Auto Insurance Claims/Total Loss x 2


In 7/11 I filed a claim for hail damage on my 2002 Honda Accord, 8/11 decided to keep the car; however the insurance company determined current value was $8626 but retained salvage value of $3500 and paid me $5026. I kept car due to perfect driving condition,major repairs and low mileage. Due to payout had to reduce insurance to liability.  10/11 was rear-ended twice and again car was determined a total loss due to severe rear damage.

Their insurance company determined car was valued at $5644 however subtracted $5000 for prior hail damage and my settlement would be only $644. I understand I'm not entitled to full value of the car but can I get salvage/scrap value from their insurance company since accident was not my fault? The towing company destroyed my car without my knowledge, I don't even know who paid the tow/storage bill or if insurance received money for destruction. I did not take this offer, what is the best way to find salvage/scrap value?  Or am I being unreasonable?

What rights do I have in the state of WI to fight for more than $644?  

I greatly appreciate your time and any assistance/info regarding this matter. Help me understand the process.


I dont know about Wisconsin law but this answer will apply to most states since we are talking about property damage. You have a separate legal claim against the towing company for additional damages they caused. And you must present your own hail damage estimate/s to the other insurer or small claims court judge. Negotiating salvage is very tricky. You have to make them think you dont want the salvage so they will lowball it, then "change your mind" after you have their lowball value in writing, and before you release interest in the car. Sneaky, but they do the same thing to you. You will get much more detail on these answers in the Total Loss Auto Advice Deluxe eBook at

Ron Cercone

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Ron Cercone


How to handle automobile total loss claims. I am the president of, which sells 29 different eBooks I have written on how to maximize various types of auto, home and business claims and how to get coverage on denied claims. You may view their tables of contents online. Also available are very specialized eBooks such as on EUO (Examination Under Oath) for example. Also available is an assortment of policy forms used by the most popular insurers. The eBooks have a money back guarantee and currently include personal consultation with Ron Cercone.


I have been adjusting insurance claims since 1980. 1980 to 1995 adjusting for many insurers (6 years as an independent adjuster with my own company). Currently working as a public adjuster in California, since 1995. I'm one of the few public adjusters who has handled automobile damage and total loss claims.

CAPIA (California Association of Public Adjusters).

BA 1975 in History and Industrial Arts. Full CV at .

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