About 5ish years ago we had a huge hailstorm come thru the area and there's still a lot of hail damaged totals out there. My 2002 E320 is one of them. It looks like a bag of wet laundry in the right light
but it's still a great car. My 93 Silverado was on the edge of totaling and the adjuster asked me if I wanted the estimate to total or not. I elected to not and he kept it below the threshold and I'm still driving that one too.
I'd definitely buy a total, depending on the damage type and severity.
That said, knowing that it's de-valued is the thing to remember. It helps if it's something older, the value difference isn't as high.
I'm also a technician and have friends that do paint/body, so my willingness to go there is more than the average person that has to hire that work out at full price.
**The state never asked me for the title on the E, so maybe this state doesn't have a stipulation on titles**