Before you accept a check from the insurance company for your wrecked or totaled vehicle, doing this one thing could mean getting thousands more dollars for your car.
Find out what your car was worth prior to the accident. If you have been in an accident and it has been determined that your car is a total loss, your insurance company will need to pay to replace your car.
Tim M’s 2014 Kia Sorrento was stolen in December 2018, never to be seen again! His insurance company offered to compensate him $11,329 for his total loss. Tim felt this was less than fair market value so contacted us to help him. We advised him to inform his insurance company that he wished to invoke the ‘Appraisal Clause’ in his policy. We all have one in our policies!
Even if you've never been involved in a car insurance scam, rest assured that you have felt their effects in the form of higher premiums. There is no national authority that keeps track of all types of auto insurance scams, but reports from various sources indicate the phenomena can cost insurance companies upwards of $6 billion per year and may account for up to 15 percent of all claims filed. Having to pay these claims results in higher premiums for policy holders, including you and me.
Q: Can I keep my car if the insurance company totals it? A: Yes. After it's been declared a total loss, you have the option to keep the car. The insurance company will subtract the salvage value from the car's market value. The salvage value is the amount a salvage yard will pay for the damaged car. If you keep the car, it will have a salvage title. If it is successfully repaired or rebuilt, you can apply to transfer the salvage title to a rebuilt title. Caution! A vehicle with a rebuilt title can be difficult and/or expensive to insure. Do your homework!
If you have submitted an insurance claim and feel the offer to replace your vehicle is inadequate, you’re probably right! Of all the Insurance offers we evaluate, there are only a few companies which make a reasonable offer and we can tell clients “you’re getting a decent offer.” It may be on the lower end of what the car is worth, but the cost of an appraisal isn't going to generate a sufficient return on investment.
An appraisal clause is a clause or paragraph found in most, but not all, insurance policies. It is designed to be a way of reaching a settlement when there is a dispute over the amount of a loss between you and your insurance company and can be invoked by either party. The appraisal clause can be utilized when there is a dispute over the value of your vehicle in a total loss claim. The appraisal clause is generally found in the "Damage to A Vehicle" section of your policy. Following are the basic steps to invoke the appraisal clause of most policies.