Insurance adjusters work hard to lower claim costs... but you don't have to worry about this when you know what to expect and how to present your case for a higher payout.
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.
Why car insurance companies payout is too low
There are over 6.4 million car accidents each year in the USA costing insurance companies more than $230 billion dollars in claim costs. With these kind of claim costs it’s not a surprise the insurance companies will do what they can to lower their claim costs.
Insurance companies work hard to settle their claims by trying to get you to agree to a settlement. This is because the first settlement offer is the lowest and if they can get you to agree they save money.
Even if you are in a pinch and need the cash, resist the temptation to get cash in your hand as this could mean losing out on potentially a few thousand dollars.
When you turn down their first offer there is a good chance the insurance adjuster will come back a few days later and offer you more cash. You could refuse this offer too but the problem you are going to run into is the “final offer” statement from the insurance adjuster.
Auto insurance payout on totaled car example
- Let's say, the insurance adjuster offers you $10,000 to settle your total loss auto insurance claim.
- You request a copy of the insurance adjusters cash value report and review it.
- You refuse the offer by saying it is too low and you feel your vehicle is worth $15,000 before the accident. You give them some examples as to why like low mileage, exceptional condition, etc.
- The insurance adjuster says she/he will look at it again and call you back in a couple days. They do call back and offer to pay $12,000 without prejudice if you accept the offer. The offer is their last and final offer.
- You know the revised settlement offer is still low but the insurance adjuster has a cash value appraisal that supports a value of $10,000 – Do you take the $12,000 because you feel there is nothing you can do?
The best way to handle this all too common situation is to have your own evidence supporting your vehicles market value (cash value). When you have your own evidence you are in a much better position to have the insurance adjuster increase their settlement offer to a value much closer to the actual cash value of your wrecked vehicle.
Continuing with the total loss example above
Let's say, after the initial settlement offer from the insurance adjuster, you reject their offer and you present her/him with your actual cash value evidence of similar vehicles.
Seeing your evidence, insurance adjuster comes back to you with an offer to settle the claim at $14,000.
Rejecting the second offer will likely result in having to go to some sort of arbitration or appeal process the insurance company uses. Whatever the appeal or arbitration process it is designed to give you a fair and impartial hearing to present your case and prove your vehicle is worth more than the insurance adjuster is offering to settle the claim.
However, the insurance adjuster is banking you will not want to go through the process for an extra $1,000 and settle at $14,000.
How to dispute a car insurance total loss valuation
- You could settle and take the $14,000.
- By offering a settlement of $14,000, the insurance adjuster has basically rejected your proposed value of $15,000. You could submit a counter offer at some number higher than $14,000 and less than $15,000.
- Reject the $14,000 settlement offer, take the next step and elevate your claim as an appeal or to arbitration.
When you know the right steps to get the full cash value of your vehicle, dealing with an insurance adjuster becomes easy.
Would you like to be armed with your own professional actual cash value appraisal that will give you the confidence and leverage you need when disputing your claim settlement?
You can hire someone to do a cash value appraisal on your wrecked vehicle. These business will cost you between $175 for a desk appraisal (short form) to as much as $300 for a detailed cash value appraisal which is what you want.
I am here to tell you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a professional cash value appraisal... not even close. And I am also going to tell you, if other people just like you can dispute the insurance adjuster's total loss valuation and negotiate a successful outcome with our system... so can you.
Learn more on how you can create your own professional
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