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Auto Insurance Claims/Salvage BuyBack Value on Totaled Van



I read your answer to another gentleman regarding salvage value that Insurance companies want to charge if you deem to buy back your totalled vehicle.  Mine has not made it to the salvage yard yet. It's in purely driveable condition and we need to keep from having another car payment. This Ins company says the buy back pertcentage normally is about 40%!  From your other answer it looks like 10% of the value is a more reasonable buy back figure.  Did I understand you correctly.  I'm talking about a 2001 Toyota van.  I am still negotiating with them and they are waiting on me.  I appreciate any information you can offer.

Thank you,

Hi Maria,

The value of a salvage vehicle is based on many factors such as the age of the vehicle, the popularity of the vehicle and the demand for it's parts. In general, the salvage value of a vehicle can range from 10% to 25% of the value of a standard un-wrecked vehicle. Generally, cars are at the lower end and pick up trucks are at the higher end.

When negotiating with the insurance company over how much they will deduct if you keep your vehicle, you should never take their word for it. Always require that they provide you with the name and phone number of the company they received a salvage bid from. If they can not or will not provide you with that information, you should assume they just made up a number. Do not accept any settlement amount until you have been able to call and verify that the salvage amount being deducted is a real amount that someone has actually offered to pay for your vehicle.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh  

Auto Insurance Claims

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Richard Hixenbaugh


Auto insurance claims procedure, auto coverage, liability issues, auto damage questions, how to deal with the insurance company, loss of use and diminished value.


I have been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. I have experience in underwriting, sales, claims adjusting, auto damage estimating, auto value appraising and diminished value appraising. I have testified as an expert witness over 35 times.

Society of Certified Auto Appraisers

Completed all required courses for the Florida Property-Casualty agents license and the Florida claims adjusters license. I have attended various courses on auto damage estmating, vehicle appraising and am ASE certified in collision damage analysis.

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