Automotive

Insurance question...is the car insured when I drive it or not?

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  • Dec 24th, 2022 2:42 pm
[OP]
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Aug 21, 2008
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Insurance question...is the car insured when I drive it or not?

I'll try to keep this story short...wife got into a collision where she's at fault. Accident wasn't bad but there's a lot of cosmetic damage. Was able to drive the car back home and leave it on the driveway while we contacted the insurance company. During this time, agent said an appraiser will come by to look at the vehicle and see if its worthwhile fixing (it's 8 yrs old). Appraiser visits on Friday and tells me he'll render a decision by Monday latest.

Monday - Get a call from insurance company and tells me it's a write-off and I have 3 days of rental coverage. Told me that another agent will be taking over the case since it's a write off.

Tuesday - Get a voicemail from insurance company telling me that they need some more information about the vehicle for a proper valuation (no problem, i'll give them whatever they need). They inform me that the vehicle is "not repairable" (I believe it exceeded the 70% value of the vehicle). They also believe the vehicle to be at an auto collision centre when it's on my driveway (I called them after hours and left them a voicemail about this).

So my question is this...if I drive the vehicle tomorrow for work (I leave for work at 6am before their office opens), is the car considered insured when I drive it even when I've been notified it's "not repairable"? As I haven't been advised "not to drive it"?

Thanks for any advice on this as it's a bit "murky" as the insurance company thinks for some reason it's at XYZ collision centre when it's not. And I can't seem to get in touch with anyone at 6am and it's past their evening hours right now.
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May 2, 2017
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That would be a question for your insurance company. They may have stopped coverage on the vehicle at this point if they deemed it a write off. Only your insurance company can tell you.

If they have stopped coverage and you get into another accident, could be a difficult situation.

Sounds like they offered you a rental anyway, so use that.
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-=phelan=- wrote: I'll try to keep this story short...wife got into a collision where she's at fault. Accident wasn't bad but there's a lot of cosmetic damage. Was able to drive the car back home and leave it on the driveway while we contacted the insurance company. During this time, agent said an appraiser will come by to look at the vehicle and see if its worthwhile fixing (it's 8 yrs old). Appraiser visits on Friday and tells me he'll render a decision by Monday latest.

Monday - Get a call from insurance company and tells me it's a write-off and I have 3 days of rental coverage. Told me that another agent will be taking over the case since it's a write off.

Tuesday - Get a voicemail from insurance company telling me that they need some more information about the vehicle for a proper valuation (no problem, i'll give them whatever they need). They inform me that the vehicle is "not repairable" (I believe it exceeded the 70% value of the vehicle). They also believe the vehicle to be at an auto collision centre when it's on my driveway (I called them after hours and left them a voicemail about this).

So my question is this...if I drive the vehicle tomorrow for work (I leave for work at 6am before their office opens), is the car considered insured when I drive it even when I've been notified it's "not repairable"? As I haven't been advised "not to drive it"?

Thanks for any advice on this as it's a bit "murky" as the insurance company thinks for some reason it's at XYZ collision centre when it's not. And I can't seem to get in touch with anyone at 6am and it's past their evening hours right now.
Yes, the car is still covered by insurance. You are the only one who can remove or cancel coverage. It is not automatic.

Also, coverage is not removed and should never be removed until you receive settlement.
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You may be able to "buy" the vehicle off the insurance company and keep it.
Cosmetic damage that doesn't need repairing or only needs minor structural repairs need not relegate the car to the junkyard.
That said how extensive is the damage?

70% of an 8 year old car can be extensive but it depends on the model and condition of the car. I have seen fender benders with 10K of damage as insane as that sounds.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
[OP]
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Quentin5 wrote: You may be able to "buy" the vehicle off the insurance company and keep it.
Cosmetic damage that doesn't need repairing or only needs minor structural repairs need not relegate the car to the junkyard.
That said how extensive is the damage?

70% of an 8 year old car can be extensive but it depends on the model and condition of the car. I have seen fender benders with 10K of damage as insane as that sounds.
Yeah that's what I'm thinking of possibly doing depending on whatever the buyback value is worth and fixing it privately. I figure the car's probably worth 15-16k in total but the problem is the damage is 2 doors, mirror and also the rear quarter panel (hole about the size of a hand in it near the gas). I figure the doors are probably 4-5k alone but the quarter panel that i'm unsure of as it'd need to be replaced and not just pulled out.
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I’d err on the side of caution and tow it to the collision centre if possible vs drive it.


If you are able to buy it back, might be most economical to go to wreckers and get replacement doors and quarter panel…..and see if a body shop can paint to match?
[OP]
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ji2o0k wrote: I’d err on the side of caution and tow it to the collision centre if possible vs drive it.


If you are able to buy it back, might be most economical to go to wreckers and get replacement doors and quarter panel…..and see if a body shop can paint to match?
I'm questioning why tow it to the collision centre at all vs having them tow it from my private residence? There's really no difference where they "tow it away from" correct? This is of course if I choose not to buy it back in their settlement offer.

just to update everyone I've called and left another voicemail for them to get in touch with me to discuss the valuation etc. this morning and will pose the question whether I'm allowed to drive it or not once I have them on the phone.
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-=phelan=- wrote: I'm questioning why tow it to the collision centre at all vs having them tow it from my private residence? There's really no difference where they "tow it away from" correct? This is of course if I choose not to buy it back in their settlement offer.

just to update everyone I've called and left another voicemail for them to get in touch with me to discuss the valuation etc. this morning and will pose the question whether I'm allowed to drive it or not once I have them on the phone.
If you get into an accident with another car, you can be deemed negligent since your car isn't safe to drive, ie your damaged car could have caused the accident. Difficult to prove maybe, but not worth the hassle.

Also, police can ticket you for driving an unsafe car.
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ji2o0k wrote: If you are able to buy it back, might be most economical to go to wreckers and get replacement doors and quarter panel…..and see if a body shop can paint to match?
This.

Doors are removable/swappable, mirror might not be too much but rear quarter panel can be expensive if its not a removable piece.
That said an 8 year old car, weld some sheet metal and paint over it, might look ghetto up close but keep the car till it dies if you can buy it out cheap and pocket the difference.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
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Jul 26, 2007
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Also consider whether current insurance co will insure your salvaged titled car. Some won't and some will. Might be best to move to another insurance co if the current refuses.
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Woah woah woah to anyone who drives a car in this condition and assumes they're still insured.

Review the terms of your insurance policy. The insurer is subject to provincial laws about how and when they can terminate your policy but you are also subject to the terms of your insurance contract, which should include limits as to when and what you can drive and remain insured.

Example: if your licence gets suspended and you drive and get in accident, your insurance policy wasn't terminated but, in Ontario at least, you sure as **** don't have insurance to cover you in that situation.

If there are any provisions in your insurance contract as to the condition of the car for which insurance is provided, you could be driving your way out of coverage by driving your maybe-written off car. I'd also add that, implicitly, I think your insurer told you not to drive that car so you can't convincingly claim ignorance here.
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peteryorkuca wrote: Also consider whether current insurance co will insure your salvaged titled car. Some won't and some will. Might be best to move to another insurance co if the current refuses.
I don't think you can insure (or drive on public roads) a "salvage" title car. But presumably, OP will have it repaired/inspected so it can be titled "rebuilt" and, at that point, I do not believe any insurer will insure it aside from Facility (the insurer of last resort). But I could be wrong.
[OP]
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Hey guys just wanted to update you on this...so the answer is yes I'm insured when I'm driving my "written off" car lol :) However, the claims advisor said that he "advises" not to drive a damaged car around town as it is considered "damaged". He did take note that I didn't use any rental car days and was willing to give me a "cash out" credit on this if we were to "settle" (yet to receive their initial offer).

Wow is all I gotta say...so when talked to the claims advisor he said the damage estimated to the car from the appraiser is just under 10k so it's past the threshold and thus it's written off for that reason (not structural damage). So I took the car to a auto body shop that my mechanic trusts and uses (i trust my mechanic) and asked them to take a look at it and asked them how much it would take to fix it privately, they said anywhere between 3500-4500 (for sure under 5k). They also said no structural or suspension damage either. Given the amount of damage originally estimated at 10k from the appraiser, and knowing that 70% is usually the threshold for write offs, could I assume they are valuing the car $14,285 (my math being 10000/.7)?

Additionally, the claims advisor said that the buyback amount is 65% of whatever the settlement value is...so if the settlement value is 14,285 x .65 = 9285.25 to buy it out...plus my 5k (assuming here to fix it privately) it'll cost me 14285.25 to fix it....

Just putting this out there...am I missing something in my math/logic?

Thoughts TIA...

edit: also what came up during our initial convo is that the car will not be branded...so no worries on salvage/rebuilt titles.
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when you buy a vehicle back without having the repairs done, the insurance company will request proof that you've repaired the vehicle in order to have coverage remaining on it...
-=phelan=- wrote: Hey guys just wanted to update you on this...so the answer is yes I'm insured when I'm driving my "written off" car lol :) However, the claims advisor said that he "advises" not to drive a damaged car around town as it is considered "damaged". He did take note that I didn't use any rental car days and was willing to give me a "cash out" credit on this if we were to "settle" (yet to receive their initial offer).

Wow is all I gotta say...so when talked to the claims advisor he said the damage estimated to the car from the appraiser is just under 10k so it's past the threshold and thus it's written off for that reason (not structural damage). So I took the car to a auto body shop that my mechanic trusts and uses (i trust my mechanic) and asked them to take a look at it and asked them how much it would take to fix it privately, they said anywhere between 3500-4500 (for sure under 5k). They also said no structural or suspension damage either. Given the amount of damage originally estimated at 10k from the appraiser, and knowing that 70% is usually the threshold for write offs, could I assume they are valuing the car $14,285 (my math being 10000/.7)?

Additionally, the claims advisor said that the buyback amount is 65% of whatever the settlement value is...so if the settlement value is 14,285 x .65 = 9285.25 to buy it out...plus my 5k (assuming here to fix it privately) it'll cost me 14285.25 to fix it....

Just putting this out there...am I missing something in my math/logic?

Thoughts TIA...

edit: also what came up during our initial convo is that the car will not be branded...so no worries on salvage/rebuilt titles.
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-=phelan=- wrote: I'll try to keep this story short...wife got into a collision where she's at fault. Accident wasn't bad but there's a lot of cosmetic damage. Was able to drive the car back home and leave it on the driveway while we contacted the insurance company. During this time, agent said an appraiser will come by to look at the vehicle and see if its worthwhile fixing (it's 8 yrs old). Appraiser visits on Friday and tells me he'll render a decision by Monday latest.

Monday - Get a call from insurance company and tells me it's a write-off and I have 3 days of rental coverage. Told me that another agent will be taking over the case since it's a write off.

Tuesday - Get a voicemail from insurance company telling me that they need some more information about the vehicle for a proper valuation (no problem, i'll give them whatever they need). They inform me that the vehicle is "not repairable" (I believe it exceeded the 70% value of the vehicle). They also believe the vehicle to be at an auto collision centre when it's on my driveway (I called them after hours and left them a voicemail about this).

So my question is this...if I drive the vehicle tomorrow for work (I leave for work at 6am before their office opens), is the car considered insured when I drive it even when I've been notified it's "not repairable"? As I haven't been advised "not to drive it"?

Thanks for any advice on this as it's a bit "murky" as the insurance company thinks for some reason it's at XYZ collision centre when it's not. And I can't seem to get in touch with anyone at 6am and it's past their evening hours right now.
Your insurance company would be able to answer that question correctly
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Op, when your mechanic assessed <$5,000 repair bill, is he going to use inferior aftermarket/ salvaged yard parts ? Insurance repair assessment will normally be for replacement of parts (whether it’s oe equivalent or oem), hence, part of reason for higher repair costs perhaps

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