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Dealing with Insurance company on totaled car

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Bruce Specht, May 13, 2009.

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  1. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Was in an accident a week ago tonight, A younger driver decided to make a right hand turn from the left hand lane directly in front of me, traveling at 35 MPH. The other driver got a traffic violation and his insurance his taking responsibility. They called today to tell me the car 99 Ford Explorer 98K Loaded is a total. I can't find an ad for one equivalant to mine for under 6500 they want to give me 5375. Is this negotiable and how? Never done this before really don't want a new car but I think why not at the big disounts and loan rates? Just think my car has a higher value based on the ads i'm seeing
     
  2. trapshootin hippie

    trapshootin hippie Well-Known Member

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    Bruce, I don't know the value of your car, but since they say it was a total loss, you are entitled to more than just the price of the car. If you live in a state that requires annual vehicle inspections, they owe you for the unused portion of that. Also the unused portion of your license plates they will pay for. Ya might have to twist their neck a little to convince em, but these items are a loss also.

    Have em show ya where you can get a replacement for what they are offering. Watch em squirm then. Good luck, dealing with insurance companies, you are gonna need it.
     
  3. ExFedex

    ExFedex Active Member

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    We went thru this some years ago and I called the state insurance commissioners office for guidance. They were very helpful then. When we found a replacement that was acceptable to us I told the dealer what the insurance check would be and although it was quite a bit below their price they took it. Good luck.
     
  4. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    Well, I went through this too. First, I found ads with my car and a price to my liking. Then I bought a KBB and showed them the price for a model with all of my stuff in excellent condition as sold by a dealer, not private party or wholesale. Still they balked. Well, finally I said look, I've been a good guy and kept lawyers out of this but if you insist on lowballing me I'm going to get me a lawyer. Your client's negligence is actionable. That did it.
     
  5. Phil E

    Phil E TS Member

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    If you ask for it, they may give you a copy of the paperwork where their total specialist listed cars where averaging the values led him to this $5375 figure. Our company did. And they'll probably tell you where you can look to find countering amounts. Ours worked with us as we tried to find counter amounts, allowing us to provide amounts from ads anywhere in our state, of an identical vehicle. Phil E
     
  6. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    Bend over!

    Hauxfan!
     
  7. boomer

    boomer TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    One other thing--if your state has a sales tax--you are entitled to the tax also!!! Make sure you get that amount on whatever total amount you agree upon!!
     
  8. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Insurance companies are legalized theives and should be treated thusly!!

    Curt
     
  9. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Try nada.com and use the retail price.

    Also recent major repairs, new tires, license plates, transfer fees, mileage to pick up replacement car if out of the area.

    Where is the car located that they are using as a comparable.

    What does he say about the ads you found, are they truly comparable.

    Also try negotiating with him.

    Don

    Remember everyone's total is a one of a kind, clean one owner, top of the line when presented to the adjustor by the insured. Also some adjustors are just plain jerks so ask for his supervisor and talk to him and be prepared to go to court if you threaten them with it. Also if you are dealing with a independent adjustor ask for the Company contact and talk to them direct. They don't want to deal with this over $1500.
     
  10. over the hill

    over the hill Active Member

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    Been there before as well.

    Nationwide Ins. is a bad one to deal with. Seldom on your side.

    If you have any recent repair receipts present them.

    I was offered 750. on a old station wagon and ended up with 1500.

    Keep up the pressure.


    Regards....Gerald
     
  11. SirMissalott

    SirMissalott Active Member

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    Bruce,
    You might try going to ClarkHoward.com he is a consumer advocate I listen to on the radio from time to time. I'm sure something like you are asking will be covered in his FAQ's. if not you can probably email him. I hope this helps good luck. As stated by others you are dealing with the Devil!!
     
  12. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Two years ago, my son's 1999 Blazer LT was totaled. The other driver's insurance company, Erie, offered me $6,200 plus sales tax for it. I spoke with the claims manager several times and asked him to find me another vehicle with literally every factory option, which his had, and in the condition his was in. He couldn't and wound up paying me $9,600 for it.

    Almost exactly one year ago, my wife's 2000 Grand Am GT was totaled. The other driver's insurance company, Donegal Mutual, offered me $5,700 plus tax for it. We argued for a month. I even went to Manheim Auto Auction and watched rougher, higher mileage Grand Ams sell for more than their offer WHOLESALE. I gave them printouts of those transactions but they still stuck by their "guide." When I could not find a similar car for sale at anything close to their figure, I asked them to find one for me. They told me they don't do that. I wrote to the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission and received a reply stating that Donegal had done nothing wrong. Donegal's executive vice-president is, or was, a trapshooting friend of mine, so I sent him a letter, but he just gave it to the same claims manager I had been dealing with.

    About that time, my wife found a 2003 Saturn Vue she loved that Donegal's money would almost completely pay for because it needed a catalytic converter and the owner was told that was a $1,000 repair ($237 bought us a new one online and my son installed it), so he was only asking $6,700 for it. When I picked up on the converter issue (always take a scan tool along when looking at a used vehicle), he took $6,000 for it.

    So Donegal Mutual won that battle. We came out okay in the end but were shortchanged, in my opinion.

    GOOD LUCK!

    Ed
     
  13. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    My old pickup got rear ended last Christmas Eve while I was stopped in traffic. The impact was enough to knock it into the suv stopped in front of me so I had front and rear end damage. I used Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) and the nada.com web sites to determine the value before I spoke with 'her' insurance'.

    The other driver's insurance company uses a subscription form of one of those guides. The free web site version lists values based on the national averages. The subscription form is region specific. The subscription version thought my old truck was worth $600 more than the free web site value.

    The bottom line is this, you deserve no less than the market value of your vehicle. Used properly, kbb and nada give you an accurate and independent third party value. If 'he, she, or they' are offering less than the published numbers, I'd insist on a very convincing explanation as to why and verifiable documentation to back it up.

    sissy
     
  14. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    You are getting a lot of sympathy here- people telling you what you should be entitlted to.

    You asked - do you have to take this?

    The short answer is yes

    Unless they are way out of the ballpark. Then it could be a bad faith claim.

    You will normally pay much more money litigating a small claim than you will recover- if you do recover.

    There is an exception- if your state small claims court has a high enough claim amount that this would fall under that.

    If so- file a small claims case- research yourself- what type of proof you need to substantiate a higher claim and go to court = representing yourself- let a judge sort it out.

    You will get discussion before the case from the insurance company or their attorney- and might be able to work it out at that time.

    Regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  15. BAD 303

    BAD 303 Active Member

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    May not be the best advice but tell them your neck and back are starting to bother you and are headed for the doctor's office. You do not have to accept their offer period. Negotiation is everything.
     
  16. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Bad303

    you are right- thats not good advice-

    LOL

    Gene
     
  17. johnjohn91387

    johnjohn91387 TS Member

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    Bruce,

    If your state settles total loss claims on "actual cash value" (ACV) basis (in lieu of using another method) here is how they established the offer they gave you.

    Insurance companies settle claims on ACV basis by establishing a price range for vehicles exactly like you have. Year, make, model, trim level, mileage & condition.

    To do this, they hire a search firm which queries local dealers, want ads, & private party sales, in your area.

    The results of this are usually several vehicles which match yours, and a range is established of low end to high end. (for example, $4000 to $7250)

    The insurance company then evaluates your car for condition, even though it has been "totalled", they can still evaluate it's general condition.

    BAsed on their estimation of your car's condition, good, fair, poor, excellent, etc., they will make you an offer somewhere within the range previously established by the search firm.

    This INITIAL offer is negotiable, up to a point, because you have to demonstrate why YOUR car is worth more than what they are offering you for it. (low mileage, custom equipment, excl. condition are some of the reasons that increase YOUR car's value) (mechanical upkeep is not generally considered as a valuation increase factor, in spite of what others on this forum would have you believe)

    As a consumer, sometimes there is a large discrepancy between what you think your car is worth, and what the insurance company thinks your car is worth.

    Politely ask if they settle claims on ACV basis; if so, ask to see the price range that they have established for your car. You will quickly see where your offer from them falls, in relation to the range they have established.

    As an personal lines insurance agent of 20 plus some years, I can tell you that usually the company has a better sense, based on hard facts, of what your car is worth, then you do. (personal sentiment aside, that is).

    I will close with this suggestion; threats, yelling and screaming will probably not get the claim resolved to your satisfaction. This is business, not personal, and the adjuster is doing what they can. If you feel they are not dealing with you in good faith, you have recourse, but please consider that this is a business dealing, and treat it as such.

    Thanks for taking the time to consider what I have written.


    Sincerely,

    John Malcolm, 23 year Personal Lines Insurance Agent, Northridge, Ca.
     
  18. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate all the feed back and suggestions, we are in negotaions. i really don't wnat to play the injury card. I did go see my doctor three days ago as my neck and thumb are hurting. She checked me out and said I have tenedenitus? I'll be fine in a week or so. I'm going to press for more cahs as I don't really want to buy a new car at this time but most likely will need to.
     
  19. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    I was rear ended once, totaled the car. They offer the book value of the car, the guy said he couldn't offer more if he wanted to. Didn't matter what they were selling for down the street. They won't pay for your emotional attachment to the car. Make sure all the options on the car are noted. I bought it back for $75.
     
  20. trim tab

    trim tab Active Member

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    The insurance is gong to try to get out for as little as possible. The number they told you is a good place to start, but you have to be realisitic also. I believe you should be able to get a little for then that for the vehicle
     
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