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So yesterday, my car was totaled.

I was at a red light at the bottom of a bridge, and on the left lane there was a guy who was pushing his car because he was having car problems. 30 seconds into waiting for the red light to turn green, I looked into my rearview, I saw a Honda coming at me at least 45 mph. I saw him 2 seconds before he hit me, so I braced for impact. He pushed me to the other side of the intersection. I tried to exit the car but the feders trapped the door, so I climbed out the window. I went up to the driver and asked what happened with him and told him off for being reckless. He told me that he was distracted by the guy pushing his car because he wanted to help him out. So I called insurance and cops took a report.

Today the adjuster came and said the car is a total loss. He said they'll get back to me within a few days with an offer.

I've put a lot of time and money restoring this car, but I have a feeling they will try to lowball me. Has anyone had a similar experience? How much were you compensated? How can I make sure I get back what I put in?

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Since it is not your fault, get a lawyer. The other persons insurance company by law has to replace it for your valuation or make it whole again. They fix $35,000 Mercedes all day long. You need an advocate!


Your insurance company should support you in this, as they will try to recover anything they pay you.

Edited by ctc
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When my '77 was stolen years ago USAA asked if I had any photos of the car and could document any work I'd done on it since I purchased it.

I had one photo that showed that I'd repainted it and I created a list with best guesstimate values of the other things I'd done to the car.

I had purchased the car for $3,200 and sunk about $800 into it over 3 years.  They gave me $3,200. I figured I was willing to part with $800 for three years of enjoyment.

If you have repair records, lists of parts you purchased and their values and good photos get all that together.  Then a visit to crags list and Ebay for cars in similar condition/configuration and you should have a good case.

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Man it's hard to read and see a nice Z get totaled like that, good that you walked away. I would pull as many "comparable" examples for base pricing and dig up as many receipts/records/ etc that you can. Any photographs of aftermerket parts along with current price and value will also help. My insurance hagerty has always been great and has an agreed upon value but I would make sure your not letting your hard work go without a fight! Good luck and hopefully you find a good replacement.

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Sorry to hear about your car getting totaled, glad you're OK. 


Sounds you're on the right track to getting a valuation for your car. 


When you get another Z, definitely go with an agreed value insurance policy.  Since your Z is a 'classic car', you have some options.


I go through Hagerty (https://www.hagerty.com/) which specializes in older cars and offers agreed value policies, great customer service, and perks like flatbed towing.


My Z is fully insured with an agreed value of $16k for $232 a year.  You can adjust the policy as you upgrade to cover the new parts, just document it along the way.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That sucks and from the pictures looks like it was quite the hit.

This is the very reason I added a 3rd brake light to my 240. I had too many close calls with people panic stopping behind me, because they didn't realize I was stopped. Ever since I have noticed a great reduction in panic stops.

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