Most types of comprehensive and collision car insurance give you the option of how high your insurance deductible will be. This can vary from zero deductible to very high into the thousands of dollars. In the event of a auto claim, the deductible must be paid before the insurance kicks in and makes a payment on your behalf. Having a lower deductible means that you will have less out-of-pocket costs.
When you have lower insurance deductibles it means that if something happens and you need to file a claim, you will have less out-of-pocket costs than if you had a high deductible insurance. This can be a great benefit especially if one is in a tight financial situation at the time a claim is filed.
In order to pay for the lower out-of-pocket cost, the insurer will ask that you pay a higher monthly premium to make up for their potential loss and risk. In other words, the insurance company will have to pay more of the the claim costs than if you had a higher insurance deductible. (more…)
Whether you are dealing with USAA, Farmers, State Farm, Nation Wide, GEICO, Progressive or one of the many other auto insurance companiesfor your totaled car, they all have the same objective... to reduce auto claim costs as much as possible.
Auto insurance adjusters that work for these companies are highly trained negotiators.
Their primary job is to:
Insurance adjusters use this negotiating process to lead you away (more…)
This is very misleading because this percentage is different in some states. While some insurance companies do use the 75% rule not all of them do. Some will use a higher percentage and others a lower percentage. In addition, in some states the percentage used to determine if a car is totaled is controlled by state regulation.
To further complicate the question, some auto insurance companies rely on the Total Loss Formula which is an Actual Cash Value appraisal completed by an auto appraiser.
Your car is a total loss and you feel strongly the insurance adjuster is offering you a low-ball payout on your car. Your first step is do not accept the insurance company's first offer. Your next step is to research the value of your totaled car before the accident and before you agree to any cash settlement with the insurance adjuster.
I realize everyone just wants to get the whole ordeal over with as soon as possible but making a hasty decision at this juncture will most likely cost you hundreds if not thousands in cash on your claim payout. This is what can happen when you try to take a short-cut by using an online car value calculator to determine the market value for your car before it was a total loss. By doing this, you could possibly be risking losing serious cash on your vehicle. The absolute best method is to have an actual cash value report for your car. More on this in a moment. (more…)
This question can confuse many people especially if they have been in a car accident and their vehicle appears to have sustained minimal damage.
There are many factors that need to be considered before an insurance adjuster will deem a vehicle a total loss. For instance, while the car may have what appears to be minimal visual damage, there can be severe damage to the vehicles frame and structural integrity. There may also be heavy damage to the engine and transmission. It is these unseen damaged components that can determine the vehicle is a total loss.
There is also the age of the vehicle. An older car worth $6,000 that has damage estimated at $5,000 would typically be considered a total loss. Compare this (more…)
When it comes to getting an accurate picture of what your car is worth, the most common issue that has to be addressed is the actual value of the vehicle.
In the auto industry, many turn to a few online tools like the Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) and the Canadian Black Book (canadianblackbook.com) as guides only. This is especially true when the car has been in an accident and considered to be a total loss and you need a more precise method of determining the actual value. More on this later.
Many of those engaged in the automotive business like car dealers often refer to the Kelley Blue Book when they need pricing information on a given car model. However, car dealers are not the only ones benefiting from the use of the book. Lending institutions also find the values assigned by the Blue Book and Black Book on various vehicles quite useful especially when considering the market value of a car submitted as collateral by a loan applicant.
The so-called Book values are an extensive price listing of practically every existing car and vehicle models. These include (more…)
PART 1 of 3
If this is your first (or not) total loss vehicle claim, this article is for you.
Here's the thing... The auto insurance companies don't want to pay your claim! There,I said it.
That is why they do their investigative homework and fine-tooth comb every detail and fact looking for a way to get out of paying the claim on your totaled car or at least reducing the dollar amount payable.
Don't take my word for it just look at these excerpts from Yahoo Answers.
What value does Geico go by to determine reimbursement for a total loss?
I Have a 1999 SVT Ford Mustang Cobra with 116,000 miles on it, that was in excellent condition that i have recently totaled and Geico is only offering me 7600 but NADA is 9200 and KBB is 9600. How can i fight this? they say there not going to change it. See original post
Can you refuse an insurance offer for reimbursement of a total loss?The party at fault's insurance will pay total loss for my 99 corolla and is now examining the case, I know they'll try to lowball me and deduct the so-called salvage value. See original post
Why can't insurance companies offer you Retail Value on a total loss car?I was involved in a car accident and it’s determined that it’s 100% the other party’s fault. My car is a total. My insurance did my car valuation since my insurance covers two way.ok.. I now understand the value my insurance co can offer to my total loss car is at the actual cash value. BUT, when I go to the dealer and buy a same car as the one I lost, I'm paying them the RETAIL VALUE. and actual cash value is always less than retail value. So who is paying for the difference??? See the original post
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the 100's of thousands of people in North America who have a very similar story. (more…)
PART 2 of 3
If you rely just on the asking price or sale price of a couple vehicle listings you printed off the Internet, you could be making a big mistake and miss out on several thousand dollars of extra cash for your total loss vehicle.
Remember the auto insurance company has a full appraisal report backing their cash offer. How convincing will a couple Craigslist ads be by comparison? For this reason having your own vehicle appraisal supporting a higher payout is critical.
The easiest place to find and select comparable vehicles to appraise your car is from online sites such as Autotrader, Craigslist and other sites that list ads for vehicles. You are looking for vehicles that would be considered "replacement" vehicles. Now this does not mean they are identical vehicles, they are vehicles that are similar in age, make and model. If you are finding it a challenge to find similar vehicles online, don't forget to check the classified section on local papers. Once you have at least three similar vehicles, you will have to make price adjustments to each comparable to account for differences between the comparable vehicle and subject vehicle.
The asking price or sale price of a comparable vehicle is not (more…)
In order to increase your payout you will need to do some negotiating with the insurance adjuster. This may seem kind of scary for some but if you have the right tools in hand you can negotiate with confidence.
No matter who is at fault for the accident that wrecked your vehicle, you will have to deal with an insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster is employed by the insurer to settle accident claims quickly at the lowest cost.
After the auto insurance adjuster presents you an offer to settle your claim, you don’t have to accept it – and you shouldn't because unless the insurance adjuster makes a mistake and gives you an above market offer the offer will be low.