In order not to feel cheated while trying to know the car value for insurance claims, you should understand how to determine the car’s value and cost of repair. After your car gets damaged following an accident, you want to make sure that your insurance company gives you the compensation you deserve for the repair job or the value of your totaled car.
Determine the Car’s Value
The good news is that there are many resources, both online and offline that help you determine car value for insurance claims. Some of the best resources to consider include Kelly Blue Book and the NADA Guide. It is however important to note that most insurance companies will not compensate you for a vehicle that has been totaled – that is if the cost of repair is more than the cash value assigned to the car. The onus lies on your insurance company to decide whether or not to fix your car or pay for its book value after it has been declared totaled.
However, you can also file a claim to prove that the insurance company is paying below the book value of the damaged car. In other words, you can file to increase your claim or settlement. To make your claim more substantial, you need proof which includes service history, mileage records, and an affidavit from your mechanic indicating that the car is worth more than what was stated by the insurance company.
Understanding The Process Of Car Value for Insurance Claims
Upon filing a claim with your insurance company, they will refer your case to a claims adjuster. They will investigate and verify if your claims are genuine. Once the verification process is complete, they will make an initial determination on what it will cost to fix the vehicle.
The adjuster’s estimate is only a benchmark. It is an estimate that the insurance company is yet to approve. So the ball lies in your court. Will you accept the adjuster’s offer or you’d like more additions to the estimate? You don’t have to feel pressured into accepting the claim payment offered by the adjuster.
Your insurance company will request a quote for the worth of a similar car from your mechanic, car dealer, or garage for comparison purposes.
As expected, your insurance company will always want to pay for the lowest bid. No one will want to go into a business dealing to run at a loss. So don’t be surprised by this move. On your part, you want to make sure that your car is restored to its original condition; likewise, the insurance company does not want to cover an inflated cost for fixing the car.
One of the things that could affect your compensation claim is known as betterment. If you fix your car using brand new parts, your insurance company may argue that the repairs have actually enhanced the car’s value and therefore they can legitimately reduce your claim by the difference between the new and old part.
You don’t have to accept your insurance company’s settlement, you can always negotiate. There are experts that can help you get the most out of this deal.