So back in the beginning of last month I had a fender bender. Some lady changed lanes, didn't check her blind spot, and side-swiped me. Low impact collision and the only damage appears to be to the body. Clearly her fault (I have her on recording saying she didn't see me and how sorry she was), local PD issued a citation right there, and insurance accepted liability within the hour.
Anyway, my car isn't worth very much and I know that. The insurance company is telling me that he ACV of my car with all taxes, fees, etc. is about 3500 and that the salvage value is 350. I think its a bit higher but that's not the point of this post.
Now, I've had two estimates done. The first one, the insurance company sent a guy to my door to look it over. His estimate came back at about $2000. I then took it to the insurance's preferred repair shop and they came back with an estimate of about $2200, so that seemed to triangulate pretty well. A few days later I get a call from the insurance company stating that they were going to total it.
I protested this and pointed out that I'm in Texas which has a 100% TLT. They countered by saying that the preferred company, in addition to the estimate for 2200, has also passed along information indicating that another 500-700 of repairs might be needed. I asked where this documentation is and they said the repair shop wouldn't provide anything in writing (even though they provided the estimate in writing – WTF?). I pointed out that this still doesn't get them to the 100% TLT but they said something I've never heard: that while the 100% TLT applies to structural losses, they still refuse to fix a vehicle where the repairs exceed 75% of the ACV and are deeming it a "financial loss"
I called the repair shop and spoke to the gentleman who actually wrote the repair and he said he has no idea what they're talking about – that he wrote the estimate as accurately as he could, that there's no phantom $500-$700 in additional repairs floating around and that his opinion was that its all just body and cosmetic damage – no real structural damage to speak of (and, to be clear, I agree with that assessment due to the literal 4 mph impact speed and because I jacked up my car afterwards and looked at it for a good long while and didn't see anything out of the ordinary, took it on a good test drive, and everything checked out)
The fact that this additional $500-$700 has apparently materialized out of thin air, can't be verified in writing, and is just about the magical amount of money needed to get the car from "repairable" to "totaled" makes me think that something's screwy but of course I don't have a lot of experience with this and can't make heads or tales of it.
My own preference is that my car just get fixed which leaves me with a good car, and costs them about $1000 less – so I'm baffled why what appears to be the simplest, most straightforward, lowest cost option, is so problematic