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Discussion Starter #1
Driving home from work in my 2001 Insight last night, I hit a deer that suddenly ran out in front of me. I was going about 50-55 mph at the time of the collision. At the very least it appears that the hood, left front fender, left headlight/turn signal assembly, and front bumper/valance panel will have to be replaced. No broken glass and no airbag deployment (which surprised me a little bit). The deer did not survive the crash and I was only shaken up.

The Insight was still running after the collision but based on the condition of the hood I opted to have it flatbedded to my dealer. I don't have a terribly high opinion of insurance adjusters and considering the car I was hoping some of you here could tell me if I (or the adjuster) should be looking for other signs of structural or mechanical damage. I'd say the damage is easily in the $3K-$5K range as it is but I don't think my insurance company will total the car. Your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That was the first thing I did-with no luck.

I just got back from taking some digital photos of the car and discovered that in addition to the aforementioned damage, the right front fender has a huge hole in it, presumably from the right hood hinge being literarlly ripped off the body. There is also some leaking coolant and it looks as though the radiator was pushed back somewhat.
 

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I've had three deer encounters with my Insight, but none head on, except the deers head hitting the headlight, and not quite at that speed. I've just had body damage, side mirrors, fenders, door, right headlight. The deers seem to like running into the side of the car. The most expensive of the three was about $1800. $5000+ with what you describe may be a good guess. I wouldn't put it past the Insurance Co to total it. Good luck. What company do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm insured through USAA, a company that caters exclusively to military officers and their families. After looking at the car some more I'm inclined to agree with your thought that it'll be declared totalled. The problem for me is that the nearest Insight I could find for sale is almost 200 miles away.

If I knew whether pix could be included with posts and if so, how to do it, I'd be glad to post some photos of the car.
 

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Insight parts

are sometimes hard to get new.....I just fixed one with considerable front end damage,and my advice......fix it...it is worth it......the car will drive like before the hit,as they can now repair almost anything to perfect alignment and function......

Plus you know your car's history.....get it fixed....If the insurance company totals it,see if you can buy it....and then have it fixed.....

Parts are availble used,but you don't save alot on some stuff...Your estimate will show you exactly what you need,then you can decide...

Fix it,don't buy a different one....your Honda shop will probably give you a loaner if you have them do it...And tell your adjuster you want to fix it,they have options.....JMHO,Bob

If you decide you want to sell it as is,let me know,as I have alot of the parts right here...leftovers...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got the estimate from the body shop manager at my dealer today-$6665.38. He mentioned something about an upper frame rail being bent but otherwise no structural damage. My insurance company is sending out a field rep to talk to the body shop manager at which point the insurance company will decide whether it will total or repair my Insight. Repairs are estimated to take between 4-6 weeks, depending on parts availability.

I think at this point my preference would be to have the car declared totalled. As much as I like my Insight and even though it might drive just as well as before the collision the fact of the matter is that major repairs will show up on a CARFAX report with the resulting diminution in value when I go to sell or trade it. Moreover, my observations of frame straightening is that it rarely, if ever, succeeds in putting the car in the same operating condition as it was before a collision.
 

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yeah.....my original estimate was $9300,

This really is just ludicrous......cuz the car could probably be made drivable for $1k in used parts and some wrenching...Wouldn't be perfect,but would still get 65mpg.....oh well....

Again,if you decide you want to sell the car.....(and the insurance company probably won't let you buy it.....it will go to auction)...

let me know,if you would be so kind....

Best of Luck,and just know if they do fix it,it will likely be as good as it was before the hit....this is not necessarily a terminal event.....
 

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If they go the route of trying to fix it they won't try and pull the frame if any major crash supports are not right. They will just hack them off and weld in new ones. It really all depends on just how good the welder is.
 

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Sorry to hear about your accident. I hqda an "encounter" with an enormous buck Mule Deer just outside of Pagosa Spings, CO in late December. Details are below, biut one concer I have about the little Insight is that the headlights are so low the low beams tend to shine underneath large animals we have around here, like deer & elk. Not much one can do about it. In the instance I document below, there was too much traffic for me to drive with the brights on, which may have saved a collision.

Driving at night this time of year around this area is known by us locals as "Bowling for Bambi". The night in question I barely missed one that suddenly bolted out of the brush in fron of me, a few minutes later the one I hit was suddenly right in front of me, and had I hit it I surely would have totalled the Insight. As it was I did hard braking and sharp right turn / left turn manuver. The driver's mirror hit the buck. The mirror broke and sent the glass into the upper door panel, leaving about a quarter-size dent. The mirror assy was totalled, requireing replacement which was $250 and a snap to replace. I was VERY lucky, and it appered the deer survived.

After this I'm reluctant to drive the Insight on the rural roads around here at night.
 

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Lotsa deer here too

have had several very close encounters.....

I have noticed that deer respond to horn toots....when I am passing through an area where the woods is right up to the road,I ocasionally give a little hit on the horn,just a roadrunner like beep beep...sometimes 6 or 8...it really seems to keep the deer off the paved surface..

Also,the factory sets the headlights WAY too low,I have mine cranked all the up,and turned a bit right,and even on bright,very few oncoming vehicles flash me.....and I can see ten times as far as the factory setting.

I ride mosickles alot at night...so you can imagine how nerveracking that can be with oncoming lights blinding ya....
 

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I'm curious as to what happens to the car. What type of car did you go for as a replacement?

How has USAA been throughout the whole ordeal. Last, you say USAA caters to military officers - do they not care about their enlisted patrons?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, two weeks later and we still have no resolution. USAA (my insurer) sent out an "independent appraiser" to look at the car and it was clear to me that he didn't have a clue what he was looking at because he asked me if I knew where he could get the retail value (do I REALLY have to tell him how to find the Edmunds, NADA, & KBB websites??)

He called back a few days later and said his report had gone to USAA, and that it was "within a few dollars" of the dealer's estimate. USAA called me back the next day and told me what the independent appraiser's estimate was. Apparently "a few dollars" to the appraiser meant about $700 because that's how much lower his was than the dealer's. The appraiser subsequently turned in a revised estimate when the dealer's body shop manager showed him several things that he missed in his previous report, and now the dealer's and appraiser's estimates are the same-$6914. Down time was estimated to be 12 days.

I told USAA I wanted the car totalled because I felt it could not be restored to pre-accident condition, that the appraiser didn't inspire any confidence in me, and that the accident would likely get reported to CARFAX-meaning I'll take it in the shorts when I go to trade or sell. I also told them that the amount of damage relative to the value of the car ($9422 per NADA) was about 73% (short of their threshhold of 75%), and that the person who estimated the car would be down only 12 days must have been smoking crack. I offered to waive loss of use and turn in the rental car in exchange for the car being declared a total loss. They agreed to send a zone manager to look at the Insight and he will do so next week. In the meantime, I'm driving a 2006 Nissan Maxima courtesy of USAA and Enterprise Rent a Car (nice ride, by the way)!

And Wasabi: I think USAA just started doing business with senior NCOs. I have no idea why they don't cater to enlisted; you'd have to ask them about that.

More on this situation as it develops. :cry:
 

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SamuraiSam I am interested in how your deal turns out because we also have USAA insurance on all three of our cars. Just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well here's the latest. The USAA zone rep came up last Monday, looked at the car, and talked to the body shop manager. Aside from an open issue with the radiator being low on coolant (apparently he didn't see all that leaking antifreeze that I saw the day it was towed in) he corroborates the original estimate of $6914 to repair the Electric Warrior.

My choices: have the car fixed or trade it along with the insurance check for a new car. I considered a new Civic Hybrid but they were not willing to give me much on trade for a busted up Insight and frankly with the kind of mileage I put on cars I didn't really want to buy a brand new one that badly anyway.

So I called the shop and authorized them to start repairing the car. I got a call from the shop manager today. All parts will be in by next Tuesday. The Electric Warrior could be back on the road by the end of next week.
 
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