Total Loss and the CCC Report
If your vehicle has been deemed a total loss, many insurance companies will rely on a company called CCC to provide a market evaluation on the value of your vehicle to act as a settlement tool. CCC (Certified Collateral Corporation) Information Services Inc. is a company that provides vehicle value reports to insurance companies. They utilize their own methods and develop a value for your vehicle that is supposed to be reflective of the actual cost of a replacement vehicle in the market where your vehicle would have been sold, had it not been totaled.
What is a CCC Report? A Quick Overview
Most CCC reports begin with a basic claim header area where the information about the vehicle owner, insurance claim, and vehicle are located. After the who’s and what’s are listed out, there is a summary section where the report reflects the final dollar value assigned to your vehicle.
Can you trust the CCC to reflect an accurate value?
That question has been posed at least a couple of times in class action lawsuits that ended up with CCC paying millions to settle (with no admission of liability, mind you).
Outside of waiting on the next class action or filing a suit yourself, what can you do if you disagree with CCC’s valuation? Our suggestion is to fight, fight, fight. Request strict proof of the CCC numbers, and present alternative numbers that support your position.
Let’s look at some common places you might be able to find some room for movement.
First, there is the condition assessment details section where there will be a brief comparison between a “typical” vehicle, and the subject vehicle. The comparison will impact the value in a manner that is not completely explained anywhere, but nevertheless results in a dollar value assigned to the increase or decrease in value that the condition of the subject vehicle merits in the eyes of whoever inspected the vehicle (sometimes hard to pinpoint). The adjustments in this area of the CCC vary widely with different vehicle conditions & descriptions. If any one adjustment seems unreasonable, be nice and ask the adjuster how they arrived at the deduction or addition amount and do a little research of your own before you challenge an adjustment. Ask to speak with the appraiser that physically inspected your vehicle.
Next, there is the market comparable vehicles summary. This part of the CCC report is clear – they list out all the prices of vehicles that they found, then they adjust them to make them “comparable”. The adjusted value for each vehicle is averaged out to come up with the market value of your vehicle. In this section there are various adjustments which you could question. There is sometimes a “base” adjustment that is explained as a “take” price vs. “list” price adjustment. This adjustment has been the focus of at least one of the suits against CCC and I’ve never been able to get an adjuster to give me a good explanation of how the adjustment is calculated. Outside of the baseline adjustment, there are mileage and option adjustments. These adjustments can vary widely based on the year, make, model, and location of the vehicle, so pay close attention to these numbers and ask for explanations on them as well.
So, what is a CCC report? It’s simply a market valuation that is used by insurance company’s to help adjusters get claims settled. You don’t have to accept the amount that CCC says your vehicle is worth. In my experience, CCC reports seem to be widely variable. Sometimes it seems the reports are pretty accurate, while other times it seems clear that the reports are severely out of line with real market values.
Getting Real About CCC
The bottom line is that if you get stuck dealing with a CCC report and the value seems unreasonable, there are a lot of areas on their report where you could question the accuracy of their data and calculations so FIGHT! If you can’t get the adjuster to negotiate, ask for a supervisor and move up the chain of command. If that doesn’t work, hire a professional. Unfortunately, the amount in dispute with most total loss claims is not enough for an attorney to get involved and insurance companies know that. They will sometimes train adjusters to stick with the CCC number no matter what. It can be difficult to persuade a greenhorn or brainwashed adjuster that the CCC report is not the gold standard for vehicle values that they may have been taught that it is. When an adjuster really thinks for themselves, they must realize that CCC ONLY markets to insurance companies and works exclusively for the insurance industry. Do you think that CCC will value vehicles the way their customers (insurance companies) want? The biggest sales pitch for CCC is that they can save the insurance company money on total loss settlements. That doesn’t sound like a good plan for getting accurate market values to me.
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