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  #31  
Old 02-24-2010, 07:49 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Posts: 307
My SD was totaled over a year ago.

The car saved my life and my decisions saved the lives of the teenagers texting on the phone causing the driver to lose control and stall SIDEWAYS on the Interstate where the speed limit was 70 mph at night.

The insurance company offered me $1,500.00 for my car, which made me mad for the insurance company to value my life at $375.00 when you consider their offer of $1,500.00 divided by four; my life, two passengers lives in the other car that I hit nearly head on in her gas tank area and hit 2 feet from driving directly into the driver and $375.00 for my car for a total of $1,500.00 .

It insulted me greatly to say the least. Anyway, I went to find the LAW that insurance companies operate under in the State of Alabama. LO and BEHOLD the car insurance law is found in the DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE. It was unbelievable. Drivers are required to carry a minimum of approximately $25,000.00 liability insurance to drive ANY car including beaters. But when an accident occurs, the insurance company can total the car if the value of damage is 75% of the "RETAIL" value of a similar car. UNBELIVABLE! I had gotten estimates from Mercedes Benz on what it would cost to repair my car and the cost exceeded $41,000.00 with $1,500.00 just for the HOOD, unpainted. The insurance lobbies have the law written in Alabama where the actual costs to repair your car is NOT in the equation. A quote from a KBB or NADA or some other entity SELLING cars is what is used to establish the value of the car. I was furious. If you use NADA to determine value then NADA should be used to determining how much liability coverage a driver needs to buy from an insurance company. Most cars on the road, I would guess 63% are not even valued at $25,000.00, the minimum liability a driver needs. In other words, the insurance company sells $100,000.00 policies, BUT expect to value my car that WAS NOT FOR SALE on the night it was totaled based on what somebody else's car SOLD for, which had nothing to do with my wreck and property damage and especially had nothing to do with what I valued my Mercedes Benz car for: its safety record and for the fact that some can go one million miles or more.

Anyway, I told the insurance company I would talk to them NEXT YEAR (a whole year later) about the wreck that their driver caused, since they COULDN'T be serious in their offer to me. I even told them that my car cost almost $40,000.00 in 1980's dollars. They increased their offer each time I spoke to them, but their offer wouldn't even fix MY ENGINE that their driver destroyed. Plus, the TOW YARD made more money on the deal than they offered to pay me and all the TOW YARD did was let the car sit on their lot at $15.00 per day after charging $150.00 to tow my car 6 miles or less.

Anyway, I told the insurance company they could keep their ridiculous offer if that was the best they could do. If I was driving a $15,000.00 late model Chevy; I would be dead about now or at least had a good chance to be dead after the crash. I thought the insurance folks were stupid or something to even offer me such an insulting offer, when selling $25,000.00 minimum policies in Alabama, which I told the insurance company I wanted the whole $25,000.00 for my car (the minimum liability coverage their driver purchased), since their driver had coverage of a minimum of $25,000.00 and the girl's mother said they had $100,000.00 coverage. Suppose the same applied to buying LAND? Ridiculous!

I will be working on my State representatives and ask them how can they sell out the PEOPLE to companies in this manner. Hopefully when I call them to ask for their next offer; they will pay me in accordance to what insurance coverage is in existence or based on what it COST to repair my car and NOT based on what somebody else sold their car for who may have sold their car just to buy some crack as far as I know for why they sold their Mercedes so CHEAPLY, which I thought the insurance people handling my case must have been smoking crack what with the low offer they offered me, when I was driving a car that saved my life as well as saved their passengers lives.

I also noted in the law that insurance companies have to pay for OTHER costs like rental car fees, tow yard fees, medical fees and other associated fees. I was so frustrated that I stopped reading the law and will have to go back and re-read everything just in case I have to explain the scenario to a lawyer if the insurance company can't do better toward making me whole, when I could have been dead if it weren't for me driving that $40,000.00 when bought new Mercedes Benz car.

BenzDiesel


Last edited by BenzDiesel; 02-24-2010 at 08:23 PM.
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  #32  
Old 02-24-2010, 11:07 PM
A work in process...
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 985
I think the law should read: replacement of car with one of equal or greater value based on condition of car at time of accident OR rebuild car to original specifications and pay fee to owner for markdown due to accident OR cash settlement based on comp price of vehicle - whichever is higher or preferred by owner.
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1981 240D ChinaBlue (Got her running with a donor engine.)
1983 300DTurbo w/sunroof.
1984 300TD manual sunroof. (Electrical Gremlins)
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  #33  
Old 02-25-2010, 08:49 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,908
That might mean that insurance rates will go up, and marginal folks, who cannot afford to protect themselves properly (and thus defer losses onto others) may not be able to drive.

Cry me a river... but likely there would be all sorts of outcry.

Being one of the folks screwed by insurance companies, Im all for your plan.
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Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (169k)
1991 350SD (113k)
1991 350SD (206k)
1991 300D (228k)
1993 300SD (291k)
1993 300D 2.5T (338k)
1996 Dodge Ram CTD (442k)
1996 Dodge Ram CTD (265k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)
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  #34  
Old 02-25-2010, 09:37 AM
Certifiable
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Out on the old Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 332
Cliff notes version of accident in which my 300E was totalled:

1) Other driver totally at fault, per her insurance company, State Farm.
2) My car before accident: 1986 300E, 190K, very nice
3) My car after accident: (Thanks to State Farm) 2000 E320, 69K
4) No out of pocket expense to me.

Happy Ending

Darthgrader, I hope you have a similar good outcome.

[EDIT:] I just reread the original post. Darthgrader: Other driver was at fault. Shouldn't you be dealing with the other driver's insurance company, given the circumstances of the accident?
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62 220sb
67 250S
72 280SE 4.5
74 280C
77 300D
82 240D
85 190E 2.3
86 300E RIP 12/28/09
85 300SD
92 300D 2.5
00 E320 Current
Over 1,000,000 miles in Benzes, Since66

....and a whole passel of BMW 2002 and Tii

Last edited by Since66; 02-25-2010 at 09:44 AM.
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  #35  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:50 PM
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W123 Forever!
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: So. Cal., born and raised. Never left, though I fantasize about it often.
Posts: 45
Thought I'd tell you all how it came out.

I got $7350 for the car from my insurance company. The appraiser was really impressed with my car, at least from the passenger's side!

My insurance paid because the other driver had a lying witness who came flying out of a nearby restaurant to say my light was red, while my two witnesses, who were actually standing at the corner waiting to cross at the time, said just the opposite. (There may have been a racial component there, sadly.) Conflicting witnesses means the police would not assign fault, but I know my light was green.

How I did I get this result? Comps did nothing. I fought with Farmers for six weeks, flooded them with local sales figures; they would not budge. They pulled out every nasty trick they could think of, including calling a local Mercedes dealer who does not sell older cars to establish value. (Wholesale value, doubtless.) It was very unpleasant. I filed a complaint with the Dept. of Insurance, sent letters to supervisors, did everything I could. Nothing worked.

I finally used my appraisal clause. This cost me $400 extra, but given that I was originally going to get $3,700, it was worth it, big time. I can't find any super clean 300Ds around here for anything like $4K. Lots that need plenty of work, but nothing really nice.

I hope I'm never in this position again, but if I am, I'm going to straight to appraisal. It would have saved me tons of grief.

I can't wait to find my new old 300D. It is so hard not be impatient! I am even dreaming about it. I am neglecting my work so that I can search for cars. (Of course, when I had my car I was neglecting my work lurking around here!)

I thank all the people who helped me get through this and gave me encouragement and tips. People here have spent time on the phone with me, freely giving time to help a stranger. People have been patient with my moaning about losing the car in every other post.

I don't know what I'd do without you guys. You made a horrible situation much, much better.
__________________
Current car:
1982 300D A New Hope! Three-plus tons of China blue steel, rubber, and magic.

Past cars:

1985 300D, Glorious anthracite on black. Gracie. (R.I.P.)
The rest were crappy--including a 1970 Orange Gremlin.
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  #36  
Old 03-29-2010, 10:24 PM
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never enough time...
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darthgrader View Post
I finally used my appraisal clause. This cost me $400 extra, but given that I was originally going to get $3,700, it was worth it, big time. I can't find any super clean 300Ds around here for anything like $4K. Lots that need plenty of work, but nothing really nice.
Appraisal clause? Can you explain how this works?
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  #37  
Old 03-30-2010, 01:50 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Posts: 6,510
Possibly the same as here. The insurer uses an appraiser or adjuster. You are also allowed to get one of your own at your expense to determine value.

The best option usually is to launch suit in small claims court against the actual guilty party. This will usually get the insurance company moving as they do not want a situation directly out of their control. They are conrol freaks by nature. Small claims court is cheap and has a current limit here of 50K.

Last edited by barry123400; 03-30-2010 at 01:56 AM.
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  #38  
Old 03-30-2010, 02:10 AM
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W123 Forever!
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: So. Cal., born and raised. Never left, though I fantasize about it often.
Posts: 45
That's mostly correct. I don't know if every comprehensive policy has such a clause, but I think most do.

The way it works is, if either party calls for appraisal, the other must participate. It can be instigated by either the insurance company or the insured at any time. Each party, at their own expense, hires its own "independent" appraiser.

So each appraiser independently arrives at his/her own value, and the two meet, battle it out, and agree on a value. This appraised value is absolutely legally binding for both parties--no recourse whatsoever.

In some cases, a third party referee has to come in if the two appraisers cannot agree, but this is unlikely except for big money cars.

In my case, I hired a real appraiser, meaning someone who actually comes and sees the car, takes pictures, etc. Fortunately there was enough left of my car to get a clear idea of the condition prior to the accident. One can get cheap online appraisals, but these are nothing more than market valuations, really. (Of course, the insurance company didn't pay for a proper appraisal, and this probably worked in my favor!)

It's the only way to go with an older car.
__________________
Current car:
1982 300D A New Hope! Three-plus tons of China blue steel, rubber, and magic.

Past cars:

1985 300D, Glorious anthracite on black. Gracie. (R.I.P.)
The rest were crappy--including a 1970 Orange Gremlin.
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  #39  
Old 03-30-2010, 02:35 AM
Skid Row Joe's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: #KeepingAmericaGreat!
Posts: 7,071
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darthgrader View Post
Thought I'd tell you all how it came out.

I got $7350 for the car from my insurance company. The appraiser was really impressed with my car, at least from the passenger's side!

My insurance paid because the other driver had a lying witness who came flying out of a nearby restaurant to say my light was red, while my two witnesses, who were actually standing at the corner waiting to cross at the time, said just the opposite. (There may have been a racial component there, sadly.) Conflicting witnesses means the police would not assign fault, but I know my light was green.

How I did I get this result? Comps did nothing. I fought with Farmers for six weeks, flooded them with local sales figures; they would not budge. They pulled out every nasty trick they could think of, including calling a local Mercedes dealer who does not sell older cars to establish value. (Wholesale value, doubtless.) It was very unpleasant. I filed a complaint with the Dept. of Insurance, sent letters to supervisors, did everything I could. Nothing worked.

I finally used my appraisal clause. This cost me $400 extra, but given that I was originally going to get $3,700, it was worth it, big time. I can't find any super clean 300Ds around here for anything like $4K. Lots that need plenty of work, but nothing really nice.

I hope I'm never in this position again, but if I am, I'm going to straight to appraisal. It would have saved me tons of grief.

I can't wait to find my new old 300D. It is so hard not be impatient! I am even dreaming about it. I am neglecting my work so that I can search for cars. (Of course, when I had my car I was neglecting my work lurking around here!)

I thank all the people who helped me get through this and gave me encouragement and tips. People here have spent time on the phone with me, freely giving time to help a stranger. People have been patient with my moaning about losing the car in every other post.

I don't know what I'd do without you guys. You made a horrible situation much, much better.
$7,350 is a large sum of money for a 25 year old 300D. If I read what you posted correctly. Sounds like you made out fine on the deal.
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  #40  
Old 03-30-2010, 01:52 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: So. Cal., born and raised. Never left, though I fantasize about it often.
Posts: 45
Thanks, SkidRow Joe. I think it was fair, and I would not have gotten there without help from these boards.

Would I have been able to sell my car for $7K right now in So. Cal. -- probably not. $6K range, almost assuredly. It was in beautiful shape: second owner, full service records, 180K documented miles, totally stock, etc. (Though the appraiser did ding me a little for my filthy undercarriage and engine compartment. When I find another car, I'm going to have to get with you guys to learn to maintain these properly.)

The appraisal clause definitely benefits the insured, since they rely heavily on what current cars are selling for--not completed sales. And since the insurance considers these amounts "small change," they are unlikely to kick up a third-party fuss.

I just looked at a 82 300D at a small local dealer. He was asking $3,500. The car was an absolute mess. Took three times to start it up. It had cosmetic issues galore, too. He said the dash had a "small crack" by the AC vents. There were two cracks, in fact, positively cavernous. I don't think Leatherique would have cut it! Lots of bits were missing, too. It was clear the car was very poorly treated.

I am sure he'll sell it, but I don't have the chops or the garage for such a project. Too bad. It was really cute from 50 feet away--cream yellow on BLACK. It was the black interior that got me out the door to see the car.
__________________
Current car:
1982 300D A New Hope! Three-plus tons of China blue steel, rubber, and magic.

Past cars:

1985 300D, Glorious anthracite on black. Gracie. (R.I.P.)
The rest were crappy--including a 1970 Orange Gremlin.
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  #41  
Old 03-30-2010, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darthgrader View Post
Thanks, SkidRow Joe. I think it was fair, and I would not have gotten there without help from these boards.

Would I have been able to sell my car for $7K right now in So. Cal. -- probably not. $6K range, almost assuredly. It was in beautiful shape: second owner, full service records, 180K documented miles, totally stock, etc. (Though the appraiser did ding me a little for my filthy undercarriage and engine compartment. When I find another car, I'm going to have to get with you guys to learn to maintain these properly.)

The appraisal clause definitely benefits the insured, since they rely heavily on what current cars are selling for--not completed sales. And since the insurance considers these amounts "small change," they are unlikely to kick up a third-party fuss.

I just looked at a 82 300D at a small local dealer. He was asking $3,500. The car was an absolute mess. Took three times to start it up. It had cosmetic issues galore, too. He said the dash had a "small crack" by the AC vents. There were two cracks, in fact, positively cavernous. I don't think Leatherique would have cut it! Lots of bits were missing, too. It was clear the car was very poorly treated.

I am sure he'll sell it, but I don't have the chops or the garage for such a project. Too bad. It was really cute from 50 feet away--cream yellow on BLACK. It was the black interior that got me out the door to see the car.
I appreciated learning this informative thread.

Unless we are driving a POS, most of us are in that same insurance boat if our MB gets totalled. Even with a sizeable check in our hands, -where am I going to find a car like mine with like care and treatment? The answer is I'm not going to find a car like mine - one bought new, and garaged - with mileage on the low end like mine.

Good luck in your new replacement car search. You ought to be able to find a gem if you will hold out and patiently shop for what you deem acceptable. The only problem is that it may take you several weeks of time seeing the cars in person that come up for sale.
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  #42  
Old 03-30-2010, 03:32 PM
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You have several editions of craigslist to peruse

This might help a bit ... http://crazedlist.org/

And dont forget the recycler !

Side street weekend cruising has been known to work too.
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1992 940T

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  #43  
Old 03-30-2010, 06:07 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Posts: 6,510
Post on our cars for sale portion of this site. Be quite specific what you are looking for. Costs nothing and might flush something good out.

Another place worth pursuing might be contact with the mercedes benz club of america. Otherwise I can almost see an extensive time consuming hunt.

You have to seek out the good ones. They usually will not cross your path easily unless you are not looking for them.

My wife must have hunted long and hard before coming up with me. Well she probably did not know any better and figured I was a fixer upper that she could restore. . Work in progress still I guess .

Last edited by barry123400; 03-30-2010 at 06:18 PM.
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  #44  
Old 03-30-2010, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Posts: 1,470
SoCal is normally hog heaven for clean Mercedes of this era. but don't for get about Northern California, I'm thinking the bay area. there are some nice cars up here. A friend of mine on a budget picked up an 85 300D for $1500, I know it would not compare to your old car, but I bet its nicer then the one you looked at at that dealership. I have another friend who is a Mercedes "jack of all trades" he will do everything from change your oil in your driveway for you to shop for cars for people. He really know his old Mercedes Diesels. He looked at a car for a customer at one of the local used car lots about a month ago, and they wanted $3,500 for it. he said it was maybe worth $800. It had been repainted and looked real nice on the lot, but opening the hood changed all that. Suppose what I'm saying is dealerships are going to screw you. and if you look you will find a gem, in any price range.

Another friend of mine lost his 300D in the same way you did... T-Boned. He was walking into the grocery store one night and an old couple pulled up in a car that was a dead ringer for his car, only in nicer shape and with extremely low miles. He walked up to the old gentleman and told him that he really liked his car. Seems the old man was at the store looking for a "for sale" sign for the car. my friend told him he would like to buy it, but his budget was tight. The old man must have really liked my friend, because he sold him the car for $1,500!!! and I can honestly say its at the very least its a $6,500 car.

Keep your chin up. they are out there!

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