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Author Topic: Radios Installed In Vehicles Declared Totaled  (Read 1208 times)
WD4MTW
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Posts: 62




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« on: November 16, 2009, 11:38:14 AM »

We're thinking about buying another vehicle and naturally I'm also looking at the suitability for a decent radio install. One thing that concerns me is the way the equipment is installed now. I ran into a problem with my insurance company when my car was totaled 5 years ago. I did a meticulous job removing the ash tray of my Corolla and building in a Yaesu FT90R into the center console and installing an aftermarket stereo system. After the vehicle was towed to collision center,I went to collect our personal items from the car. The garage had a worker escort us out to the car in the yard who inisted that I couldn't remove anything permanently attached to the vehicle since the adjuster declared it totaled. My car stereo and radio fell under that classification. Had it been on a gimbal mount or other exposed bracket mount, there wouldn't be a problem with removing it. A call to the adjuster confirmed the policy on two accounts. The first being liability concerns by the repair facility by performing work on the car on their property. The second being that the potential resale value of the car being diminished by the empty slots. I raised the issue with our agent later who, after making a few inquiries with the claims dept. told me that the policy was indeed correct. Providing the body shop would have allowed me to remove the radio and stereo, I would have had to provide them with the original radio, ash tray, and panel escutcheon.

Sort of a catch-22 situation if the body shop won't allow you to remove the equipment on their property. I understand that most all companies have similar policies. Something to think about before customizing any vehicle with expensive aftermarket products and making sure that you keep anything removed.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 11:53:12 AM »

That depends on the insurance company, and if the equipment was insured specifically or not. Nowadays, most insurance companies require you to notify them of the equipment, or it's not covered.

If I were faced with this, I'd call the main office and talk with the adjustors department directly.

Admittedly it's been a while, but this happened to me in 1973. I had to make a special OOT trip to get it, and they couldn't get me to the car quick enough to get the gear removed. They even loaned me a wrench or two I didn't bring with me.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3721




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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 05:01:55 PM »

hi,

good info.

the car is yours until you sign the insurance forms.

pay the body shop the flat fee to move the car into
the street, remove your gear and they can put the car back in the yard.

those ashtrays are made of Unobtainium !
buy a used tray from the same yard $5.

73 james
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N7FE
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2009, 04:30:29 PM »

35 years ago businesses were run way differently than they are today. Today all they care about is the profit and stock price.
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K4NFG
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2009, 07:09:30 AM »

Very interesting read and something to think about. Thanks for the info.
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K4JC
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 02:59:33 PM »

I would explain that the FT-90 is a radio transceiver that requires an FCC license to operate, and that you cannot allow them to take possession of it unless they can show proof of being licensed. Might work, might not, but certainly worth a try! (I had a car that was totalled a few years ago, but fortunately the body shop had no problem with me removing the FT-7800 I had installed. I did have to sacrifice the power wires though, since their removal would have been pretty involved!)
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N8EMR
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 03:36:44 AM »

I dont see why it would be an issue. Your not going to leave personal items in the car even if its totaled so why leave the radio? Now pulling a stereo might be an issue but an add on item should not. For the couple times I had cars totaled I had full access to the vehicle to remove personal items including radio's, tools, and supplies.
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K0BG
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 06:23:42 AM »

Gary, I'll answer your question.

Very few drivers take the time to read their vehicle policies to see what is, and isn't covered. They look at the theft coverage perhaps, the liability amounts, etc., but pay little attention to the fine print.

One of those fine print paragraph reads, that attachments must be permanently affixed, or it they aren't covered. The lone universal exception is a travel trailer, but if one if being used, the insurance company requires that you tell them up front.

The same goes for amateur radio gear; it has to be attached. When it is, and there is a total loss, those parts of the vehicle then belong to the insurance company, and are included in the settlement. That is, if you told them up front. In fact, that's a universal requirement, few amateurs remember to do. When you don't, you can get into a urinating contest you typically lose.

Lastly, no one writes what used to be called CB coverage, and this is why pre-notification is important if you want your radio gear covered.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KJ4QYM
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 09:00:12 AM »

Will notifiying your insurance company before installation cause your rates to rise? Or would this be an unanswerable question because it would be on a per provider basis? Reason I"m asking is my car is under my Father's insurance currently and I don't pay for the time being, I don't want to raise the rates anymore than is absolutely necessary. Thanks.
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WX7G
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 11:44:06 AM »

Good info.

If you plan to total your car do not permanently install your radio.
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KJ1H
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2010, 09:34:44 AM »

I believe the universal answer to this is "It depends."

I know someone who lost control of his Miata while swatting a bee and hit a police car.  The officer saw the whole thing, and was ON HIS SIDE!  No hassle with citations, or insurance.  He had a lot of performance upgrades on his car, and yes he was allowed to remove these components (to be reinstalled on his replacement Miata) as long as he replaced them with stock components so that the car remained "complete."  We're talking shocks, springs, maybe even his roll bar - components far more integral to the car than a ham radio bolted onto the dash somewhere.

And yet I fully believe whatever stories you may have of ham equipment being considered part of the car and having to be included with the totaled vehicle.  It depends on your policy, and even your individual insurance company.  Unless you ask or read the fine print, you just don't know.

So if my window is shattered in a crash, and my glass mount antenna flies away, can I get it back because it's not attached to the car anymore? Smiley

73 - Justin
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73 - Justin
VO1GXG
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Posts: 60




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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2010, 09:04:20 PM »

Insurance cost here is way to much for a new driver ( $10,000/year) and i can only manage to pay minimum liability insurance on the car, so what ever is left is still mine!
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N5ZTPN5ZTP
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2010, 10:28:13 PM »

if you had not been talking on the radio and listening to the stereo, you would not have had the wreck.
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