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Old 12-04-2013, 07:15 AM   #1
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2002 Aero Insurance Repair Question (Front End Parts)

Wasn't sure if this was best for this sub forum or General but here goes:
I'm looking for a few more sets of eyes on an insurance quote.

I rear-ended somebody at about 15 MPH (no injuries, no airbags) and made an insurance claim. My car ('02 9-5 Aero 5-speed) only hit (AFAICT) the spare tire mounted on the back of an '03 Jeep liberty and caused no damage to that vehicle. My front-end damage is to the drivers front and includes a crunched hood (that won't open), broken driver's headlight, scraped bumper, smooshed grille.

There might be more once they can pop the hood at the body shop. So far the estimate is at $3200 and the ACV (actual cash value) of the car is probably around $5-6k (they have a whole proprietary way of determining that through a third party like ADP). I have read that most insurance companies will total the vehicle at around 75% of ACV.

So what I'm wondering is if you all think there are more parts that should be considered above and beyond what the inspector has in his estimate I received today which is:

1. Replace Bumper Assembly
2. Replace Left Outer Grille
3. Replace Left Headlamp Assembly
4. Replace Left Park/Turn Lamp
5. Replace Upper Tie Bar
6. Replace Hood
7. Misc labor ~$1500

What comes to mind are things like:
Front-end alignment
Xenon bulb
plastic rivets
other front end stability hardware
A/C hardware
Radiator

My conundrum is that I want it fixed right but I also would rather not have the car "totalled" by bringing up the repair bill too much. I don't think I could replace this car for the ACV ($5-6k).

Any philosophizing is welcome, I've never made an insurance claim and my last accident was 20 years ago so I don't really know how this works. Thanks!

-Nick
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:48 AM   #2
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Buying that headlight assembly alone is crazy money new.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
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Buying that headlight assembly alone is crazy money new.
One thing I learned is that unless the car is almost new, they put used parts in whenever they can. In this case the headlight ass'y is $312 but it doesn't mention the $200 Xenon lamp.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by oldsmobuick View Post
One thing I learned is that unless the car is almost new, they put used parts in whenever they can. In this case the headlight ass'y is $312 but it doesn't mention the $200 Xenon lamp.
Arguably, you can buy a pair of aftermarket DS1's for around $60-70 and they seem to hold up.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:01 AM   #5
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I'm a body guy, but the squishy kind. My assumption is that misc labor includes an alignment.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by oldsmobuick View Post
One thing I learned is that unless the car is almost new, they put used parts in whenever they can. In this case the headlight ass'y is $312 but it doesn't mention the $200 Xenon lamp.
and if they cant get used they charge you the difference saying they "improved" the car.

i hate to say it but the car is probably totaled. and i agree that you wont be able to get the same quality etc for that ACV.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:47 PM   #7
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Pics

Thanks for the input, everyone. Here are some pics and I forgot to mention mileage is 101k.

http://s12.postimg.org/6pzedxn8d/photo_1.jpg
http://s29.postimg.org/usec3ea3b/photo_2.jpg
http://s24.postimg.org/or92mzx1h/photo_3.jpg

Last edited by oldsmobuick; 12-04-2013 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nowhereman View Post
and if they cant get used they charge you the difference saying they "improved" the car.

i hate to say it but the car is probably totaled. and i agree that you wont be able to get the same quality etc for that ACV.
Wow, I'm anticipating some tricks up their sleeve. As they say, the house always wins.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:03 PM   #9
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I have a 2000 Aero sitting here that has most of the parts you'd need to put the older style nose on it. They updated the body style in either 2001 or 02, so you'd have the previous lights and all that, but I *think* things should bolt up. I'm a 9-3 guy but maybe a 9-5 guru will chime in, I know there are guys who did the opposite and put the newer nose on the older body...so I bet you could go backwards

Anyway, that may be an inexpensive option if you wanted to pocket some money and just wanted to get a few more miles out of the old girl.

https://www.saablink.net/forum/items-sale/81722.htm
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:49 PM   #10
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I just had a similar accident with my 07. Brought it to an "authorized" repair shop who said "Saab is out of business, your car is going to be totaled because we can't get parts." So they produced a quote using all junk yard parts. Brought it to an actual Saab collision shop who sourced all brand new parts. The hood was $900 and the headlight was $900.

All in all it was $3,500 in parts for bumper, hood, headlight, corner lamp, grille headlight washer, yadda yadda. $900 in labor for install and refinishing and $250 in paint and materials. After tax it was ~$4,800 for a low speed crash with visually less damage then yours.

Granted our cars aren't the same, but all things considered, prepare for the bad news.

Most insurance companies consider it a total loss at 80% of value. Good news is using second hand parts you could likely buy it back and fix it cheap yourself for much less then the body shop estimate.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:04 AM   #11
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Granted our cars aren't the same, but all things considered, prepare for the bad news.
Thanks for the reply, I guess my total estimate would need to be under 75% of ACV. Let's say 6k, that would be $4500. If they don't find more than another $1200 of stuff after they get the hood open, I might be OK. But we'll see. I should hear from the inspector today and I'll post back with results. I am also, as you say, preparing for bad news. Maybe this will be my chance to try a NG 9-3. Not that that excites me too much but maybe I can find an Aero

Then again the ACV could come in at $4,500 just as easily, meaning I'm only $100 away from a total.

Last edited by oldsmobuick; 12-05-2013 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:30 AM   #12
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If you can, see if there is a Saab focused shop near you and/or get a couple of other estimates on repairs, gives you something to work with the insurance company.

Did you do any recent repairs or improvements, start digging up receipts or contact whomever did the work for documentation. Helps with the total value of the settlement.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:19 AM   #13
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If you don't want the car totalled, don't push for more/better parts.

Junkyard parts are just as good as the parts you have. pushing them for new/OE parts will drive up the price, and most new aftermarket parts are no better than junkyard stuff.
(fenders are usually thinner metal and/or ill fitting.)

Let them start the work and add to the claim if there's more. If you want better parts, you hash that out with the body shop. They are approved for a certain price on parts. if you can get better for the same price, they'll do it. If you want different parts and there's a difference in price, you pay the body shop, directly.

I had a claim a LONG time ago with my galant and the body shop billed the insurance company for the original 96 parts, and billed me the difference for the 94 "speed bump" hood, and 97+ nose/header panel/trim. It cost me something like $200, and I paid the shop directly.

Same with my wagon, actually.
There was damage to the oil cooler, FMIC, and something else, but since I re-used it all, I got a big credit towards the work done to paint the whole car. I ended up paying $1500to the body shop to paint the rest of the car, pull the dents, paint the trim, shave the wiper holes in the bumper, and some other little stuff.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:48 AM   #14
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Very interesting Craig, thanks for the strategy. I'll start shopping for the parts
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew in Houston View Post
I have a 2000 Aero sitting here that has most of the parts you'd need to put the older style nose on it. They updated the body style in either 2001 or 02, so you'd have the previous lights and all that, but I *think* things should bolt up. I'm a 9-3 guy but maybe a 9-5 guru will chime in, I know there are guys who did the opposite and put the newer nose on the older body...so I bet you could go backwards

Anyway, that may be an inexpensive option if you wanted to pocket some money and just wanted to get a few more miles out of the old girl.

https://www.saablink.net/forum/items-sale/81722.htm
I asked before, and I'm at work again. what color como is the car?
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:15 AM   #16
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Ha. OK, so I heard back from insurance appraiser who went to look at car after the body shop got the hood open. He said the car needs the following parts replaced in addition to those mentioned above in OP:
Opposite side headlight, radiator, condenser and intercooler.

He said he'd tell me on Monday if they can still fix it after he hears from his parts supplier. I don't see how it's even possible that they could fix it for less than %75-80 of ACV with all those parts needed. I'll keep the thread updated for anyone who's interested.

Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:30 AM   #17
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Actually that stuff probably only adds up to an extra $1000, BUT they seem to charge an arm and a leg for labor, so probably an extra $2000 to the original $3200 estimate.

Last edited by oldsmobuick; 12-06-2013 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #18
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Well, a lot of that is "while you're in there" labor.
If the bumper is off, the headlights fall out.
on the lift, a radiator, condensor and IC come right out.
Now, if the IC and condensor aren't leaking, let 'em re-use them.

and.. worst case, they total it, and you can buy it back to repair, or take the check.
None of the things that need replacing are major, aside from the bumper, as it's Welded to the car. The rest are "hand-tools in a driveway kinda stuff".
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #19
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So I got the call today that they are indeed totaling the car. I will find out what the buy-back cost is, but the ACV they assigned was $4700 which is about $1000 less than what I can replace the car for. I found the parts myself for about $1500 so maybe I will buy back if the cost of parts, car, whatever labor I can't do myself (upper tie bar and bumper repair) and paint comes in under $4700 minus my $500 deductible. Otherwise, I guess I'll just buy a cheap beater. Thanks for the help along the way guys.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:01 AM   #20
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I didn't read the posts above, but if you let them total the car, you will have a hard time putting it back on the road, because it will get a salvage title. Depends on your state for how big of a deal that will be.

You might want to explain the situation to the insurance adjuster to see if they will give you $1 less than the "totaled" value, so you can keep the title clear. EDIT: and you also get to keep the car this way, not having to "buy it back."

That worked well for me in the past (I live in PA, where salvage titles are hard to resurrect)
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