Is it a Good Idea to Cash Out an Insurance Check?
So you may have heard that I have a $1701 check written out to me from Geico that’s causing me lots of grief lately.
Three weeks ago now, I was rear ended by a dunderheaded lummox and it destroyed a tail light and did some cosmetic damage to the rear bumper of my 2004 Land Rover.
Now, what I keep telling myself to do is to sign the check over to the local auto body place and have them take care of everything and give me a brand new looking car in a few days…
That would make me smile.
But I’ve also got dollar signs in my eyes…
See, this is an 8-year old vehicle. Sure, the mileage is low (60k), but it’s still an 8-year old car.
The Kelly Blue Book value is somewhere between $5k and $6k which, in reality, means I’d only get maybe $4k for it in a trade-in whether the bumper is damaged or not.
That said, it drives like a charm and it’s not ready to be traded in. Simply put, even with a damaged bumper, I still think it has plenty of life left.
Let’s say I’m fortunate enough to get another 40k miles out of it…
Now we’re theoretically talking about a 10+ year old vehicle with 100k miles on it.
Does relatively minor cosmetic damage have much of an impact on the trade-in value of a car at the end of its lifespan?
So, with that in mind, would it be financially wise to dump $1700 worth of cosmetic repairs into it?
In this instance, I think my mind is all but made up…
I foresee a considerable drop in my credit card balance in the near future… or a super wicked awesome first birthday party for Henrik… courtesy of Geico.
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For the record, I own this car free and clear. No lienholders in the mix to coddle so please save me the ethics lecture. I don’t like it either but apparently this is how the system works.
I’m also about 80% sure I can replace and repair the tail light myself for under $100.
For an additional $7 (to buy the special plastic clips), I can re-attach the bumper trim piece too…
A $107 repair job is “good enough”.