How to Get the Most Cash For Your Totaled Car
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.
I have been through multiple vehicle claims personally over the years and helped out many more people with their vehicle claim. It never fails that the insurance company always offers their cash payout on the low end of fair market value.
Is a car insurance payout market value?
The reason becomes clear when you consider they make their money by collecting your premiums - not paying your claim. So every dollar they save on your claim is an extra dollar of your's they keep in their pocket.
Another reason the insurance company offers a low value to start is because they have an actual cash value appraisal in hand that tells them how much your car is worth... and you don't.
So the typical deal from my experience goes like this: the insurance company picks the lowest possible cash offer they believe you may accept. If you do the deal is done and they cut you a check.
If you refuse their first offer, they will most likely sweeten the pot by bumping the offer hoping you will view them as being generous and take the money and run.
Now, if you continue to refuse their offer the insurance company will say "this is our final offer" and if you don't like it, take it to arbitration.
For many of you reading this... this probably seems very familiar.
Now on to...
How We Got an EXTRA $2,700 Payout for a Total Loss Car
This extra payout was not from refusing the insurance company's first offer and we didn't have to go to arbitration... we had an ace up our sleeve they didn't expect... but more on this in a moment.
First, I should talk about the initial offer the insurance company puts on the table. If you take the dollar value of their first offer and look around the Internet for similar cars, you will most likely find many other cars being offered for sale for a very similar amount as their cash offer. The insurance companies know you will do this and that is why their offer seems to be in line with what is for sale for a similar vehicle.
So if you do refuse their first offer and they bump up the offer a few hundred or a thousand it appears like you are getting top dollar... but you are not.
The truth is, they have a cash value appraisal which is evidence of the market value of your vehicle. If you do not have a similar document (but with a higher cash value conclusion) you are fighting an uphill battle. It's like that cliché "taking a knife to a gun fight". However that was not what we did, we just brought a bigger gun to the gun fight.
Our ace in the hole was having our own cash value appraisal.
How did we do it?
In fact, creating your very own cash value appraisal isn't as hard as you may think. Sure it sounds complicated but so are most things before you see how they are done.
To start, we did what everyone does in this situation and searched the Internet for similar vehicles. Once we found three vehicles we felt were the closest in comparability, we adjusted their sale price to account for any differences between the total loss vehicle and the comparable vehicles.
The adjusted dollar value came out to $3,700 more than the insurance company's offer. I know... I know, I can hear you already saying, " You said it was $2,700"! You are right.. but the $2,700 was what we accepted after just a couple phone calls.
We could have pushed for the full $3,700 difference but may have had to go to arbitration to get it. If we did choose that route, at least we had cold hard market evidence to back up our claim.
>>Click here for PART 2 How We Got an EXTRA $2,700 Payout for a Total Loss Car<<
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