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Get the Most for Your Totaled Car

If your car is totaled, the first thing to remember is that the insurance company is not your friend.There's a tendency among those of us who have had a car deemed a "total loss" to consider the insurance company's payout as a gift of sorts.That attitude, say auto insurance and repairs experts, is a mistake. You should view the payout as negotiable, just as you would if you were selling the car without damage. The insurance company won't be offended if you negotiate, says Scott Benavidez of Mr. B's Paint & Body Shop in Albuquerque, N.M."I tell my clients to negotiate. Start high and plan to meet in the middle," he says. "Remember, even if (the insurance company) saves $10 a vehicle and do a million claims a year, that's $10 million. Think if they save $100 a vehicle. … That is where they save money."But the first step is to evaluate your own insurance policy. That means reading the fine print. Gone are the days when insurance companies were in lockstep about how they would determine a ...

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