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What have you read recently?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Car Cents: The Essential Owner's Guide To Saving Thousands On The Cost Of Owning Wheels

What have you read recently?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
October 9, 2013

What are you reading this week?

Have you read this book? It's Louie Sharp's Car Cents: The Essential Owner's Guide To Saving Thousands On The Cost Of Owning Wheels, by (who else?) Louie Sharp.

Louie owns Sharp Auto Body and Sharp Towing, in Island Lake. He's also a public speaker, trainer and coach. A former Marine. A real gentleman. And a nice guy.

How many times have you read something and thought, "I already knew what"? And then, later, you thought, "I already knew that. Why didn't I do it?"

Remembering after you act is good. Remembering before you act is even better!

Recently, my daughter's sole family car was totaled in South Carolina, while my grandson was driving. It's wasn't his fault. (That's what all good grandfather's say; right?

The police didn't think he was at fault. The other driver was honest and admitted that his foot had slipped off the brake and onto the gas pedal, while he waited to pull out of a driveway.

But I prepared my daughter for the wrangling that I believed laid ahead of her, because she would have to deal with the honest driver's insurance company, not with the driver. I guessed early that her car would be totaled.

"Hope for the best; plan for the worse." Is that how it works?

The other driver's insurance company, generally considered a reputable company, started off with delays before they ever went out to the tow yard to inspect the vehicle. I told my daughter that they'd total her car, which was worth about $10,000. Any moderate accident these days will generate more than $10K in repairs. They fooled around for a while and, after many phone calls from my daughter, finally an adjuster went to look at her vehicle. And, sure enough, totaled. No surprise there.

I had told her to start shopping right away and to plan to demand no less than the value of her car the instant before the other driver hit it. There were, like, three vehicles like hers in Columbia, S.C. and she quickly learned that they really weren't like hers. I told her that the insurance company would "low-ball" her.

The insurance company's first offer was between $8,-9,000, and I warned her against accepting any money from the other insurance company that was less than a full and sufficient amount. I also told her that the insurance company wasn't really going to lose anything on the claim, because they sell her car for scrap for $10,000.

They finally came up to $10,400 and paid for a rental car. She ended up eating her shopping time, including a 200-mile drive to check out one piece of junk on the insurance company's "comparable cars" list.

Remember - insurance adjusters get practice every days setting claims for as little as possible. You, the claimant, get practice once every 10-15-20 years, if that often. Who has the advantage?

Be sure to buy Louie's book; then read it carefully. Get a copy for every driver in your household.

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