Get ready for your mind to be blown in the latest article from Justin Petty regarding the Appraisal Clause and how much it can vary from policy to policy.
You will see four different versions of the appraisal clause and he’ll compare them and show you some of the differences/problems with them. He’ll also talk about how they work and how the clauses can sometimes be worded in a way that ultimately works AGAINST you, even though everyone normally assumes it was created to HELP you!
Read his opinion about these different appraisal clauses and how you might be able to deal with them if you are trying to resolve your total loss.
You might walk away with more questions than you had before – luckily, Justin is just the guy to point you in the right direction!
This is a hard subject to explain to a lot of people.
Let me start by saying that you need to understand what is in this article before you blow your top at some insurance adjuster. There are ways around a reservation of rights defense, but you have to be stealthy and, above all, you have to remain calm.
If you have found this article, you are either an insurance adjuster doing some research or you are involved in a claim and being advised that your claim is not being paid at this time and that they are putting the claim on a “reservation of rights”.
I’m going to speak on Texas and specifically on auto insurance as Texas is my home State and auto insurance is where I have the most experience, although the reservation of rights or its equivalent exists in almost every State in the U.S. and can come about on claims that are not automobile claims.
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.
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.
Shane is an attorney so he was well aware that diminished value was owed to him after he was hit in his 2007 Aston Martin Vantage.
He definitely had an advantage when it came to negotiating his claim but he did rely on our knowledge and highly technical report to prove that his loss was substantial despite the fact that his luxury car was repaired perfectly by the best in Dallas.
He knew that his Aston Martin diminished value claim was going to run pretty high but he had to prove it!
As an attorney, Wade works with accident victims all of the time and turned to us when he was a victim himself to provide the expert evidence he needed to prove his Ford Expedition diminished value case. He had been offered around $4K but he knew that was a low offer because he had taken meticulous care of his 2011 Ford Expedition Limited, which was loaded with options, and had all the maintenance records so he sought out our help. (more…)
The subject of determining fault has no doubt spawned many a fist fight, and the debate on the best way to allocate fault is still alive and well.
This subject can get very complicated, but I’ll try and simplify it down to a quick study.
I have to say that negligence laws differ in each State, so I am going to generalize and speak about negligence and fault as it is addressed in the vast majority of the United States, and we’ll omit specific exceptions due to locale. If you have a specific question about tort liability or negligence in auto accident, please seek out a competent attorney or professional. The information presented here is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only. (more…)
I guess most of us have heard of the placebo effect, but just in case. . . here’s my definition:
Being told that a pill (you don’t know it’s just sugar) is a fix for a problem, then having the problem resolve. The healing effect due ONLY to the belief of having a healing medicine, and not any actual physical medicine.
I think this is a great example of the power of thought on the physical world. It is at the very least, evidence that it may be possible to think healing into being. As I was reviewing my historical records of how diminished value claims are settled, I began to think about and analyze the conversations and belief patterns of my customers as they behaved and thought about their insurance claim potential. The placebo effect is rampant.
So one of the most common questions I get is related to how an accident will affect insurance premiums.
If you are worried about this, then you are correct in doing so. The answer as to how much your rate will increase is specific to the insurance company that provides your coverage. For example, if you watch TV you’ll see advertisements from more than one insurance company that now offer “accident forgiveness”, or something of the sort. In my opinion, this is a great marketing technique, but I would want to know how much it would have cost me to have an accident before “accident forgiveness” and then whether there is a charge to get “accident forgiveness” on your policy. Without having those answers, how can one determine if the offer is a deal or a dud?