Insurance people - Why do totalled vehicles get taken to a repair shop at all?

My office is across the street from an autobody shop. Periodically, we see vehicles that are in real rough shape in their lot.

Today, there is the remnents of a pick-up. My best guess (by looking at the doors back) it is a mid 90s Chev 1/2 ton. The front end of it is absolutely demolished to the point of being virtually non-existant and the frame is so bent, the rear of the truck is at about a 30 degree angle up. My best guess is that it was in a collision with a semi on the highway on Friday (I heard about it on the radio). I think it was a fatal IIRC.

There is absolutely no way in hell the truck is repairable and will without a doubt be written off.

My question is this: Why would they even bother taking this scrap to a repair shop? The insurance adjuster can see it just as easily at the tow impound yard. He/she is the one that makes the judgment call on whether it is written off or not, correct? Not a body shop, right?

This might be a better question to ask a police officer because the insurance company is highly unlikely to be notified before the vehicle is removed from the accident scene. The occupant/police would make the decision on the tow.

My educated guess is that that repair shop also offers towing service, they got the call for the tow, and were instructed to take it to their premises. There’s no way for them to know which scrapyard the insurance company will want it taken to.

Autobody shops often make the same use of such vehicles as do junk yards. They salvage parts for a vehicle they’re currently working on.

Also, body shops are usually the ‘official’ place where a vehicle’s worth is assessed, i.e. whether its repairable or not.

And thirdly, you’d be amazed at what actually can be repaired. Sometimes severely wrecked cars are ‘clipped’, cut in half and pieced back together with another. The media often makes a big deal about this, trying to imply that its a scam or something. But it’s been done for years and, if done right, is as good as new.

Speaking as someone who has been in an accident in which the vehicle was “totalled” I’d have to second what AllShookDown has stated.

As I was being loaded into the ambulance I was asked by a police officer if I cared where the car was towed? I think I grunted something to the effect of…“ants don’t smoke cigars!”…and off I went (in more ways than one).

The car was, in fact, towed to a body shop because the cops needed to get the car out of the middle of rush-hour traffic, and the body shop was the first to respond to a call for a tow. Once it was determined that the car was beyond any reasonable attempt at repair, all I had to do was sign over the title to the body shop so they could scrap it.

I’m feeling much better.