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Dinged Frame = Totalled Truck?


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So, I went to Colorado this summer camping with my family and took a few off-road trails. I planned on removing my running boards before I left, but forgot about them. On one trail, I encountered some pretty large rocks and bent my passenger-side running board into my rocker panel. The damage is minimal, but the passenger door is sticking slightly at the bottom.

 

A couple of days ago I dropped it off at a reputable shop for an estimate and they got back to me yesterday after a thorough inspection. They said that my frame has some dings/scrapes/dents, and therefore the insurance company will likely declare my vehicle a total loss as they can't repair the frame and won't approve a replacement. I asked them to ignore the frame "damage" as they appear "cosmetic" to me (and my truck still drives great), but they said that they can't as they're a "preferred" body shop by my and most other insurance companies. They won't do partial repairs - it's all or nothing for liability reasons.

 

This is the body shop manager talking, not my insurance, but they plan to file the claim with insurance today or tomorrow and then my insurance should be calling me. They said that I might be able to take a partial payment and repair it someplace else, but that the insurance might want to issue me a salvaged title. Anybody familiar with this type of thing? I was expecting a couple of grand in repairs, but now they're claiming a total loss?

 

What do you think? Thanks.

 

 

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That's the biggest load of BS I've ever heard. Of course they can pull the frame (assuming that is all that is wrong). Every body shop on the planet that is worth a damn should have a frame puller. I'd find another body shop, the insurance company can't force you to use "theirs".

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That's the biggest load of BS I've ever heard. Of course they can pull the frame (assuming that is all that is wrong). Every body shop on the planet that is worth a damn should have a frame puller. I'd find another body shop, the insurance company can't force you to use "theirs".

No, they can't force you, but you have to understand what happens if you don't use a preferred shop... Typically, a preferred shop can be leveraged by an insurance company to re-do a repair. And, if the preferred shop doesn't / can't fix the issue to your satisfaction, the insurance company will pay to have it done elsewhere.

 

You don't get the same level of guarantees if you go to a non-preferred shop. Additionally, the labor rates may not be locked down and you could end up with a portion of the repair costs coming out of pocket.

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They said that my insurance only allows replacements with this type of damage, but I didn't qualify for some reason. Maybe too expensive?

 

I should know more when the estimate is filed and insurance adjuster calls me. My agent said that since I have a clean record that it wouldn't affect my rates much if any. Plus they filed it under comprehensive instead of a collision claim. So I might take the loss and get another if that really is an option. I have really wanted the magnetic suspension...

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I'd go to another shop for an estimate, either you are way under selling the damage as you describe it to us, or they are way overselling it to the insurance company. One of the benefits of being a preferred shop is that an insurance adjuster rarely writes their own estimate, taking the shops word for it. I've worked in a shop and we've repaired roll overs, replaced frame rails, almost complete front end from frame up. Don't know what your truck is worth, but if you have to have a lot of damage done to total a nearly new truck. Possible I guess if you already have 150k+ miles on it already, and the rest of it looks like you let a blind man drive it, but unlikely unless you are under selling the damage.

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Sounds like major BS to me. If the frame just has dings and scratches then it is fine, if it is bent it is not fine. I work in the timber industry and I beat the hell out of trucks 5 days a week and everything get scratched or dented, including the frame. It sounds to me like you want another truck though so if that is what you want then go for it but if not then take it to another shop and tell them to fix what you want fixed.

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There is other damage - they gave me a verbal guesstimate of $5-7k when I dropped the truck off. Repaint front bumper due to scratches. Replace plastic bumper trim pieces. Replace running boards. The rocker panel repair and repaint. Replace 2 tires for sidewall tears. Repair/replace a couple of wheels for bad gouges. The exhaust got stretched to the rear at the isolator and needs some work or replacement. Rear bumper step got melted by exhaust. Rear bumper bracket. And buff out a couple of scuffs on both sides from tree branches down the sides.

 

That's what I knew about when I dropped it off. The blue book value is $43-$46 still, and they declare a total loss at 70% of value = ~$30k. Maybe the shop went way overboard on the other repairs? But even if the other damage jumped up to $10k, I can't see the frame replacement costing $20k. This is why I'm shocked and posted my situation on here. I was curious if anybody knew something that I don't. I have Farmer's Insurance FWIW.

 

They did say taking the vehicle to a non-preferred shop might be an option, but all the responsibility of the repairs would be on me - as the other posted mentioned. The insurance would cut me a check for their estimated damage and tell me to repair whatever I wanted. I'm not willing, nor have the time, to mess with that. And I'm not going to drive around in a damaged Denali. If I went that route, I'd repair everything besides the frame. But then I'd be risking a lower re-sale value if somebody notices the frame "damage" on resale or trade-in. I think the best thing for me financially, if it comes to it, would be to take the loss and buy a new vehicle. That way I avoid whatever additional depreciation in the future for a damaged/repaired vehicle.

 

Anyway, I'll know more tomorrow hopefully. For sure Monday.

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There is other damage - they gave me a verbal guesstimate of $5-7k when I dropped the truck off. Repaint front bumper due to scratches. Replace plastic bumper trim pieces. Replace running boards. The rocker panel repair and repaint. Replace 2 tires for sidewall tears. Repair/replace a couple of wheels for bad gouges. The exhaust got stretched to the rear at the isolator and needs some work or replacement. Rear bumper step got melted by exhaust. Rear bumper bracket. And buff out a couple of scuffs on both sides from tree branches down the sides.

 

 

So, I went to Colorado this summer camping with my family and took a few off-road trails. I planned on removing my running boards before I left, but forgot about them. On one trail, I encountered some pretty large rocks and bent my passenger-side running board into my rocker panel. The damage is minimal, but the passenger door is sticking slightly at the bottom.

 

 

You and I must see "minimal damage" differently. Hope you get it fixed up.

If you were banging the fame enough to bend brackets and the underside, I could see some hidden damage that may not be visible to naked eye.

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There is other damage - they gave me a verbal guesstimate of $5-7k when I dropped the truck off. Repaint front bumper due to scratches. Replace plastic bumper trim pieces. Replace running boards. The rocker panel repair and repaint. Replace 2 tires for sidewall tears. Repair/replace a couple of wheels for bad gouges. The exhaust got stretched to the rear at the isolator and needs some work or replacement. Rear bumper step got melted by exhaust. Rear bumper bracket. And buff out a couple of scuffs on both sides from tree branches down the sides.

 

That's what I knew about when I dropped it off. The blue book value is $43-$46 still, and they declare a total loss at 70% of value = ~$30k. Maybe the shop went way overboard on the other repairs? But even if the other damage jumped up to $10k, I can't see the frame replacement costing $20k. This is why I'm shocked and posted my situation on here. I was curious if anybody knew something that I don't. I have Farmer's Insurance FWIW.

 

They did say taking the vehicle to a non-preferred shop might be an option, but all the responsibility of the repairs would be on me - as the other posted mentioned. The insurance would cut me a check for their estimated damage and tell me to repair whatever I wanted. I'm not willing, nor have the time, to mess with that. And I'm not going to drive around in a damaged Denali. If I went that route, I'd repair everything besides the frame. But then I'd be risking a lower re-sale value if somebody notices the frame "damage" on resale or trade-in. I think the best thing for me financially, if it comes to it, would be to take the loss and buy a new vehicle. That way I avoid whatever additional depreciation in the future for a damaged/repaired vehicle.

 

Anyway, I'll know more tomorrow hopefully. For sure Monday.

 

Holy, how hard were you offroading?!

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