Appraisal Clause: Deceptive Practices by USAA and other Insurance Companies

total loss dispute

Total Loss Disputes

If you’ve done some Googling because of a total loss dispute with your insurance company, you probably came across information explaining your right to appraisal (also called the invoking the appraisal clause).

Unfortunately, because auto total loss disputes are usually less than $10,000.00, it is an area that hasn’t traditionally attracted attorneys (but there are a few attorneys that will fight for you).

In fact, because the amounts in dispute are typically under $10,000.00, most insurance companies don’t even train their claims staff about the appraisal clause.  I know.  I was an adjuster for over a decade and NOT EVEN ONCE was the appraisal clause mentioned.  If you invoke the appraisal clause, you can bet that you will be dealing with a claims representative that has no clue what they are doing (if you’re an adjuster that thinks you know better, prove it).  I educate adjusters and insurance carriers every week about this little known right that their insureds have.

READ MORE ABOUT APPRAISAL CLAUSE DECEPTION – CLICK HERE!

 

Actual Cash Value or Fair Market Value?

actual cash value or fair market value

Actual Cash Value and Fair Market Value

I’ll bet that no one has explained to you what I am about to explain . . .First of all, the terms Actual Cash Value (ACV) and/or Fair Market Value (FMV) are sorely lacking and ambiguous when it comes to actually helping to define the value of a private passenger automobile.  In fact, the formal definition in almost every source one can find leaves out the MAIN ASPECT that would make the definition useful.  The terms ACV and FMV are so ambiguous that they are totally meaningless when it comes to figuring out the value of your vehicle.

Don’t believe me, let’s break it down.  Start with familiarizing yourself with the “formal” definitions.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT THE DIFFERENCE

 

Total Loss Due To Flooding? How Victims Can Fight A Low Offer by Invoking the Appraisal Clause

Prove a point on your total loss due to flooding after Hurricane Harvey with the Appraisal Clause

If you’re a victim of the recent flooding in South Texas and have a total loss due to flooding with your carrier, you should call our office immediately and make sure that any offer you get is fair and reasonable.

Now that South Texas is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Florida and Georgia brace for the impact of category 5 Hurricane Irma, victims will undoubtedly be dealing with total loss claims in exponential numbers and they need to know that insurance companies routinely handle these claims in a very dogmatic manner. The biggest tactic is for a carrier to simply refuse to negotiate. They will simply tell you, “take it or leave it”. They like to claim that they do not have the authority to negotiate outside of their captive company market reports.

This is completely untrue.

FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN FIGHT BY INVOKING THE APPRAISAL CLAUSE

 

Do you have to sell your car to prove your diminished value? A Graph

What do you think? Do you have to sell your car in order to prove that it has lost value?

does your car have to be sold

To the surprise of me and my client’s attorney, we recently had a Judge that said YES.  Insurance adjusters are trained to say YES to the title question, too. But what do you think? The graphic with this article sorta sums up why the law does not agree with the Judge or the insurance adjusters, but I’ll go a little further to drive the point home.

No, Really…Do You Have To Sell Your Car To Prove Diminished Value?

Am I richer when the prices of my stocks go up?

Am I poorer when my stock values are down?

If average home prices around the home I own rise, am I richer?

If I trade my Lamborghini even for a Toyota Corolla, am I richer, or poorer?

If the doctor says I need a $10000.00 surgery to save my foot, am I richer if I don’t get the surgery?

If I lose my foot, and then use a prosthetic, is the cost of maintaining and replacing the prosthetic, along with the future medical costs I will incur part of the value of my claim, or does it only count when I actually go and pay for the care?

If everybody in your neighborhood paid $500 for a grill from the hardware store, and you found an identical one on Craigslist for $325.00 and still in the box, what is the market value of the grill?

If I have a Rolex valued at $22,000.00 by a well known Rolex appraiser, and I sell it for $18000.00, did I change the value of the Rolex?

If a sell price dictates market value, then there is no such thing as a “good deal”.

FIND OUT WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS & SEE THE REST OF THE GRAPH

Auto Accident – Do You Need an Attorney?

do I need an attorney

Do you need an attorney for your auto accident?

Answer the question for yourself!

Let me start by saying that some people never need an attorney, and others will always need an attorney.

Additionally, this article is based on my 15 years of claims adjusting experience. I have developed a simple little formula that will help you decide if you need an attorney or not. Keep in mind, this quiz is tailored for auto accidents only, and I make no warranties or guarantees that your result is a foolproof answer.

Ultimately, the only person that can decide if you need an attorney is you.

With that being said, simply answer the following 15 questions and then add up your answers. All of these questions are yes or no questions. Whatever answer you have the most of is your answer to the title of this article.

TAKE JUSTIN’S QUIZ NOW!

How Our FREE Total Loss Claim Consultation Could Make You Money!

total loss claim

True stories about how our free total loss claim consultation can make you money!

We talk to a lot of people from day to day and many times, Justin has to tell people who call the hard truth that it might not be worth spending money but sometimes, with just that one call, he can help you make decisions that could make you money in the end!  There aren’t a lot of experts out there talking about total losses so Justin decided to share his experiences with some of our clients with you good people researching about how to get your total losses settled.
READ HOW OTHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU GOT HELP

Where Can I Get A Diminished Value Appraisal? 7 Tips

diminished value appraisalWhere can I get a diminished value appraisal?

If you are doing research on how to get paid for your vehicle’s diminished value, then you know that the advice on the street is to get a diminished value appraisal from a qualified expert.  Are you feeling lost or overwhelmed in the process?  You aren’t alone!

So how do you pick a qualified expert?

CLICK HERE TO READ EXPERT TIPS!

Diminished Value in Texas – How Does It Compare?

diminished value in Texas

Dealing with Diminished Value in Texas

If you have a repairable collision claim in Texas, then you may be entitled to recover for your vehicle’s diminished value. In Texas, if you file a third-party auto claim, then if your claim meets certain standards, you would likely recover diminished value if the case went before a jury.

Diminished value in Texas compares to other states in this capacity through the negligence law rules.  In Texas, if one is over 50% at fault for a loss, then they cannot recover damages from a less negligent party. The kicker is that if they are only 10% at fault, then that 10% can be deducted from their damage amount. Some States have a law that applies negligence in a pure manner. For example, if you are 10% at fault, then you owe 10% of the other person’s damages. If you are 61% at fault, you can still recover 39% of your damages.

The point, and to answer the question in the title of this article, is that YES you can get paid for diminished value in Texas.

READ MORE ABOUT DV CLAIMS IN TX

Insurance company refuses to total my vehicle but I want it totaled – what can I do?

insurance company refuses to total

What if I want to total my vehicle but the insurance company refuses to total?

Frankly, I’m surprised that I don’t get asked the title question more often, but I know why I don’t.  Simply put, it is the dogmatic way insurance adjusters explain the total loss or repair process to accident victims.

From the onset of dealing with most adjusters, the tone is set by the adjuster that what they say is how it is.  Most simply TELL people how it is.  The art of negotiation is lost and with it, common sense.  This isn’t their fault; their supervisor told them how it was when they started and as they trained.  But don’t blame the supervisor because his manager told him how it was when he started.  But don’t blame the manager. . . you see where I am going with this?  It is a mindset drilled into adjusters that THEY are the ones that decide if a vehicle is totaled or not.  They are sadly mistaken.

So, listen, it is YOUR vehicle.  YOURS.  Not theirs.  YOU decide what to do with it, not them.  Remind them of this if you disagree with them.  Ask them whose name is on the title.  After you have cleared up the issue of ownership and ultimate control over the destiny of your vehicle, then you have to implement a plan to bring the destiny to reality.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN DO!

WHAT’S THE MADE WHOLE DOCTRINE & WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ANYWAY?

made whole doctrine

Made Whole Doctrine: Are you being preyed upon?

Insurance companies count on vehicle owners not knowing about the law, specifically the made whole doctrine.  They use the lack of knowledge by the layman to prey on accident victims for profit.  Right now, many of the accident victims that are reading this article are being further victimized by their own insurance company, and many times the adjusters that are doing the victimizing have been indoctrinated to believe they are doing the right thing and that they are within the law.

Let me be very clear here: Insurance companies routinely steal money from their own customers through improper and illegal subrogation activities.

ARE YOU AFFECTED? CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

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