Totaled Car Claims attorney Totaled Car Claims attorney A total personnel casualty claim is where your car has been written off as a full personnel casualty because either it can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be repaired ( hard damage beyond compensate no matter what the cost ) OR the cost of repairs exceeds your cable car ’ s actual cash value ( ACV ). The latter reason is the more common. The policy ship’s company will entirely declare your car a total loss if it will save money paying you the rate of your car alternatively of having it repaired. It is a saturated business decision .

Repairs Exceed Car’s Cost

Each policy company has a unlike cut-off for the share of Actual Cash Value ( ACV ) for when they will declare your cable car a sum loss. The cut-off share ranges between 70-80 % of your car ’ second ACV depending on the insurance company. so for example, an indemnity company with a 75 % cut-off will declare your car a sum loss if the repairs are estimated at $ 8,000 and your car is entirely worth $ 10,000. That is because $ 8,000 is more than 75 % of your car ’ s $ 10,000 ACV. The adjuster will tell you fairly promptly that they have declared your car a sum loss and offer you a final value. Do not take their first offer as the concluding extend. You need to investigate their reason and data before deciding whether to take their offer or whether to make a buffet demand. Plus, it never hurts to ask for more money. All they can say is no.

a soon as the adjuster tells you they are totaling your car, he/she already has a ACV in their file. How else could they make the fiscal calculation to conclude the cable car is a full loss ? Every state requires the policy ship’s company do a Fair Market Evaluation when handling a total loss claim. Your goal is to dig into their numbers and calculations to find out whether their offer is fair and reasonable .

Dissecting The Adjuster’s Offer

If you are looking at a total loss because the damages exceed the cut-off percentage, you should constantly demand the adjuster :

  1. State what their ACV percentage/guideline is for declaring a car a total loss.
  2. Provide you a copy of the repair estimate the adjuster is using to get his/her repair amount. The repair estimate will be from either the body shop where your car was towed or from an appraiser that the insurance company uses to estimate repairs.

Their Comparables

Like you, the insurance company will use comparable cars to base your cable car ’ randomness ACV. Some indemnity companies do their own research in house while others outsource it. The biggest provider is CCC Information Services. You must request that the adjuster give you the reports/data that he or she is using. This datum is the lone way of figuring out whether they are making you a fair and reasonable crack. look over every one of their comparables with a blow up glass. Some things you want to analyze are :

  1. Whether the comparables are in your same market (city, state, zip). If the adjuster is accepting a comparable outside your market then he/she should also accept one of your high comparables outside of your market as well. If you don’t have a high comparable outside of your market, go get one and insist the adjuster use it to come back with a higher offer.
  2. Carefully examine each comparable to see how similar they are to your car. Do they have the same options/features (stereo, sunroof, keyless entry, alarm, power windows, etc), similar mileage, etc?

Determining Your Car’s ACV Yourself

To increase the adjuster ’ s full passing offer, you need to come up with an option, higher ACV. You do this by researching comparables for yourself. You need to find similar year, make, model and condition cars to come up with your car ’ mho ACV. Use these resources to gather your data : When using the above resources, you need to limit or filter your research to cars in your market ( city, town, travel rapidly, or state ). You can besides look on Craigslist or in your paper ’ randomness classifieds for comparables. When you find good comparable vehicles, print out or take shield shots of each site ’ second information. You may need to show the adjuster how you arrived at your count. then take the average of all the datum you have and use that as your demand amount for your fomite. If you want to take a more aggressive approach, send the adjuster only the highest ACV car ’ randomness data and make that your need, leaving yourself room to negotiate down to an average ACV belated if need be .

Factors That Affect Your Car’s Value

  1. Make
  2. Model
  3. Year
  4. Mileage
  5. Special Equipment/Features
  6. Prior accidents/damages – This works in the same way as diminished value.
  7. Condition: poor, average, clean, etc. This can have a substantial impact on your car’s ACV and you should make sure you agree with the adjuster’s classification.

Repairs & Improvements

Any repairs or improvements ( sound arrangement, rims, tint, custom electronics, etc. ) you made to your car prior to the accident will not be paid 100 cents on the dollar. But, do not let the adjuster tell you they don ’ thymine pay at all for these things. If the adjuster takes that position, ask them to send you something in writing showing you they can do this – like a paragraph from the policy policy or something from your State ’ sulfur Insurance Commissioner. Otherwise, you need to figure out a way to compute the stream value of the improvement or repair. Let ’ s take tires for model. Say you recently had tires put on the car to the tune of $ 400. The tires have a 50,000 mile tread animation and you have driven your car a total of 10,000 miles since you put on the new tires. well, this is 20 % the life sentence of the tires so you can argue the remaining measure of the newfangled tires is $ 400 x 80 %, or $ 320. other ideas are to Google deprecation schedules for the detail, such as for stereo .


sum loss adjusters normally only have about $ 500 room to move off their initial offer at most. This small scope makes it unvoiced to move the adjuster off his/her original count. many adjusters will tell you their beginning offer is their final offer. Do not accept this tactic. There is always room for a second offer and it is always worth a try to put a couple hundred more dollars in your pouch.

tip : If you are making your claim thru you policy company, threaten to invoke your independent appraisal article found in your indemnity policy. The insurance company is required to pay for the appraisal which a lot of time will cause them to bump their put up by the same come as the appraisal would cost

Pushing Your Car To A Total Loss

sometimes you want your car to be a total passing. This can be for a diverseness of reasons, such as safety concerns to concerns the repairs are excessively extensive to make your cable car enjoyable anymore. You need to tell the adjuster you want the car declared a total passing in this situation in rate to force the claim into a conversation about your concerns. If the adjuster refuses to declare your car a sum loss, you need to either :

  1. Increase the repair estimate to get above their ACV percentage threshold; or
  2. Decrease your car’s estimated value to get there.

obviously you need to know what their percentage ACV cut-off is ( see above ) and what they are valuing your car at before you can do this. The indemnity company must provide you this information. If a simple verbal request doesn ’ thyroxine do the whoremaster then you need to send the adjuster a certify letter with your request that they disclose their “ value footing ” used to conclude the car is fixable. once you get their repair estimate, expect for things like the following to increase the animate calculate :

  1. Make sure all exterior parts like fenders have a line item for painting
  2. Make sure the labor rate is appropriate and not low
  3. The estimate took into consideration hidden damages – did they get into the car’s internals for other damage like frame damage? Ask if the insurance company did a “tear down,” which is where they pull off parts layer by layer to find damage.

If you are ineffective to come up with the excess wrong needed to push your car into a total loss, another choice is to request the indemnity caller write a Letter of Guarantee. Make them guarantee in writing the repairs will be adequate and to your atonement. They will tell you to get the letter from the animate shop. Don ’ thyroxine. Make the insurance caller write it because they are the one making the decision to repair the car rather of totaling it out. If you are unable to get your cable car totaled out and have to get it repaired, don ’ thyroxine forget to pursue a belittled prize claim as well .

Car Loans

Most people have an outstanding car lend on their bust up car. This raises a couple of issues :

  • Making sure you get enough settlement money to pay off your car loan
  • Whether the bank or loan company has any rights to participate in your total loss claim. This usually only occurs when you are making the claim against your insurance company.

If you are making a claim against the other driver ’ mho policy company, they can issue payment to a read owner ( you ? ) of your cable car. Because they don ’ t have a contract/policy with you there is normally no requirement they protect or interact with your savings bank.

If you owe more than your car is worth, and you are making your PD claim thru your insurance company, the adjuster will normally contact your bank. The adjuster will ask for a guarantee from the bank that the bank promises to give it the car ’ s deed in central for paying the ACV of the car. You will end up owing the remainder between the ACV and the loan come so it is in your best pastime to hush negotiate a higher ACV with the adjuster. If the village is more then what you owe on the car, the insurance company will send you a check for the difference .


The policy company won ’ thyroxine commit you a check for your totaled out car until they get the entitle transferred to them thus that they can sell if for salvage. If you own the car outright, you will be the one sending them the entitle. If you have a car loanword, the finance company holds the title and will be the one sending it to the insurance company .

Need More Help? Get Our Property Damage Guide for Free!

If you want more data about what you should do after your car has been damaged in a car accident, you can download a FREE copy of David Brauns ’ reserve – Tricks to the Fix : Your Ultimate Guide to Dealing with a wrecked car. You can besides call our hotline at ( 404 ) 348-0889 to speak with a team member.

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