Can I counteroffer for less without total loss than what I was offered with total loss?

I was rear-ended by a texting 70 year old at a stop light. Her insurance found her at fault. They are offering $2,270 for my truck to declare it a total loss since the repair cost was $3,500. I can buy it back for $300 and will have to re-register it as a salvage vehicle. They said if a car repair cost reaches 75% of the value of the car, state law requires them to declare it a total loss. The total offer is $1,970 and my truck is declared a salvage title. I was able to locate a new replacement truck bed for $300 and for $160 gas to travel to pick it up. I got an estimate to have the bed painted to match for $700. I would like to counteroffer with $1000 with no salvage title. The insurance body shop estimator didn’t take into account the replacement cost instead of repair cost. If he would have, I believe it have been lower and would not be considered a total loss. I want to avoid a salvage title because my insurance rates would increase 50% per year and I would not be able to use the truck for Uber Delivery service no salvage

titles allowed and other similar services. I don’t wish to buy another vehicle since mine is well cared for and highly reliable. My offer would save the insurance company half their money and would keep my title clean. Can I ask for a $1000 settlement with no total loss?

Asked on June 6, 2017 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may counteroffer--anyone can counter any settlement offer they like, and if it makes sense economically for the other side, they may accept it. Bear in mind the right to counteroffer does not equal a guaranty that your counter will be accepted--it is voluntary on the part of the insurer whether to do so.

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