Posted on: 6 June 2018
Having your modified tuner car totaled is a devastating experience. All of the hard work you put into building the perfect custom ride gets undone in an instant. The best way to move on is to make sure you get the biggest insurance payout possible so you can put that money toward your next project car.
Research the True Value of Your Ride
Insurance companies will often undervalue cars in order to pay out as little as possible. That's especially true when it comes to rare tuner cars that have shot up in value in recent years. For example, tuner cars like the Toyota Supra, Mazda RX7, Nissan 240SX, and Honda S2000 have greatly appreciated in value due to their rarity and the drift racing scene exploding in popularity over the last decade.
Use online car marketplaces like Craigslist, Autotrader, and CarGurus to determine the true value of your car. Search for models that are the same year and condition as yours. Print off those pages so you can pass them on to your attorney later. They'll help prove how valuable your car is so the insurance company can't lowball you.
Document All of Your Modifications
On heavily modified tuner cars, the aftermarket parts can easily cost more than the vehicle itself. The insurance company you're dealing with will most likely try to offer you the value of your car without paying extra for all of the mods you've installed. You certainly don't want all of the money and time you've spent modifying your ride to go down the drain.
Gather all of the receipts you have for aftermarket parts you've purchased. If you had any parts installed professionally by a mechanic, gather those receipts as well. If you threw out any receipts, contact the parts manufacturers and shops and ask them to send you copies — they most likely have digital records of every transaction.
Get an Attorney to Do the Insurance Legwork
Arrange all of your documentation into a neat portfolio and present it to a car collision attorney at a law firm like The Accident Law Center. They'll be able to negotiate with the insurance company much more effectively than you can. While the insurance company may try to offer you a low-ball payout, they'll pay out the top dollar for your ride once an attorney is involved in order to keep themselves out of legal trouble.
Having an attorney do the legwork will also save you a lot of time and headaches from haggling back and forth with the insurance company personally. In the end, the larger payout you receive should more than cover the attorney's fee.
Salvage Whatever You Can
No matter how badly damaged your car is, you can probably salvage a lot of parts from it and sell them to other tuner car enthusiasts. Once you've received your payout, go to the salvage yard and offer to buy back your totaled ride. If the price is right, have it towed back to your house and start wrenching away.
First, strip off any undamaged aftermarket parts. Those will be the most valuable components to enthusiasts looking to modify their own cars. Then, strip off any stock parts that are potentially valuable to enthusiasts who are doing a restoration project on their cars — some of the most popular items will be the seats, interior trim pieces, suspension components, and engine accessories such as the alternator, air conditioning system, intake manifold, and wiring harness.
Once you have your car stripped, list all of the parts on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and automotive enthusiast forums. You can also try selling the shell of your car. Even if it's completely crumpled, it may be valuable to an enthusiast who wants to cut off body panels and chassis components to graft them onto their own damaged ride.Share