My Clarity rear ended

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Dwight Roberts, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Dwight Roberts

    Dwight Roberts New Member

    43C08FC9-4D00-4B96-BAB1-A7A844868E60.jpeg DB476083-2D63-4537-9D54-25126F781899.jpeg
    Well I am sad. I was rear ended at a red light by a Chevy Tahoe. A young teen was driving and hit me going around 20 mph. Needless to say they are at fault.

    The damage was pretty bad as you can see but inside the passenger capartment all was fine. Everyone was okay.

    Just wish it wasn’t my 6 month old Clarity. I love this car and babied it. Part of me is afraid on how they will fix it and if they will do a good job. Another part of me just wishes it was totaled and I can start anew. Underneath the bumper the metal is all twisted upward. I’m not sure if this is the frame.
    Has anyone been in an accident like this?
  2. Richard_arch74

    Richard_arch74 Active Member

    Sorry this happened to you. I know I would be sad if our Clarity suffered through this. The best thing you can say is: everyone was ok. At 20mph it could have been worse.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app
    Dwight Roberts likes this.
  3. SkipperT

    SkipperT Member

    So sorry to hear the news.
    Yes I have. My 2017 LEAF was totaled by a young lady in a Chevy Silverado truck that didn’t see that I was stopped. Possibly higher speeds than your collision. But how I got myself into my Clarity in the first place.

    Did airbags deploy? Do your rear doors open and shut? Any visual damage/buckling on the rear C pillar/rear glass area?

    I can find pictures tomorrow if you’re curious.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Dwight Roberts and DaleL like this.
  4. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    I’ll hazard a guess with the minimal photos provided, that final repair will cost between $8k and $12k, and it’ll take the shop about a month. Assuming they can get the parts. Just based on my previous 25 year career appraising wrecked cars for insurance companies and working with body shops. Sorry it happened...

    Ask for a loss of value claim. The car has lost value cuz it now has a dirty Carfax, and it most states you’re entitled to additional loss of value payment in addition to repairs.
  5. MPower

    MPower Well-Known Member

    Bummer ! Glad everyone was OK.
  6. Dustin

    Dustin Member

  7. Groves Cooke

    Groves Cooke Active Member

    Sorry about your accident. Happened to me many years ago when I was driving a brand new Nissan 300. My damage was worse. I was hoping to get it totaled but it was not. My Clarity is also in the body shop for a very minor front bumper issue (my fault). Takes a while to get parts.
    Dwight Roberts likes this.
  8. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    ^^^ this is correct.
    Looks like the unibody chassis is damaged which means cutting out panels and welding back.
    I had a similar rear ender that looked simple but turned out to be a huge repair.
    The other party's insurance insisted on paying for the cosmetic parts & labor ($2K), but when I bought into a certified body shop, they came out at $12K due to underlying unibody panel damage.

    Make sure the repairs are done using your choice of body shop.
    Use a certified Honda bodyshop - one that uses 100% genuine Honda parts.
    Do NOT use the other party's insurance company body shop - they tend to short cut the repairs and may use generic parts.

    After the repairs, make sure you file a loss of value claim against the other party as your car is definitely not worth what it was pre accident.

    If you get any hassles, go to your insurance company and get the repairs done. You may have to pay the deductible, but once the claim is subrogated to the other party's insurance, you will received the deductible back....
  9. AlanSqB

    AlanSqB Active Member

    Well we now have a test case for how difficult it’s going to be to get parts.
  10. Chris Messer

    Chris Messer Member

    I was in an accident in November. Still waiting for some parts. My fix is only partial. Front hood, front bumper, front grill plate...other interior stuff....supposed to come in March.
  11. Dwight Roberts

    Dwight Roberts New Member

    The airbags did not deploy. My rear doors do open and shut but the driver side one hangs out about a 1/4 inch out. It looked slightly shifted underneath. It’s been towed to a shop.
  12. Dwight Roberts

    Dwight Roberts New Member

    Thank you for the tips. I am going to a shop in my Honda dealership recommended me to go to. The insurance company is Progressive. The other party is at fault and it’s their insurance. I will definitely go after them for diminished value.
  13. Dwight Roberts

    Dwight Roberts New Member

    I kind a want them to do that as well being that it’s a new car.
  14. Dwight Roberts

    Dwight Roberts New Member

    Here are more photos. Thanks for your advice. The car seems slightly shifted. The seams are gaping and narrowing on each side of the car by the passenger doors. I wish they’d total it.

    Attached Files:

  15. SkipperT

    SkipperT Member

    Oh yikes. Get ready for an expensive quote, that’s probably structure damage. If you’re lucky, they’ll total it. But I hope they offer you something close to replacement value. When they totaled my LEAF, they only wanted to cut me a check for 18k, even though the car was only one year old! After much back and forth I was able to get closer to 22k for it.... but I still felt screwed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. Richard Kelly

    Richard Kelly Member

    I got hit in the ear end, pushing me into the car in front of me, so damage front and rear, $16,000 and 6 week repair. I ended up trading into the dealership I bought it from and will take the tax credit again next year.
  17. Dwight Roberts

    Dwight Roberts New Member

    Wow! Did you go after a diminished value check from the insurance too? Your value went down. I am going to go to my dealer and ask them to tell me how much the value of my car decreased for them. I am going to take that number and go to the insurance company and request them to pay that amount.
  18. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    LR door jamb being closed up like that means definite structural damage (as did the crushed rear body panel in the first photos), but that doesn't mean it's totaled in and of itself. Qualified shop can fix all that no problem. But still maybe totaled depending on price. Total loss is a financial calculation period. Insurance company compares the cost of repairs, with the cost of buying the car and getting money back by selling the salvage. So for example if they decide the car is worth $29K, and salvage value as-is is about $10K, they will total the car ONLY if cost of repair is predicted to exceed $19K. (Obviously I am making up all these numbers for illustration purposes only.)

    That is a gross simplification also...much goes into those calculations including predicted hidden damage, loss of value, sales taxes, rental/loss of use costs, etc. but it is still a simple math formula to the insurance company...generally all estimated numbers get spit into a computer and the computer tells the adjuster whether they will proceed with total loss or repair. And this decision could change later, after tear-down. An initial estimate is written, which is usually missing 20% to 50% of the damages. Then tear-down exposes more, then as repairs progress they find yet more. Normal and expected. At any point in the game the insurance company may stop the supplementals and declare it a total loss. Keep in touch with the shop periodically, and the insurance company, to keep yourself informed. But beware this will be a slower process than you want it to be. One month minimum for repairs, and if parts can't be obtained (very likely being a Clarity), many months could go by...and this ongoing loss of use/rental expense may help push the total loss decision also.

    You can use Progressive if you want to...sounds like they are the other person's carrier and they are OK, but not great. That company is well-known in the industry for very overworked and somewhat underqualified adjusters, but generalizations do not always describe the person handling YOUR claim, so give that person a chance. Or you can use your own insurance company for repairs and just ask Progressive to forward your deductible and your company will subrogate Progressive after all is said and done -- no charge to you and no claim counted against your policy either way. Both methods are commonly done and acceptable. Also don't sweat the aftermarket parts issue -- for Clarity they don't exist, so the only part alternative for this car is going to be Honda...or salvage, and salvage will also be mostly made of unobtanium because of how rare this car is, plus most insurance companies don't even bother attempting to find salvage parts within the first year of a car's life.

    Also be aware that your own policy will have an exclusion for loss of will get zero from your own on that front. So your only hope on loss of value is to make a claim to the claimant carrier (Progressive) and in most states they legally owe it to you, if you can prove loss of value...which is pretty easy in today's world of CarFax, etc. Also keep this in mind if you choose to go thru your own carrier for repairs -- they do not pay loss of value, therefore your own insurance company is LESS likely to total this car than Progressive will be, because your own company will ignore loss of value in their calculations for sure, whereas Progressive is more likely to include it. Something to consider.

    So feel free to handle exclusively thru Progressive beginning to end. If they tick you off, call your own carrier and tell them to take over repairs and they will. Then when all is said and done you are on your own go for loss of value directly thru Progressive. That figure can't be calculated until car is fixed and all damage is known/calculated, so that is the last payment you will receive and not something to concern yourself with immediately. Get a repair vs total loss decision nailed down first. DO verbalize you intend to make a loss of value claim after repairs are done...if you have a smart adjuster he/she will consider this in their total loss calculations...dumb ones will not. Remember there's a human aspect to everything. Including insurance calculations and dealing with adjusters...they're humans too, some are better than others at their job, and sometimes they can override what the computer tells them to do within reason.

    And remember you, like EVERY SINGLE OTHER CAR OWNER, feels their car should be totaled after a wreck like this. I assure you that no matter what he/she says to you, that insurance adjuster simply doesn't care or consider what you want, nor does their computer. They deal in facts and figures. So if you can help them find and consider facts and figures that support YOUR position, this is your only way to "push" them to total the car. So you want to try to get them to find HIGH salvage value figures, HIGH repair costs, HIGH loss of use/rental costs, HIGH loss of value costs. And as counter-intuitive as this sounds...a LOW value for your car. That combo will get them to mathematically total the car. But your feelings, desires, and opinions will not. Especially with Progressive, as you are a non-paying customer to them that they do not need to retain or please, and they only owe you what they owe you according to state law.

    Not to get your hopes up but I see a high likelihood of total loss in a situation like this -- the frame tech will likely have a discussion with manager/insurance about the dangers of pulling/cutting/welding the structure of this car that is likely strained/buckled close to the battery pack in the trunk. And Honda certainly has clear procedures on how to proceed with the process and they will NOT be simple nor cheap!! Might need to remove entire battery pack (which is essentially the floor of this car) before any repairs can be done to the car. I have no earthly idea if/how that is done. I assure you this will be the FIRST Clarity they've seen, so the shop AND the insurance company will be learning along with you and I. And a manager of an insurance company may override everything the computer says and simply say "we ain't taking the liability of fixing this experimental vehicle..." And this is probably what you want to Godspeed.

    Keep us informed. I personally made the repair vs total loss decision on probably 30,000+ different wrecked cars during my career, yet I can't begin to predict this one, so I am genuinely curious how it will work out. Cars like this one frankly contributed to me choosing to end that career--the technology in new vehicles was starting to overwhelm me from the repair and training side, as well as dealing with shops on these types of things. Field appraisers/adjusters like me serve as the intermediary between out-of-touch old-school insurance managers who think everything can be fixed dirt cheap with bubble-gum and bailing wire, state-of-the art repair facilities who think it costs $80 per screwdriver revolution (because you need to be "certified" to hold a screwdriver)...and owners who frankly have zero knowledge of the whole process and usually just get in the way -- yet are our precious paying customers who must be retained and pleased. And the gap between the 3 parties over time has become a wide I burned out. I LOVED it for 18 years, tolerated it for 4, and HATED it for 3. Then finally declared career over, blissfully.

    FWIW, my $8K to $12K estimate stated earlier is based on all my recent experience with NON-electric cars rear-ended similar to this one. All bets are off with this one due to the battery pack possibly being in the way of necessary repairs. I admittedly have no idea what the final repair cost will be...

    And next time anyone wants to complain about the cost of insurance -- keep some of these numbers in mind. This routine rear-ender could have been fixed for $4K about 10 years ago. Today that number triples and/or totals out the entire car, due to the technology in electronics and construction materials/methods in these cars. And rear-end impacts are cheap compared to frontal impacts...collision repair costs are positively skyrocketing like our health care costs are right now. Insurance rate increases follow.

    Very sorry you became the crash test dummy for the group...I very much wish you an acceptable outcome.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  19. AlanSqB

    AlanSqB Active Member

    I’m only a tiny bit upside down on this car, mainly because I don’t mind borrowing the cheap money from Honda. But I think if I was any more in the hole on this, I’d be calling the insurance company tomorrow to talk about adding gap insurance based on this discussion.
  20. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Yes EVERYONE who took Honda's financing with no down payment is upside-down in this car -- likely more than you realize. I am in this boat myself. I also do NOT believe in Gap insurance. I simply have the money in the bank and will self-insure the gap.

    My full expectation, should my Clarity be totaled out today, is that I would still owe about $5 to $7K to Honda Finance, in addition to what the insurance company would pay to them. I understand and expect that, and I would write a check without complaining.

    On the plus side I'm getting $7,500 from the feds.

    So what would be my true loss? 6 months of payments? Probably less than that. I just call that my cost of biggie. Plus I have $30K invested earning money in the markets, instead of senselessly and wastefully (my opinion) paying cash for a car. With another $7,500 soon to join it. So I'm leveraging Honda's, and the US Taxpayers' money, into investment gain. And yes that involves a bit of risk and results in a notable gap for a while.

    This is a huge money shell game. It moves from this shell to that shell, sometimes unpredictably (sudden wreck!), but the money is somewhere and new cars cost a LOT of money, and depreciate faster than they are paid off, almost always. Understanding the shell game is everything. If you understand it, it's not a problem, and you understand that gap insurance is a waste of money. But if you are the general public, you likely don't understand it, and therefore it might be a problem. Those people probably should buy gap insurance to cover their lack of understanding. In no way am I putting down anyone. I'm simply encouraging everyone to truly attempt to understand the cost, and risk, of using low interest rate loans to leverage Honda's money to improve your financial position...and make the right decision for yourself. It confuses many and there is no shame in that. If you don't fully understand your financial position in varying circumstances, then gap insurance should possibly be considered. But understand that buying it basically GUARANTEES your loss, just spread out over time in easy regular payments. Whereas I will roll the dice and assume that I will NOT total my car, saving money long term by avoiding those payments. If I do total my car? I'm eating the gap and taking a slight hit, right now.

    There is undeniably a bit of risk involved with low down payment long term loans. There is more than one way to mitigate that risk, and the right way is different for different people.

    And then there are those who leased.

    Another whole different ballgame. Moral of the story remains the same: Understand YOUR game and your risk tolerance, and react accordingly.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019

Share This Page