Sometimes, when you invoke the appraisal clause, the two appraisers get in a sticky situation where they don’t agree and one tries to make up unwritten rules on the idea of “that is what we have always done”.
This case was one of those.
The owner had been through a pretty horrific hail storm and his new vehicle was totaled in the process. When he got his offer, he felt like it was pretty low. We took a look and agreed that his valuation contained the typical problems they normally do and seemed to be several thousand dollars off.
If you would like to get a fair settlement for the total loss of your auto, you have found the right article. It will take a little work, but I think I can shed a little light on what you need to know in order to get a fair settlement.
As the owner of an appraisal and claim service company as well as a former licensed adjuster who has settled thousands of total loss claims, I will reveal the tricks to getting an insurance company to take you seriously.
In this article, I will dispel common misconceptions on total losses, tell you how to argue with computer programs and formulas, and give step-by-step instructions on how to best support your claim to get it settled.
Total loss disputes are common.
The value of your vehicle is very important to you, but it may not be as important to your insurance company or the insurance company of that guy or girl that hit your car and totaled it.
There are some options to help get a fair value on your vehicle.
The most common and accepted is to employ the services of a non-interested professional. If the professional is truly a non-interested expert, then their opinion should be based on accepted appraisal methods and proper training and experience. The value you get from an independent appraiser should be in line with the actual value of your vehicle as it relates to the terms of the insurance claim.
Short Answer: No!
I think most people get this, but I get this question all the time, so I am writing this article in an attempt to properly explain why a total loss settlement does not include diminished value.
First, let us define Diminished Value:
Diminished Value is the loss in re-sale value of a vehicle after it has been in a wreck and then repaired.
Second, let us define Total Loss:
A Total Loss occurs when the insurance company decides that they are not going to repair your vehicle.
There are a few things to realize when you are dealing with an auto claim.
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.
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.
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.
Can you claim for the cost of a rental Car on Total Loss Claims in Texas?
Blogs are buzzing because in the recent Texas Supreme Court Case, J&D Towing LLC v. American Alternative Insurance Corporation 2016 WL 91201 (Tex. 2016), a major wrong that has been going on since before there were even cars was righted.
The Petty Details of Total Losses
What should you do when you are dealing with a total loss?
We get so many questions every day from people involved in an accident where their vehicle was totaled and they are now getting a low offer from the insurance company and just don’t know what to do next.
We always tell them that it is always a negotiation and that they have to fight and prove their points with the information we are revealing below today!
We put together some total loss settlement tips to get you moving in the right direction on your auto claim.
What To Do After An Auto Accident
Advice on Dealing with an Auto Insurance Claim
Most of us will be involved in an auto accident within our lifetimes.
This means that we are likely to have a claim with an insurance company; either our own insurance company or someone else’s insurance company.
After over 17 years of experience in the field of insurance (most as a claims adjuster), I have come to realize that the majority of the public just doesn’t get it (the claims process, that is).
Additionally, I also believe that the majority of auto claims adjusters don’t get it.
When I first began to speak with people about insurance claims over 17 years ago, the problem was not so apparent, but as more attorneys and less experienced adjusters come on the market, claimants get fed a lot of misinformation.
Just search the internet for auto accident claims help or some similar string of search words and you will quickly become confused on how to best approach getting a fair settlement on your insurance claim.
In my own opinion, the best approach is the simplest approach. As the title of this article indicates, critical thinking is the key to a successful claim negotiation.
As an adjuster who has handled almost every type of claim imaginable, I will attempt to give some pointers on critical thinking that we should all remember when we are dealing with a claim, adjusters and claimants alike.