If you have filed an insurance claim after a wreck, a claims adjuster will assess the damage and decide whether it’s fixable and how much it would cost. Insurance companies usually deem a car a total loss if repairs will cost more than the vehicle is worth.
In total loss cases, insurance companies come up with a vehicle valuation and offer a settlement. You are within your rights to dispute the settlement amount, however, if you think it’s too low or you’re just not sure and want a professional opinion.
You should listen to your instincts because you could stand to lose a lot of money by blindly accepting the insurance company’s offer. In cases of total loss, their reports can contain mistakes concerning salvage, prior accident damage, frame damage or other important details.
Also, what are supposed to be comparable cars used in the appraisal reports often are anything but comparable. If the vehicle is of a lesser quality or has damage or is substandard in some other way, that devalues your vehicle in the process.
Challenging the Insurance Company’s Settlement
In order to successfully challenge what the insurance company offers, you must be able to prove the real valuation of your vehicle. You need solid evidence that your car is worth more than they say it is.
Turning to an online appraiser or car value calculator is not the answer here. They are prone to undervaluing cars. They certainly don’t take into account details like customization and an impeccable maintenance record, which increases the value of your vehicle.
Seek Out an Independent Total Loss Appraiser
Having your vehicle evaluated by an independent total loss appraiser before accepting an insurance company’s settlement is the best way to know whether or not the offer is a fair assessment of the vehicle’s market value before the accident. To prove that your vehicle is worth more than the insurance settlement indicates, you need an airtight appraisal from a licensed professional, something to which they’ll have to give credence.
Auto Mediator has 25 years of experience in various aspects of the automotive industry, including 20 years running an auto auction. With a nationwide reputation for excellence, Auto Mediator has a proven track record when it comes to spot-on appraisals.
Sometimes, the insurance company agrees to the professional appraiser’s amount; sometimes their appraiser will contact your appraiser and the two will come to an agreement on a fair valuation of the vehicle.
What If the Insurance Company Won’t Play Ball?
Sometimes, however, the insurance company will not budge on their original settlement amount. When the insurance company’s appraiser does not see eye to eye with a professional appraiser, hiring an agreed upon umpire can become necessary.
Auto Mediator offers unbiased third-party umpire services from Pepperdine-trained auto experts. Dispute resolution is tricky, however, and sometimes it’s impossible for both sides even to agree on an umpire, much less a settlement amount..
In some cases, the impasse is so great that the matter winds up in a courtroom. In those cases, it definitely pays to have the expertise of an Auto Mediator appraiser on your side! In addition to umpire services, Auto Mediator also offers expert witness services to support your claim.
Auto Mediator Total Loss Appraisal
For rock-solid total loss appraisal, Auto Mediator will produce a customized report on your vehicle that will make it hard for an insurance company to dispute. Many clients have recovered significantly more than their original settlement offers.
If you think you’re being short-changed by your insurance company, follow your instincts. Call Auto Mediator and get an accurate total loss appraisal.