my mom on the phone on a beautiful July morning at around 7:00 AM when an Elk decides it is going to jump over the guard rail on the other side of the street. Now mind you this whole scenario is not the fault of the elk. The elk has an uphill run that is fairly steep to get to the guard rail so he was moving along at a pretty decent pace. Once over the guard rail to his surprise there was a vehicle headed right at him. The elk decided to keep his momentum going and pick up the pace. And that he did, running full speed across the highway. I believe he was fully intent on the car that was coming at him and didn't notice my brigh yellow Solstice. Either that or the car was to low for him to see because all I saw was legs and the bottom of his chest out of the side of my eye. Think of the kid that is running and looking in any direction other then where he should be looking. Now picture that kid running into something like a sign or a telephone pole.

The words out of my mouth was ahhhh s*** (mind you I was on the phone with my mom when this took place). The top was up and the drivers window rolled about 1/2 way down. The elk slammed right into the car. I leaned over to the right hoping that I was not going to have a 900 LB animal come through the top of the car and end up on top of me. The elk hit with enough force that it put the car up on 2 wheels. Now I happened to lean back up in time and look out my rear view to see this 900 lb beast land right on the top of it's head.. well it's antlers and watched as the car behind me clipped it. Both me and the driver behind me pulled into the first parking lot that came up. I had to exit the car dukes of hazard style. Mind you no small task, the Solstice doesn't have old school Charger sized window openings. The guy driving the car behind me told me that when the elk hit it spun with it's back legs hitting the side of the nose and hood on the car then proceeded to roll onto the top of the car. When the car dropped back down onto all 4 wheels this is when the elk went airborne clearing the rest of the car and landing on it's head.

I have spent 2 years going back and forth with the insurance company as they quoted the damage at 4 grand. You do not have a 900 lb animal do a full impact into a vehicle at 45 MPH and not have the car totaled. The passenger door when closed was recessed into the vehicle body at the top and at the bottom it was sticking out past the body of the car. all of the plastic behind the seats has all popped and folder over each other like an accordion. The windshield frame was dented and the gap at the top if the windshield was wider on the passenger side of the car vs the drivers side. This meant the windshield frame had been pushed over at the top and the whole body of the car was also pushed over at the top. The bumper and hood alignment was all screwed up and there is a gap between the trunk lid and the rear quarter panel large enough to fit my pinkie in.

The seats are all scratched up because of the glass and the center console broke from me leaning over onto it with my elbow. The top got a small tear and I am sure the whole top frame get bent out of wack.

I finally managed to get the insurance company to total the car as it should be. with some squabbling back and forth I managed to squeeze them for about 20 grand

I plan to buy the car back from them for about 700 bucks or so. The car will NOT have to have a salvage title. This is because the car is not deemed to be unsafe to drive. It is being totaled because of the expense to repair the cosmetic damage. Insurance companies have to put LKQ parts on the car. so no fiberglass hoods and no vinyl convertible top. they have to replace both seat skins with new ones (expensive). They cannot tweak the door or the trunk lid to match the body. they MUST return the car to the same condition it was in before the accident that would mean replacing both rear welded quarters.

Now me on the other hand I can bend the door and the trunk so they line up properly. The rip in the top is on the edge bead and is not a hole through the top. I can have a new edge bead stitched on if I wanted to even bother with fixing it as the tear is about 1/2 a CM long. I am going to get a fiberglass hood. and I have never in my life seen a cow that matched the color of the seats in my car. The seats are painted with a special paint and that paint can be purchased for about 20 bucks a can, and that can is enough to do both seats. The top opens and closes without issue and the frame is not bent in a manner that an untrained eye can see.


I am going to fix the body damage so drivers door, hood, front bumper cover and painting the whole car.

RK sport hood 700.00
RK sport body kit 700.00
Front fenders 200.00
Drivers door 1000.00 if new I can probably locate one at a bone yard for less
Paint 4000.00

I am thinking somewhere around 6-7K to fix the body damage. I want to pocket 3 grand so that leaves 10 grand I can spend on upgrades. I did the water pump myself so I am able to do most upgrades without having to pay someone to do them. I have a local shop that can dyno and tune the car, the price is 100 bucks an hour for the tune. most tunes average 2 hours or so. I live at 8500 feet elevation on a dirt road so the wheels and tires stay and lowering is not an option either.

I am hoping to end up with a better Solstice after the accident then before it with pocketing some coin (possibly).

Any suggestions are appreciated. personal experiences are even better. There is quite a bit available for the GXP and I am sure that there are issues with some parts working properly with others and this information ahead of time would be invaluable.

Thanks for the assistance.
Kevin.
 

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congrats on getting $20k for the car. Enjoy your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes the alive thing is very important. Thank you all for the concern about me. It was pure luck how the whole thing panned out with the elk and my not getting squished.

As far as the insurance company goes and the payout being as large as it is is all a metter of knowing their "how to screw over the customer" handbook. Most of the people in the claims departments are script readers. If you can break them away from the script you can usually do better. Sometime you get stuck with a stubborn one. One of the methods I like to use that throws them all out of sorts is right after they give you that whole speech about recording the conversation and using it for for internal purposes and training or whatever else have you.. You say to them

"I to am going to record this conversation so it can be used in exactly the sam way your company would. In court if I do not get a fair and honest claims process."

This usually gets them all outta shape because they are so worried about not screwing up that they actually do end up screwing up.

When you go to get the car estimated you want to go to one of their "select" repair facilities. be careful when you do this as it is better to go to one where they do not have adjusters at. If you end up having to deal with an adjuster for an estimate here are some suggestions. If it is an overweight woman run away. drive off. do not let her look at the car. I am not talking the big boned short haircut chicks. Those are fine to look at the car.. I am talking the short ones that are shaped like an x-mas tree. If it is a young guy drive off. actually if it is a young chick drive off as well. Younger adjusters are new and want to impress their superiors. It ends up being a hassle. Pay attention to what they are doing. do not say a think to them while they are looking at the car. Not until they are about to walk away. You are going to know how intent they are. If you see them notice a spot but then kind of ignore it they are going to try and rip you off. If they simply do not see it then they are going to rip you off because the person is not knowledgeable.

I also love this tactic.. An insurance company has been paid to do one thing, Put your car back into the condition before the accident. They HAVE to do this or they have to give you enough funds to buy a new vehicle. Now you see that bumper cover on that 20 year old car that has 150K miles on it. Yeah.. so tell them that after they put a new one on and have it painted they have to put every single rock chip back into the paint. It's funny.. but they do have to do it if you want it done. Now we all know this is going to be next to impossible to do.

Here is another one. in order to take a fender off a bumper cover has to come off in most cases. So if a fender is damaged and the bumper cover is not they will do an R&I of the bumper cover to replace the fender. Well guess what. there is a relly high probability of them breaking the clips that hold the bumper to the fender. or they will rear out the hole where the screw goes through the wheel house liner. the ones that have those speed clips. Or maybe even a Christmas tree that is being a bitch and won't come out. The little piece of plastic is really easy to break.. Once it is broken they owe you whole new bumper cover. It pays to invest in a mini camera. one that has lights on it. they are only 15 bucks and plug right into the USB on your cell phone.

There can be a lot of damage to a vehicle that is not easily seen. Learn to use your fingers as your eyes. pay attention to body gaps.

Do not ever try to get more then what is owed to you. come armed with knowledge do your research. be nice to the insurance company at first. play dumb at first also. when you all of a sudden hit them with all kinds of technical crap about an estimate or a total valuation it is going to blind side them and they are not going to be prepared. Every single state has laws governing what insurance companies are required to do. Most people do not know this and it is law in most states. In a total loss the insurance company MUST pay to get you a car and remember they have to provide you with one that is of like condition. well the condition of my car is I am able to drive it down the road. If they do not provide you with money to register, title and pay for the taxes you are not going to be getting a car in the same condition. They also have to pay for dealership document fees and delivery charges. Every single comparison vehicle they provide must be for sale and you should be able to go and evaluate the condition of the vehicle. An insurance company MUST pay you Fair Market Value or KBB which ever one is higher.

I spent some time and I wrote a really handy program. what that program does is you enter comparison vehicles the mileage and asking price for the car. I always use vehicles that have the first 8 digits of the fin number matching my car. it does it's calculation and then spits out the dollar amount that an insurance company should be paying. It does not do anything with options It uses only the mileage and the condition that you state your car is in.


Most importantly ALL insurance have the exact same "how to rip off the customer" handbook. I can walk a person through a whole phone conversation with a claims department person. exactly what the insurance company is going to say almost verbatim.

The single biggest thing is to red everything they send you. read it 10 times. Each time you read it you will discover ll kinds of bad things on it.

I want to see how many people can tell me what is wrong with this valuation the insurance company originally sent me. I removed the things that had no importance to the valuation. The legal jargon and also the recall stuff.

Lets see who can spot the "mistakes"

valuation 0.png valuation 1.png valuation 2.png valuation 3.png
 

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Excellent...reminds me of the kiss by the hazmat tanker semi last May 4th and the ensuing insurance dance, whereupon I probably got 90% a good job. With the above information I probably could have gotten a 115% good job. As it was, truth, attention to detail and communications seemed to be of some service. Now to just get that trunk lid, door glass and top final adjustments made! Oh, I was the one who found the body parts and a decent body shop who was sweating bullets when I walked in with a binder of copy and illustrations from the FSM, IPB's and this forum...plus my detailed photos of the damage, obvious and hidden. That was merely to help them with the work, not intimidate or scare. It was a quality shop, even though with was not a restoration/street machine job Maybe the complete story is worth the copy sometime, but no where near as good as the elk tale, although it did bring to mind all my years of surviving on motorcycles and dealing with idiot Florida drivers. Two vehicles of dissimilar mass cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

If I did not like this particular car so much I probably could have pushed for a total, even w/o an air bag being deployed. Now I can do anything I want to with it.

Richard Snipes
 

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Just curious who your insurance carrier is and did you have an agreed coverage policy ,was the car stock or modified due to the 20 grand evaluation ? You mentioned your car was totaled and than from reading your post said that you will have a "clean " title ? From my dealings with my friends who own body shops and an insurance adjuster for over 25 years any time a car is considered totaled by the insurance company this goes on the title and the CarFax and other similar reporting sites I'm in Ohio maybe your state is different ?
 

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Just curious who your insurance carrier is and did you have an agreed coverage policy ,was the car stock or modified due to the 20 grand evaluation ? You mentioned your car was totaled and than from reading your post said that you will have a "clean " title ? From my dealings with my friends who own body shops and an insurance adjuster for over 25 years any time a car is considered totaled by the insurance company this goes on the title and the CarFax and other similar reporting sites I'm in Ohio maybe your state is different ?
Colorado has an interesting wording to their salvage vehicle statute:
A salvage vehicle is a vehicle damaged by collision, fire, flood, accident, trespass, or other occurrence, excluding hail damage, to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle to a roadworthy condition and for legal operation on the highways exceeds the vehicle’s retail fair market value immediately prior to such damage, as determined by the person who owns the vehicle at the time of such occurrence or by the insurer or other person acting on behalf of such owner.
It appears that if the vehicle is still legal to drive on the highway it will not be classified as a salvage vehicle regardless of the repair cost. Kentucky law is a bit different:
Kentucky law states your vehicle is a salvaged car if it’s damaged or destroyed to the point that repairing or reconstructing it to its pre-damaged state would cost more than 75% of its retail value (often referred to as its fair market value).
I don't know what he pays for insurance, but around here the coverage that would pay for title, tax, etc for a replacement vehicle is prohibitively expensive, and I do not know of anyone who has actually done it. A lot of this really comes down to how the contract is written, and you can generally get whatever coverage you want to pay for. Unless you have actually paid for full replacement coverage I can also see only being able to get away with this once, since your insurance company is likely to drop you after you get them to pay twice what your car is worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The funny thing is it is not twice what it's worth. All I did was find all of the GXP's that were yellow and for sale. I used an almost identical method they used for calculation the value. This produces a correct valuation of the car. Take a look for yourself. 2008 Yellow GXP's that are manual transmission have a higher selling price then say a black one. By quite a bit. And in colorado it is law that an insurance company MUST pay for taxes (sales tax) title registration and any fees associated with the purchasing of a vehicle. In Colorado the average dealer fees are about 1100-1200 dollars. you have 8% sales tax which in my case is a 1400 dollar bump in the price. so right there that is 2600 dollars. so take 2600 off of the 20K and now you are down to 17,400 the lowest I have found the car for is 12950 and that has about the same mileage. so even with that as a starting point it is still above what the original valuation is. plus you also have to remember that the condition of the car is unknown where as the condition of my car is a known. The single largest argument you can always use is this.. Ask them what the steps are when they purchase a vehicle. It is always going to be finding a car that appeals to them. then looking for one that works for their budget then going to the dealershit to test drive the car. That last one is the single most important thing. You then ask them why they test drive it. There will be no answer by them because they know you just got them to screw up. They test drive it so they can assign a value to it. They test drive it to see if it is worth the asking price. Not a single one of these comparison vahicles are test driven by anyone. In fact only photos are used to determine the condition of a car. When a dealer advertises a car they are not going to post photos of any damage. So all cars are going to appear to be in excellent condition, we as consumers know that the car is not going to be excellent or perfect. But for some reason insurance companies like to make you believe that they are.

This is one of the reasons why they should not take a single dollar off for the condition of your car. Because the comparison vehicles have been priced in a manner that accounts for condition. that is why if there were 2 cars for sale. exactly the same year make model trim mileage and options they could have 2 wildly different prices. I hope you all realize that all insurance companies use comparisons that have lower prices. And these lower prices are because the price reflects the condition of the vehicle, then an insurance company lowers the price even further because of the condition of your vehicle. So they are saying that every single comparison vehicle they are using is like new condition and this is why they are lowering the price because of your cars condition. COME ON! We all know that used cars are not in new condition, so why does an insurance company treat the comparisons that way?
This is deceptive and all states have laws regarding deceptive practices by insurance companies. I call this practice "double dipping". Tell the insurance company that they can reduce the value because of the condition of your vehicle ONLY if they use the highest priced comparisons they can find. Even better they have to use the ones that you find.

The simple fact is an insurance company is in business to make money. and they make a snot load of it. On average a person puts in an insurance claim every 35 years. This is an average across all people in the country. Some put in more and some put in less. This is the second claim i have in my life. both of which are comprehensive claims. the first claim was 7,000 for hail damage. u think about how much money I have given the insurance companies since the age of 16 If I had to guess I would say damned close to 150,000.00.. So them paying out 27,000 and they have taken in 150K do you think they are making money???.. Insurance companies are one of the lowest cost to operate businesses. They technically sell you nothing. You do not get anything in return for your dollar. If a person never makes a single claim in their whole life they basically just handed someone all that money and received absolutely nothing in return. The insurance companies cost to provide that person with nothing is a couple of sheets a paper and some ink and a stamp every month. The computers do everything people are not apart of the process. Most times there isn't even the cost of ink, paper or a stamp involved.

So they are making grips of cash off a person but still feel the need to rip that person off... They are ALWAYS going to low ball valuations. How does a car go from having 4 grand in damages to being totaled and a 20 grand payout??.. well the answer is simple. they were trying to rip me off. Anyone that believes that an insurance company is there to help them needs to reevaluate that thought process.

I would always argue a salvage title if a vehicle is totaled but is not unsafe to operate This is something that you would have to argue with DMV But I am willing to bet if you get a letter from the body shop stating that the vehicle is still road worthy and it is being totaled because the cost to repair cosmetic damage is higher then the value of the car you might be able to get around having to have a salvage title.

Any time insurance companies try to reduce value based on the condition of your vehicle you can throw this in their face.

KBB has provided some metrics and descriptions of condition of vehicles. This is what needs to get used in order to determine an adjustment amount for condition.
Kelly Blue Book has these definitions for condition of a vehicle. with the percentage of vehicles that fall into that category.

Excellent. This means the vehicle looks new and is in excellent mechanical condition.
3% of the vehicles fall into this category

Category Requirements:
The vehicle has never had any paint touch-ups or bodywork.
The vehicle does not need reconditioning.
The engine compartment is clean and free of leaks.
The vehicle is free of rust.
The body and interior are free of wear or visible defects.
All wheels are flawless.
All tires match and are like new.
The vehicle has a clean title history and will pass a safety and smog inspection.
The vehicle has complete and verifiable service records.

each requirement is worth 0.33%


Very Good. This means the vehicle has minor cosmetic defects and is in excellent mechanical condition.
23% of the vehicles fall into this category

Category Requirements:
The vehicle has had minor paint touch-ups or bodywork.
The vehicle requires minimal reconditioning.
The engine compartment is clean and free of leaks.
The vehicle is free of rust.
The body and interior has minimal signs of wear or visible defects.
The wheels are flawless.
All tires match and have 75% or more of tread remaining.
The vehicle has a clean title history and will pass a safety and smog inspection.
Most service records are available.

each requirement is worth 2.55%

Good. This means the vehicle has some repairable cosmetic defects and is free of major mechanical problems.
54% of the vehicles fall into this category

Category Requirements:
The vehicle may need some servicing.
The paint and bodywork may require minor touch-ups.
The engine compartment may have minor leaks.
The vehicle has only minor rust, if any.
The body may have minor scratches or dings.
The interior has minor blemishes characteristic of normal wear.
The wheels may have minor repairable scratches or scrapes.
All tires match and have at least 50% of tread remaining.
Though it may need some reconditioning, it has a clean title history and will pass a safety and smog inspection.
Some service records are available.

each requirement is worth 5.40%

Fair. This means the vehicle has some cosmetic defects that require repairing and/or replacing.
18% of the vehicles fall into this category

Category Requirements:
The vehicle requires some mechanical repairs.
The paint and bodywork may require refinishing and body repair.
The engine compartment has leaks and may require repairs.
The vehicle may have some repairable rust damage.
The body has dents, chips and/or scratches.
The interior has substantial wear and may have small tears.
The wheels may be warped or bent, have major scratches, scrapes, or pitting and require replacement.
The tires may not match and need replacing.
The vehicle needs servicing, but is still in reasonable running condition with a clean title history.
A few service records are available.

each requirement is worth 1.8%

Poor. KBB does not provide values for vehicles in poor condition.
2% of the vehicles fall into this category a car in this condition is not driveable, and could not have been involved in an accident.

So with some quick remapping of the percentages so we can get a 0-100% scale you get the following.

0% - 2% (3%) = excellent condition
3% - 25% (23%) = very good condition
26% - 76% (54%) = good condition
80% - 98%(18%) = fair condition
99% - 100%(2%) = poor condition

a car falls into the group that it has the most requirements satisfied.
if a car meets 7 of the 9 requirements for very good then the percentage used would be 20.85%
3 + (7 * 2.55) = 20.85

I know that most of you love your Solstices and keep them in top condition. my car having almost 60K miles on it had not 1 scratch. not 1 rock chip. the red embroidered GXP logo on the floor mats had not 1 single thread frayed. You would have had a hard time finding a grain of sand in my carpet. But look at the condition they have for for my solstice. making it out like the car is destroyed. This condition is not from a visual inspection of the car. the condition they are using is what they state most 12 year old vehicles with 60K miles on them are in. Well this sure as hell doesn't match what KBB states for 1. But for 2 how can they put a car into a category of fair when never actually doing a visual inspection of the car?? This is an unfair practice and another thing that is illegal in most states.

Even tho the condition of a vehicle should not be used to make any adjustments because the comparison vehicles are priced in a manner that accounts for their condition. We need to be amicable with the insurance company. They want numbers in all of their fields for the valuation. If you cannot provide a mechanism to put something in a field you are going to hit a road block. so put a number give them a sensible methodology to use. try to lower the number to get rid of it. Even tho we know it is unfair for them to reduce the value in the manner they want, if it makes them happy to have that field filled in with a number other then 0 then use the above way of giving them the number to fill the field with. It is a far way of determining an adjustment value based on a cars condition and an insurance company is not going to be able to argue that fact.

remember any time you deal with an insurance company in a total loss situation the goal is to get the fair market value for your car. You will need to provide the math and equations used to get the number you deem proper. That math has to be done in a way that has no openings for argument from them. every single point you make has got to be made that leaves no possibility of a rebuttable from the insurance company. Squash the argument before it can happen. Do not be hast when responding to them. Kepp on editing and updating and double checking any responses to them. read and then reread all responses from them. you need to find flaws in their responses and problems.

I noticed that no one has commented on what the problems with that original valuation. Now when I point these things out it's going to be a smack in the forehead.

Problem 1:
The Premium package includes leather seats. So reducing the value of a vehicle for not having the premium package and then seperatly reducing the value because it does not have leather seats is "double dipping"

Problem 2:
In the 2 comparisons used they have different values assigned to Alloy wheels. Why is one worth more then the other?

Problem 3:
There are 3 comparison vehicles listed but only 2 used. why is there a thrid one listed? This is done to confuse you and it should not be on the report.

Problems 4, 5 & 6:
Comparison Vehicle 1
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP Turbo 2D Convertible 1G2MG35X68Y115899 $12,200

The location on this vehicle states Denver Colorado. Upon doing a VIN search for the vehicle I discovered that the
vehicle has actually never been sold or put up for sale in Colorado. The vehicles last known location is in
Atlanta Georgia as of 03-13-2019.

There is this line directly following the description of the vehicle.
"The advertised price of $11,000 was adjusted to account for differences in vehicle description ($1,860) and typical negotiation."

11,000 + 1,860 = 12,860
12,860 is not the same as the comparison price of 12,200

This vehicle has Premium Audio listed as an option. While this option does not exist it could be considered that it has the Monsoon Audio option. My vehicle is listed on the valuation of not having this option but there is no adjustment made for this. (My vehicle does have the Monsoon Audio)

Problems 7,8, 9 & 10:
Comparison vehicle 2
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP Turbo 2D Convertible 1G2MG35X58Y109933 $9,219
This vehicle has been modified and is not original. It cannot be used for a comparison vehicle.

The listing for this vehicle on the dealerships website as inaccurate information about the vehicle. It states
that this vehicle has side curtain airbags which it does not. No Solstice was made with side curtain airbags.

There is this line directly following the description of the vehicle.
"The advertised price of $7,999 was adjusted to account for differences in vehicle description ($1,860) and typical negotiation."

7,999 + 1,860 = 9,859
9,859 is not the same as the comparison price of 9,219

Club Sport package is listed as a vehicle option in the description, This is not an option package that is available for a GXP and because the description of the vehicle is incorrect it cannot be used.

Problems 11 &12:
Comparison Vehicle 3
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP Turbo 2D Convertible 1G2MG35X88Y110915 $11,710
The location on this vehicle states Spokane Washington. Upon doing a VIN search for the vehicle I discovered that the
vehicle has actually never been sold or put up for sale in Washington. The vehicles last known location is in
Atlanta Georgia as of 2020-02-09.

Sport Metallic Pedals is not an option that is available for the vehicle. So either the vehicle description is incorrect or the car has been modified from it's original condition and cannot be used as a comparison vehicle.

Problem 13:
It is implied that an 18" wheel is an option. Pontiac Solstices only came with 18" wheels. this is standard.

Problem 14:
Comparison vehicle 3 states in the description as being in good condition at 98736 miles and carries a higher price then Comparison vehicle 2 that has no mention of the vehicles condition and has 60000 miles. That would mean that comparison vehicle 2 is in really bad condition but there is no adjustment made because of the condition.

There are a slew of other issues and that is only scraping the surface of why their valuation is bogus. When you pimp slap them with a response like that they are going to do better on the second one. Go over the second one as well You will find all kinds of blunders on it just like the first one.

It will get to the point where you will say.. "The system that is used by you to get the fair market value of a car is obviously flawed and is not repairable at this time. I suggest you use my valuation as I have provided all the methodology used to get the value. and that methodology is sound."

If anyone wants a copy of the program I wrote that will do a proper valuation let me know. I will spend some time and make a GUI for it and pretty it up. I m thinking about doing that anyway and putting it up on GitHub for anyone that wants to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't know what he pays for insurance, but around here the coverage that would pay for title, tax, etc for a replacement vehicle is prohibitively expensive, and I do not know of anyone who has actually done it. A lot of this really comes down to how the contract is written, and you can generally get whatever coverage you want to pay for. Unless you have actually paid for full replacement coverage I can also see only being able to get away with this once, since your insurance company is likely to drop you after you get them to pay twice what your car is worth.

I pay 778.68 a year for my Solstice. That is 50/100 liability, Collision and Comp with a 1000 deduct.

As far as sales tax, title and reg being paid by the insurance company check your state laws for insurance total loss claims. Read the laws very carefully. It may not be written as simple as "The insurance company must pay sales tax, title and registration". It could be written like "An Insurance company has the responsibility to provide funds to get the insured a comparable vehicle." In this single statement a comparable vehicle would be one that can be driven down the road. In order for you to be able to drive the vehicle down the road it needs to be titled and registered just like mine was. And you will never walk out the door of a dealership owning a car if you do not pay the sales tax. An insurance company has the responsibility to give you the funds to replace the car. When you purchase a car is the price on the windshield the price you have paid when you walk out?? No it is not. The insurance company has the responsibility to give you the funds to replace the car. that would be what needs to get paid to own the car. not the price that is stuck on the windshield. I believe that most states an insurance company has to do this. So that means that they have to pay sales tax, document fees and delivery fees. An insurance companies responsibility to pay title and registration fees will vary by state. Property tax will never get paid by an insurance company because most states if they have property tax will pro rate any left over and apply it to the new vehicle.
 

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About 2 years ago I was involved in an accident with my 08 GXP. One of those things you nver want to have happen. Here I am minding my own business and a full grown Elk bull decides it's wants to go for a drive with me. Well not really.. I was driving down the local state highway doing about 55-60 mph or so having a nice chat with my mom on the phone on a beautiful July morning at around 7:00 AM when an Elk decides it is going to jump over the guard rail on the other side of the street. Now mind you this whole scenario is not the fault of the elk. The elk has an uphill run that is fairly steep to get to the guard rail so he was moving along at a pretty decent pace. Once over the guard rail to his surprise there was a vehicle headed right at him. The elk decided to keep his momentum going and pick up the pace. And that he did, running full speed across the highway. I believe he was fully intent on the car that was coming at him and didn't notice my brigh yellow Solstice. Either that or the car was to low for him to see because all I saw was legs and the bottom of his chest out of the side of my eye. Think of the kid that is running and looking in any direction other then where he should be looking. Now picture that kid running into something like a sign or a telephone pole.

The words out of my mouth was ahhhh s*** (mind you I was on the phone with my mom when this took place). The top was up and the drivers window rolled about 1/2 way down. The elk slammed right into the car. I leaned over to the right hoping that I was not going to have a 900 LB animal come through the top of the car and end up on top of me. The elk hit with enough force that it put the car up on 2 wheels. Now I happened to lean back up in time and look out my rear view to see this 900 lb beast land right on the top of it's head.. well it's antlers and watched as the car behind me clipped it. Both me and the driver behind me pulled into the first parking lot that came up. I had to exit the car dukes of hazard style. Mind you no small task, the Solstice doesn't have old school Charger sized window openings. The guy driving the car behind me told me that when the elk hit it spun with it's back legs hitting the side of the nose and hood on the car then proceeded to roll onto the top of the car. When the car dropped back down onto all 4 wheels this is when the elk went airborne clearing the rest of the car and landing on it's head.

I have spent 2 years going back and forth with the insurance company as they quoted the damage at 4 grand. You do not have a 900 lb animal do a full impact into a vehicle at 45 MPH and not have the car totaled. The passenger door when closed was recessed into the vehicle body at the top and at the bottom it was sticking out past the body of the car. all of the plastic behind the seats has all popped and folder over each other like an accordion. The windshield frame was dented and the gap at the top if the windshield was wider on the passenger side of the car vs the drivers side. This meant the windshield frame had been pushed over at the top and the whole body of the car was also pushed over at the top. The bumper and hood alignment was all screwed up and there is a gap between the trunk lid and the rear quarter panel large enough to fit my pinkie in.

The seats are all scratched up because of the glass and the center console broke from me leaning over onto it with my elbow. The top got a small tear and I am sure the whole top frame get bent out of wack.

I finally managed to get the insurance company to total the car as it should be. with some squabbling back and forth I managed to squeeze them for about 20 grand

I plan to buy the car back from them for about 700 bucks or so. The car will NOT have to have a salvage title. This is because the car is not deemed to be unsafe to drive. It is being totaled because of the expense to repair the cosmetic damage. Insurance companies have to put LKQ parts on the car. so no fiberglass hoods and no vinyl convertible top. they have to replace both seat skins with new ones (expensive). They cannot tweak the door or the trunk lid to match the body. they MUST return the car to the same condition it was in before the accident that would mean replacing both rear welded quarters.

Now me on the other hand I can bend the door and the trunk so they line up properly. The rip in the top is on the edge bead and is not a hole through the top. I can have a new edge bead stitched on if I wanted to even bother with fixing it as the tear is about 1/2 a CM long. I am going to get a fiberglass hood. and I have never in my life seen a cow that matched the color of the seats in my car. The seats are painted with a special paint and that paint can be purchased for about 20 bucks a can, and that can is enough to do both seats. The top opens and closes without issue and the frame is not bent in a manner that an untrained eye can see.


I am going to fix the body damage so drivers door, hood, front bumper cover and painting the whole car.

RK sport hood 700.00
RK sport body kit 700.00
Front fenders 200.00
Drivers door 1000.00 if new I can probably locate one at a bone yard for less
Paint 4000.00

I am thinking somewhere around 6-7K to fix the body damage. I want to pocket 3 grand so that leaves 10 grand I can spend on upgrades. I did the water pump myself so I am able to do most upgrades without having to pay someone to do them. I have a local shop that can dyno and tune the car, the price is 100 bucks an hour for the tune. most tunes average 2 hours or so. I live at 8500 feet elevation on a dirt road so the wheels and tires stay and lowering is not an option either.

I am hoping to end up with a better Solstice after the accident then before it with pocketing some coin (possibly).

Any suggestions are appreciated. personal experiences are even better. There is quite a bit available for the GXP and I am sure that there are issues with some parts working properly with others and this information ahead of time would be invaluable.

Thanks for the assistance.
Kevin.H
Sorry about your solstice. I have a aggressive red gxp; yellow is my other favorite color. Can't believe you got 20k but good for you...hope it all works out.
 

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I have to begin the hunt for a quality body shop. someone that takes pride in the work they do. What sucks is that is a hard thing to come by these days. If I had a spray booth I would paint the thing myself. but investing 15K to buy a booth would be pretty pointless. Since the whole car is going to get painted I do not want to keep the over spray to as minimal as possible.

I am going to fit the new body panels myself and then I am going to tear down the car. The only things left in the car will be the engine and dashboard as I do not see a need to take these things out. I will get the body work done after I do the performance mods.

The performance upgrades is what I need some suggestions on. The gmpp upgrade I have read is pointless at 8000 foot altitudes I do not know how much truth there is to that I will have to do more looking into it. I know that I am going to do the full gambit of body/frame stiffening upgrades that can be done. There are a lot of roads that are twist as hell where I live. and when I say twisty this is what I mean.

108048


108049


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I am thinking I am also going to upgrade the turbo, intercooler, exhaust, big brakes, BOV, obviously a tune. IDK what else I should do.

When I did the water pump in the car I also changed out the thermostat (drilled a hole in the new one to help with bleeding the air out of the system) When I did that I had unplugged the wiring harness behind the block and head. when I put everything back in I didn't have one of the cam position sensors plugged all the way in.. When I first took the car out and my boost peaked at 23 PSI and settled at 21-22 that was quite a difference from the 19 peak and 17-18 settled I normally get.

Does anyone make a larger fuel delivery system?? I was toying with the idea of running e-85 as I can get this at quite a few gas stations somewhat close to me. I would need to be able to run dual fuel mappings one for pump gas and the other for e-85.
 
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