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Cost to repair damage



I'm still in shock... Yesterday my husband moved my Vette out of our garage to clean it, and my mother-in-law tagged my right rear wheel-well when she pulled into our driveway. :( I've made a claim with Allstate (we both have our policies with them).

My question is, how much should I reasonably expect them to cover? Only fixing the "problem" area? Repainting the entire quarterpanel and trying to blend it? Repainting the entire car so it matches? I know insurance companies try to pay as little as possible, so I'm wondering if anyone has any "helpful hints" on dealing with something like this?

Here are a couple pictures to show the damage:


Barb :w

(PS) Yes, my mother-in-law is still alive...
Confession time

Sorry to hear of your damages. I know how my dad was last summer just before he finally realizes his eyes were so bad that he was going to have to give up the Buick and rely on other people to transport him around. I would watch him like a hawk when he came into the driveway.

The confession? I was an Allstate adjuster in the late 70s to early 80s. That's when I found out how cheaply they insure Corvettes, at least out here in farm country when you have the rest of your insurance there. My '67 427 was the same rate as my '66 Impala at the time. $126. for 6 mos. My '59 now cost $26. for 6 months of comprehensive only which covers everything that could happen to it in the garage. The '81 is just over $300 for 6 mos. with a $500. deductable. I figure anything short of a major collision I would be repairing myself anyhow so the deductable isn't a big deal.

As for the repair, the fiberglass work is a simple job that wouldn't take any more than a couple hours (no matter what your estimate might say). The paint looks good in the pics and I don't see any possibilty of getting an overall repaint from that small of a repair. If it was going to need the whole side and maybe part of the front or back painted you would have leverage.

These blues of this period have some pigments that fade and a perfectly mixed paint will be a lot brighter. Being so low on the side fade will be at a minimum. If the rest of the paint is original or a good repaint I would try to avoid painting any more than necessary. If it was my car I would just spot in the repair tinting and blending as necessary to get an undetectable repair. Of course, if the car is getting close to ready for a complete refinishing this could be the time to get it done. The insurance would at least pay part of it.

My advice would be to find the best painter in your area, with references, and talk to him before you settle on anything. Check restoration shops too as they are used to matching older colors. You might end up having a Corvette shop or Chevy body shop do the repair and then take it to another shop for the paint. This is not unusual or out of the question.

Since both you and the mom-in-law are cross insured with Allstate they should wave the deductale. At least that was to policy when I was there. Keep in mind that an adjuster cannot insist that you go to a specific shop. That is called "steering" and is illegal. Good luck on your repair and keep us posted.


p.s. You could always take your car over to MO to Steve.
That's what I was going to say, especially the PS:J Barb, Sorrry to hear of your mishap, my mothert in law is gone now but, I do remember how she drove. On the highway she was a very good driver, but, in close proximity to other objects, while she never hit anything, i always kept my eye on her around any of my vehicles. But, I keep my eye on anybody around my vehicles........Steve
SS Autosport

Yes. One stop shopping at SS Autosport for a worry free repair. :upthumbs

Tom :W:
Thanks Tom and Steve! I should have mentioned that it could use a fresh paint job. It has alot of rock chips on the hood and sides, and some stress cracks on the front by the headlights too. But it does look good in pictures (the guy I bought it from called it a "20-footer" - looks perfect from about 20 feet away)... :L Well, at least it did until Saturday morning...

Which brings to mind another question - are today's paints more flexible than those of old? I'd like to continue driving it after the paint job but I know if I started to see cracks it would put a damper on it...

I wonder how much it would cost to have it transported to SS in MO from IL??? hmmmm...

Thanks again!
Barb :w

Modern paint systems are not even in the same ballpark as the laquer used 30 years ago. They are very tough and damage resistant. They will flex more that you would need on a chrome bumper car. Think of the flexible bumpers that get bumped and return to shape with little or no sign of damage. I have peeled paint off of severely damaged cars and it can be bent almost double before it breaks. Never happen with laquer. Also new paint systems have far superior UV protection so you won't see that dreaded fading down the road.

I know modern paints are not NCRS correct but, to me, they are the way to go on a car you want to put some happy miles on. I haven't used these paints a lot but what I have I like. Very easy to get excellent results. My last paint job was that '77 Trans Am Special Edition on my web page. It was a black laquer restoration and it never left the driveway until it was loaded on the trailer by the new owner. I knew it would get chipped if I even dtove it around the mile square. Click on "URL" below and go to the "Other cool stuff" page to see it.

Steve would be more up to date on the best products to use on fiberglass. It looks like he is only around 350 miles or so from the Chicago area. It would be a nice weekend drive.


So sorry to hear about your mishap! I'm sure your M-I-L was pretty upset about it too.
I can't give you any helpful hints on the body work, but what I'm looking at in your (well taken) pictures, is that streak of blue paint across your tire.

She must have rubbed your rear tire hard, to leave a healthy mark like that.

Along with the body damage, also check the rear wheel alignment and the wheel bearing. If it got tagged hard enough, check your suspension components (camber rod, trailing arm) for further damage. Remember to look further then the surface.

Hope this helps you a little.

Barb, What Tom said about the new urethane paints is absolutly correct, however, The paint is only as flexable as the surface under it, to a point. By this I mean (OK NCRS guys don't jump on me too hard), you have to get rid of as much of the gel coat as possible. Gel coat, when applied 20-30 years ago was, somewhat soft, and the best they had for what it did, flaten the rough fiberglass and help hold it together. But, over the years the gel coat has gotten very hard. It's like the old story about the blade of grass, and the big oak tree in the middle of a field. The Oak tree bragging to the blade of grass, saying how much more bigger and stronger and sturdier he was than the "skinnie" little blade of grass. And then a big storm came up, and the wind blew and blew, and the gras just bent over, only to stand again when the winds died down between gusts. But the oak tree, while being strong, big, and sturdy, could not bend in the wind, it only could break. That's what gel coat does, instead of breaking though, it cracks. OK, so what do you use to flaten the body, and help hold the fiberglass "hairs" at bay, and remain soft for many years to come, therefore mostly eliminating "spider webs"? Urethane/polyester(I use Urethane) primers and surfacers, and a lot of it. Depending on how rough the body is after "media balasting" with small plastic beads(or some other soft media) it could take up to 2 full sprayable gallons of primer surfacer to smooth it out flat again. Between each coat the car is guide coated and block sanded to work all the dibbits out, then shot with at least 3 coats of base color and then 4 or more coats of clear. Then the work begins, wet sanding with 1500, then 2000, and then buffing and polishing. This sounds pretty easy as I write it down, but don't be surprised if your favorite shop (me) says, "Barb, kiss her goodbye, she'll be here for a few months". Well maybe not that long, but it will take a while to do a really good job. And, what spirted 79 said is a very good point also, that was the first thing I thought, when I seen the fender wasn't falling off of it. Good luck, if I can answer any questions for you let me know..............Steve..........I could meet you half way:cool
Well, my Allstate appointment was Friday, and it turned out that the adjuster owns a '72 Coupe so he was very sympathetic!:) Before I went to Allstate, I went to 2 shops, one a corvette specialist and one a highly recommended body shop. I did check with the corvette specialist re: what Spirited79 mentioned, and he wasn't concerned about it, although he did mention it looks like it's due for an alignment. As far as the body work goes, both of the shops estimated 4 hours, so that's what the Allstate adjuster gave me. I really thought that this would be at least $1,000 of damage, if I had known it was only $400 I wouldn't have filed a claim (and unfortunately, I jumped the gun and filed the claim before I thought to ask the knowledgeable folks here first!)...

On another note, this small issue wound up helping me find a problem... As I was looking at my Allstate policy, I noticed something called an "Exhibition Rider". When I asked what that meant, I was told that I was only supposed to be driving my car to and from car shows, not to work!:( I did NOT set my policy up that way, and my agent has no idea how it got set up that way, but if I had been involved in an accident it wouldn't have been covered! I have been driving my car to/from work in nice summer weather for the last 4 years, basically without insurance!! Needless to say, it has been changed now so it is covered as a "normal" car.

Again, thanks for all of the good info!
Barb :w
Drive to shows only

Barb, When I drive my Corvette, or any Corvette, I am always driving it to shows. Or to show it off:cool Maybe it was only a one car show..........Steve
Good news


I'm glad everything is working out for you. Nice to see that Allstate adjusters are still :cool . I know they were when I was one. :eyerole Good luck on your repairs.

Re: paints

59Tom said:
My last paint job was that '77 Trans Am Special Edition on my web page. It was a black laquer restoration and it never left the driveway until it was loaded on the trailer by the new owner. I knew it would get chipped if I even dtove it around the mile square. Click on "URL" below and go to the "Other cool stuff" page to see it.

That TA looks awesome! But what was the new owner going to do with it if he couldn't even drive it around the block? That car definately deserves to be driven!



Glad it all worked out. Just to let you know, I happen to be an auto claim insurance representative.

I deal with this situation 100 times a month.

The other day we had a customer here with a 73 Convertible. It was a nice car, more of a driver in need of some TLC. I was outside just looking it over when an old time claim manager walked past me. He mumbled something about how much he hates Corvettes and especially their owners. I don't think he realizes I am one of those people (then again, maybe he does-yikes).

I have to admit we are a little particular about our cars, and that really comes out when there is a claim. I have dealt with many myself that won't be reasonable on anything. The least little scratch and they want a complete new paint job. It would not be so bad, but usually those complainers needed a new paint job anyway! We do tend to see a high rate of fraudulent or padded claims with Corvettes as well. Often the shops will over-write collision damage to cover deductibles or give the owner an all over paint job. The old saying about Corvettes being more difficult to work on is becoming less valued as more cars are using CMC panels.

You bring up a good point on insurance coverage. It is usually after the claim has happened that people realize they did not have proper coverage. "Full Coverage" does not always mean full coverage. Even if it costs more on premium, making sure the car is insured for the actual and intended use will avoid headaches later.

I still don't know how to convince that manager that we are not all to be hated. Maybe we can get him a good deal on a sweet C3 and he will understand.

Hey Barb - sorry to send this message to you this way, but for your information, out network server crashed. I have not been able to get regular e-mail since Wednesday night. Looks like we'll be in touch in the CAC or by phone regarding Tuesday night. Cheer! PS - good luck on the repair project.

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