If you are selling your vehicle or were involved in an accident that was not your fault, the following steps will allow you to take control and not accept just any offer the insurance company or dealership is giving to you.
This 5 step guide will condense what you need to do to take control.
Every vehicle is different but companies will compare your vehicle to every other “2017 Ford F-150” on the market. First, you should look for your overall trade in value using sites such as http://www.nadaguides.com/ or using https://www.kbb.com/. This will give you the average amount your vehicle is worth in a specified condition. (fair, good, excellent). Doing this is termed finding the Fair Market Value or True Market Value.
After you have searched on these two sites, you need to search for the same Year, Make, and Model of the vehicle in your general area. If you live in Texas, don’t look for a car in New York. Those are not comparable.
If you were in an accident and are trying to collect Diminished Value, then I recommend getting a quote at a local dealership –preferably of the same make as your car. This will give you some more proof that the accident really did cause you lose value of your car or truck.
All insurance companies are not made equal. As such, you can speak to the adjuster and see if they valuation you are coming to is acceptable to them. Some will be understanding and they will begin negotiations with you regarding the vehicle. If you are unlucky, and the insurance adjuster hasn’t had their third cup of coffee for the day then its time to speak to a supervisor. If the supervisor is of equal help then you should continue to step 3.
The insurance company is allowed to deny your claim, not give you a sent that you are entitled to more, and to move on to the next person. How? You allowed them to have that power.
Because the power cannot be given entirely to the insurance company, their is a clause in your policy that allows you to fight back. This is termed the Appraisal Clause. The appraisal clause states that you can hire an independent auto appraiser (http://avalonadjusters.com) to conduct a vehicle valuation and submit to them a certified appraisal of the current market value of your car.
Why is this necessary? It provides a checks & balances to the Insurance Machine. Once the appraisal is conducted from your appraisal company, then they have two options:
Usually, the insurance company will hire their own appraisal company to fight with them. When this happens then all communication is conducted between the two appraisal companies.
The power has been shifted. Now the insurance company cannot deny your claim. Your independent appraisal company will do all the negotiations on your behalf (if their a good company). Once the two appraisers determine the Fair Market Value of the vehicle then everyone’s job is done.
The Fair Market Value has been determined, everyone is in agreeance, and your settlement check will be on its way….congratulations!!
If you found this article helpful please share with your friends. Most companies will offer a flat rate and not make commission on your settlement. Shop around and make sure everyone wins.