Join Date: Dec 2007
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Thanks, everyone. I had no idea the black was a "skin" over the safety cage. I thought it was the cage!
We dropped it off for the "express" repair. They will appraise, and either repair, or notify us if it can't be repaired.
I was an insurance agent for many years. You are correct, if the cost of repairs exceeds the book value of the car, it is considered a total. On older cars, some companies will use a different formula, but it is a pretty good rule of thumb.
Georgia has very strict laws regarding "salvage" titles. The law was intended to eliminate junkers, but at the same stroke, they unintentionally eliminated keeping a car with simple cosmetic damage as well. You have to repair the vehicle, make an appointment (can take as long as six months), have it TOWED to one of two or three inspections in the state, provide repair receipts, and then they inspect test it to make sure it still retains it's structural integrity or safety or whatever. I used to have fits explaining this to my insurance customers, who couldn't understand why they couldn't take a slightly lower check, and keep the car as well. Oh, boy!
The lady who checked us in said they had some experience with Smarts. She said that, because there was scrapes to the wheel, they would be required to measure to make sure the frame wasn't bent, and something about doing a laser scan or measurement of the dent, to see if it was more or less than Smart's recommended tolerance for repair. She felt that after eyeballing it, they might go ahead and fix it.
TBH, we test drove the 2017 Smart during the road trip campaign, and both loved it, but we've had five 2008's and have had such outstanding luck with the things, I would be halfway tempted to find another '08. The old ones have such great personalities. We are as attached to them as we are the dog, lol.