Conflict of Interest Between Car Insurance and Bank
I think that USAA making the decision to total loss our vehicle, when the repair company (ABRA) told us that the vehicle was borderline repairable AND then USAA in the same discussion wanting to offer help to us to purchase another vehicle is a clear conflict of interest. To declare the vehicle a total loss and then offer to give us a loan from the same company is borderline criminal, and I think could not stand up to public comment and possibly legal scrutiny. It does make me wonder as to what the motivation for totaling the vehicle was on USAA's part. Was it to issue another loan? It sure appears that way and would appear that way to USAA members. USAA might want to think about that in the future. In the letter where we were given the total value of our vehicle the last paragraph says, "We're here for you We're here to serve all your financial needs. If you're looking to replace your vehicle now or would simply like to start planning, we can help with Auto CircleTM, our service that'll help you find, finance and insure a new or used vehicle with our lowest price guarantee*. Go to AutoCircle.com to begin your search." I have been a USAA member for almost 30 years. The claim was handled professionally, with this one glaring exception.
I don't see a problem here at all. Your car insurance offered to pay you a sum for your vehicle if they could keep the vehicle (salvage). You can reject that offer and have the vehicle repaired, you'll still get the same (or less if the repair is cheaper than the amount offered to 'total' the car). The decision is yours. The adjustors are licensed professionals who deal with this sort of thing every day. I'm not an adjustor but if my car was in an accident that made the insurance company want to call it a total loss I'd sure be inclined to listen to them.
You can get the check and then buy the car for the salvage price - usually a couple of hundred dollars - and then use the check to have it repaired and keep any left over (or pay any extra). That is your choice.
I don't see the bank offering you a new car loan as any conflict of intrest. Nobody is profiting off your car being a total loss.