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Maximizing Your Claim: The Role of Auto Appraisers Near You

May 2, 2024

Car insurance companies are in the business of making money. Shocker. They may say they have your best interest at heart, but if you have ever been in a car accident and tried to contest their settlement offer or make a diminished value claim, you’ve seen firsthand what a struggle it is to get the maximum market value for your vehicle.

Whether you are trying to settle a total loss claim or recover money for repairs from your own insurance company or are seeking diminished value from the other driver’s insurer, it’s a good idea to be proactive and get a professional auto appraisal.

Why Do I Need an Expert Vehicle Appraisal?

You need an expert appraisal in order to know the actual  fair market value of your vehicle. The 17c diminished value formula that car insurance companies use to calculate the worth of vehicles only gives a generic figure. It assumes all vehicles of the same make and model are cookie cutter images regardless of condition, maintenance, custom options and other factors. For that reason, the settlement offers they make based on the 17c formula frequently devalue vehicles.

Don’t let that happen to you. If you believe you’re getting a raw deal; if you know your vehicle is worth more than the settlement offer, you don’t have to accept it. If you want to successfully maximize your claim, though, you’ll need solid proof that your vehicle is worth what you say it is.

Auto Appraisers Can Prove Your Vehicle’s True Value

Licensed independent auto appraisers have a wealth of industry knowledge and experience and the specialized tools to accurately assess any vehicle. They keep abreast of current market trends and pay attention to details. 

Whereas the 17c formula relies heavily on vehicle age, mileage, and level of damage incurred as a result of a crash, expert auto appraisers consider every aspect of a vehicle.

Auto appraisers look at everything!

  • How well was the vehicle maintained? (Impeccable, documented maintenance history can increase a car’s market value.)
  • What condition is the paint job? 
  • Are there previous dents and dings marring the finish?
  • Location (Are you trying to find the value of a heavy-duty pickup in Chicago or are you in rural Tennessee where there’s higher demand for trucks?)
  • Is the color popular?
  • Is the vehicle rare or an extremely popular make and model?
  • Are there modifications or special options that make the vehicle more valuable?
  • Does all the equipment work?
  • What condition is the interior in?

None of those details figure into the settlement offer from the insurance company, but auto appraisers include them in their calculation. 

An auto appraiser will go over every inch of your car and give you a detailed report to hand over to the insurance company. Such an expert vehicle assessment is hard to argue with.

An auto appraisal report can convince insurers that your unique vehicle has a higher value than what they’re offering.

Auto Mediator Has Decades of Experience

Like any other business, not all auto appraisers are equally capable. Auto Mediator has been around a long time–more than 25 years–and we have a trusted reputation. We have provided expert witness services for the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles (Central District, Dept .56), and the Los Angeles public defender’s office, 

We have provided auto appraisals for countless clients, and we have a record of success in helping clients resolve automotive issues in civil and small claims courts.

If you need an expert appraisal for total loss, diminished value, or for any other reason, you can rely on Auto Mediator to give you a spot on report.