When your car is severely damaged after an accident, talking with your insurance provider about compensation for your loss may be a major pain in the neck; that is if you don’t know the basics on fighting for your right.
Just after an accident, an appraiser will then assess all the damage to the bodywork of a vehicle, this is to determine whether it needs some repairs or it totally needs some replacements.
Generally speaking, if the total cost incurred for repairing a vehicle is higher than its original value, your insurance company will then declare it a total loss, and they will pay you the original value of the car.
Do your homework, it’s very basic but it will get you places, this is to ensure that you get a fair value for your damaged vehicle. Talk to your insurance provider; make sure that you understand all of the fine print of the insurance policy for your vehicle as it pertains to replacing or repairing your damaged car.
Understanding the Insurance Polices Beforehand Helps
You need to understand your insurance policies beforehand so you’ll feel at ease and confident about everything if ever an accident would happen to your car. Always maintain the integrity of your car, that means that you have to keep it clean and in sound condition.
Your appraiser will then assess the condition of your car, and he will determine whether its condition is fair, poor, excellent, or satisfactory. In order to get the highest value possible, make sure that the interior and exterior aspects of your car are all in good condition.
Keep all your receipts and records of maintenance and repairs. Even if your car is used, but if it has been kept with exceptional maintenance is worth more than a brand new car that hasn’t even been vacuumed or polished even in just a few months.
Checking up Valuation Site Like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds
To easily determine the value of your car after an accident, you may check out the Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds website for your guidance. Key in all of the needed information in the site, make use of their value calculator, and you will then be issued with a value for private sale, retail, and trade in purposes.
Get to know cars that are comparable to yours, especially those that are available for sale in your locality. Your insurance provider should also issue the Actual Cash Value or ACV of your car, this is the value of the car if you have sold it before an accident.
This value may be relatively lower or higher than what is in the Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. Make a good negotiation with your insurance company. The price of a car is definitely negotiable, make your choices and if you think your price is reasonable, set all your cards on the table and let them know what you think about it.
Phillip Reed, a veteran adjuster mentioned in one of his articles, ‘Confessions of an Auto Claims Adjuster’, suggested that you shouldn’t take the bait if the insurance company offers you a value for the very first time. That value will always be low for your car’s actual value. The adjusters are responsible for making amends or adjustments if ever you decline the company’s first offer. Feel free to challenge the report of your appraiser.
Every client may question the value given by an appraiser most of the time, especially when you know that your car is worth more than what he has put up for its estimated value.
Present your case and if your stakes are good, your insurance company may listen to your terms and reconsider. Bear in mind that your insurer is obliged to give you a fair price. That’s not always the case because as long as they think they can get away with a low offer, they’ll stick to it.