Accurate Auto Appraisers

Total Loss

When you have a vehicle insurance claim where your insurance company declares your auto value is a total loss, in many cases the insurance settlement offer is too low. Your goal of achieving a fair auto insurance claim resolution is often difficult and overwhelming.

You need expert advice from an auto appraiser with a successful track record of challenging insurance companies along with proper guidance to overcome the multitude of issues that can be obstacles to a successful resolution of the insurance claim fair market value.

 Each insurance claim is unique with facts that need to be investigated and confirmed in the process of reaching a settlement with the insured party. The first and most important thing you need to understand is the insurance claims department has a role and agenda that is entirely different from the insurance policy sales department.

The insurance claim department has a primary goal of “maintaining control of the claim” that translates into “keep the claimant on the defensive by whatever means necessary”.

The claims department strategy is to gain the confidence of the claimant as if the claims adjuster is on the same side as the claimant trying to help by reaching a fair claim settlement offer. In some cases, the settlement can be generous or even overly generous. All of this is the stated objective of the law.

However, if the primary objective of an insurance company is profit, the cost of a claim settlement is basic in their overall profit margin. Therefore, the strategy for success of a profitable insurance company must include the real motive, crudely translated as “settle the claim as cheap as possible, and let the marketing, sales, and advertising department promote the company image as being fast, fair, generous, and friendly”.

The Department of Insurance requires an insurance company to follow a claims procedure when using a method for offering a value to settle a total loss claim. The declared purpose of this method is to have the settlement offer reflect the cost to purchase a vehicle of like kind and quality, with any differences adjusted fairly.

The preferred method of most insurance claim adjusters is to use alleged “comparable” vehicles advertised for sale. This has proven to be a very cost effective method of offering Total Loss claim value settlements.

Now, there are several companies that claim to have a database of all vehicles offered for sale. The insurance company provides these so called Value Database Services with the VIN # of the Total Loss vehicle, basic additional info from their company generated Condition Report, the mileage and any other basic info that would reduce the adjusted value of the Total Loss vehicle. This “one size fits all” computer formula manipulates the data to support the best interest and all judgment issues of the insurance company.

A multi-page value report is created that fits into the basic requirements of the primary value determination rules set by the Department of Insurance. This cheap, high volume method of Total Loss appraisal is efficient for common, late model vehicles with minimal value variation differences. 

As such, it’s often not worth the cost, frustration and time required of the claimant to challenge the settlement.

The cost of adjusting claims is low because knowledgeable claims adjusters are not required. Low wage glorified clerks with no authority to make any changes to the settlement are often employed by the insurance companies to handle any problems and customer complaints. A common tactic is to “shine on” a claim challenge, and motivate the claimant to surrender their challenge because of the risk, frustration, time, and cost of the claim challenge process.  Sounds a lot like the IRS, right?

So, where do you fit into this mess? If your loss vehicle is custom, unique or exotic, and does not compare with the average vehicle for which the present process of value determination is designed, you most likely will need professional advice and guidance to prevail with challenging your claim settlement from your insurance company.

The insurance companies have stacked the deck in their favor regarding the rules for engagement with a claim settlement challenge.

The steps to pursue a Total Loss insurance claim challenge are complex, and you need the insight from a seasoned professional to overcome the obstacles, or in some cases, determine if the obstacles are insurmountable. The steps and strategies are usually not fast or inexpensive, but often can be successful, but not always worthwhile.

We can meet in person or connect on the phone. At the very least, you will discover how your case matches the insurance claim settlement challenge system and you will come away with a reasonable expectation of the results and related costs if you choose to pursue the claim challenge process.

Call now for your complimentary consultation regarding your specific situation, issues and circumstances. Call our toll free direct line (800)733-4937. No obligation, of courseā€¦

PS - We offer a money back guarantee conditioned upon the determination of your case having a high probability of a successful insurance claim settlement outcome.