Update on our Model 3

Last month, we mentioned our Model 3 was in a bad accident. Here’s some of the damage.

Bumper, rear quarter panel, and rear door damage on our Model 3

This completes 3 weeks from the accident. The collision center has sent our insurance company a supplemental estimate of $23,000. The initial estimate was $8,000. That’s a total damage of $31,000 to fix. We’ll find out Wednesday if the claims adjuster approves the supplemental payment or gets Total Loss involved. If the damage is more than 75% of the value of the vehicle, the insurance company has a good chance to total the vehicle.

Some lessons learned.

  • Tesla’s are super safe
  • It’s hard finding a collision center that can fix Tesla’s.
  • Review your auto insurance. Add Rental coverage. This will offset the cost of a rental vehicle’s daily cost. We had delays figuring out which insurance company to claim to get a rental. That came about for not having rental on our policy.
  • Diminished value – Banrkate explains that diminished value occurs “After a car accident, your car’s value can lower even more. This is called diminished value, which is the difference in your car’s market value before and after the accident. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a car insurance company might pay for the diminished value of your vehicle after a covered loss.”
  • If the car is totaled, we will ask the insurance company to reimburse us for buying Full Self Driving (which is misnamed) with our vehicle. We paid $8,000 for it in 2019. It now sells for $15,000 on Tesla’s site. It’s unknown how our insurance will cover that item.

The last 3 weeks has been a physically painful, mentally frustrating process. I don’t wish it upon anyone good.

More updates to follow.

Sincerely yours,


Published by smilingdad

My story is one of tragedy and redemption. We've made many mistakes along the way regarding our money. Our goal here is to show you how to take care of your money life long, and as much as we can, help the Earth along the way. I call it sustainable personal finance and ethical capitalism. Currently, I am a part time writer for Cleantechnica and part-time licensed financial professional, along with being a full-time dad.

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