Totaled cars - Dealing with unfair adjusters

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If you are not satisfied with how the insurance company is determining your car to be totaled, you need not panic. There is definitely a recourse from this.

When is a car considered totaled?

When your car gets involved in an accident that may or may not be your fault, it can be termed totaled if:
  • The cost of repairing the damage is more than the value of the car
  • The car cannot be repaired after the damage incurred from an accident

In such a case insurance companies usually offer to pay you the actual cash value (ACV) after subtracting any deductibles that you have.

Some companies total cars at 51% of its actual worth while there are others who total a car at 80%.

Can you have your totaled car back and get it repaired?

The answer to this could be both 'yes' and 'no'. While buying insurance you sign a contract with your insurer that you cannot compel them to pay you more than what your car is worth. However, you can request your insurance company to give you back your car. They will still pay you for the car and in this case you will get the ACV of the car minus the deductibles and salvage value they would have got at the yard. What you can do on your part is that check out with different repair shops about the actual cash value of your car. This way you can make a comparison and see if the car insurance company is being fair in determining the ACV of your car.

If you want to buy back a totaled car, it is your responsibility to get it repaired. This may not always be a wise decision to make because the cost of repairing a car can be huge and the money you receive from the insurance company for your damaged car may not be sufficient. Some states may require you to buy a special salvage title or may simply want you to have an inspection done on your totaled car after repairs. Some companies may even refuse to let you have the car because it will fetch them handsomely at the yard.

So, if you want to have your car back you must take a quick decision and ask the company to return the car to you. Once the car goes off to them you may have a hard time recovering it.

Can you insure your totaled car after repairs?

Mostly insurance companies do not seem eager to insure a totaled car that has been fixed. But some insurers do agree to have your car insured for a high price only after the repair has been done and the car is back on the road and has passed the DMV inspection.

What if the insurance adjuster wrongly values your car?

In many cases you may feel that the adjuster has put the wrong totaled car value on your vehicle. In this case you may hire an independent appraiser and get him/her to do an inspection of your car. The costs of hiring must be borne by you. Ask the appraiser to get you everything in writing and you can place that in front of your insurance company.

If you disagree with what the insurance company determines as the value of your car, you may seek from amongst the 2 options:
  1. Arbitration
  2. Litigation

In arbitration you and your insurance company can place the facts in front of a third-party arbiter. If it is a binding arbiter then the decision of the arbiter will be final. If not then you can still take your insurance company to court.

Related readings

Message Author
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:20 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
So if you had a 10,000 dollar diminished value claim that you did not recover from the negligent party and you can document the loss, you can claim it.
Good luck in your tax audit with this one! Shocked Not saying it may not be legal, and an owner ''legally'' entitled...personally though would scare the crap out of me! Mike you going to the audit (free or for a fee?) with the tax payer if they are audited?


_________________

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Lori
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:38 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Good luck in your tax audit with this one! Not saying it may not be legal, and an owner ''legally'' entitled...personally though would scare the crap out of me! Mike you going to the audit (free or for a fee?) with the tax payer if they are audited?


Wouldn't that be nice, more substantiation of the loss as approved by the IRS. Would be pretty difficult to disprove I would think since there is no government agency that has an opinion one way or the other, but there are substantial court cases and documented payments by insurers to those who have been paid for the losses to support the deduction.



http://www.ican2000.com/dvfaqs.html



Quote:
Income Tax Deduction ? ? ?

Yes - IF you itemize your deductions, use Line # 19 of Form 1040 - Schedule “A” to Deduct your unrecovered Diminished Value. Assuming you have an unrecovered Diminished Value of $ 2,000 and a tax rate of 20%, you can Reduce Your Tax Obligation by almost $ 400.00 - well more than the cost of the Diminished Value report itself - You can even Deduct the Cost of the Diminished Value Report on Line # 22 of Schedule “A”.



Review IRS Form 1040 - Schedule “A” and Form # 4684 with your tax advisor.




You and T should check out Mr Howards Resume and cv. I would venture to say that his experience in both the insurance industry and collision industry gives him unparalleled expertise in both fields to offer commentary on owed losses.



Quote:
Insurance Consumer Advocate Network, LLC

J. D. Howard • Executive Director

BIO • CV



Training ...

J.D.Howard began his insurance career with Allstate Insurance Company in 1965. He completed Allstate Claims Training Programs in 1968. He completed his paralegal training in 1976.



Career Experience ...

J.D.Howard's career experience includes Claims Adjuster, Defense Litigation Supervisor, Author, Trainer, Lecturer (including CLE) , Expert Witness, Plaintiff Litigation Consultant, Talk Show Host, Executive Director of a National Collision Repair Association, and ... Executive Director of “iCan”.



Former Clients ...

As a licensed independent claims adjuster (AZ # 0055079 • 1974 to 2002) J.D.Howard provided ongoing claim resolution/consultation services, on a fee-per-file basis, for such entities as ... Adriatic • American Family • American States • AMICA • Ansvar • City of Phoenix • Canadian Indemnity • Colonial Penn • Employers Mutual [EMG] • Federated American • Fireman's Fund • Hartford • Kemper • Liberty Mutual • Metropolitan • St Paul • State of Arizona • State Farm • TransAmerica [TIG] • Travelers • USF & G • Western Casualty • Western States ... as well as numerous Plaintiff and/or Defense Attorneys.



1987 ...

After campaigning against an insurance backed ballot proposition the previous year (defeated) , J.D.Howard expanded his professional practice to embrace Insurance Consumer Advocacy issues ... including (but not limited to) Auto Post-Repair Inherent Diminished Value claims.



NOTE: In July 1968, as a staff Claims Adjuster for Allstate Insurance, J.D.Howard negotiated and settled his first Auto Post-Repair Inherent Diminished Value claim with an Allstate Policyholder.



1994 ...

After being confined to a wheel chair due to post-polio syndrome, J.D.Howard founded the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network as an effort to empower insurance consumers in Arizona. That effort included a weekly one hour call-in talk show on radio station KUKQ.



In 1997, that effort was taken onLine and expanded to ... “Empowering Consumer Nationwide”.



1999 - 2000 ...

J.D.Howard served concurrently as Executive Director of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence as well as Executive Director of “iCan”. The CCRE was committed to challenging auto insurance industry efforts that encouraged/suborned inferior (and all to often dangerous) collision repairs.



Once the CCRE was stable and viable (still active today), J.D.Howard left the CCRE to devote full time to the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network … ( “iCan” ).



Expert Witness ...

From 1974 to 2001, J.D.Howard was repeatedly accepted, by Superior Courts of various counties within Arizona, as an Expert Witness on insurance and/or claim settlement value issues.



2002 - Present ...

The Howard Family moved from Tempe, AZ. to Branson West, MO. where “iCan” continues to promote Insurance Consumer Advocacy issues ... including the Policyholders' Bill of Rights.



_________________

If you can't find the time to do it right, how will you ever find the time to do it over.
MikeoftheOzarks
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Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 605

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:38 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Good luck in your tax audit with this one! Not saying it may not be legal, and an owner ''legally'' entitled...personally though would scare the crap out of me! Mike you going to the audit (free or for a fee?) with the tax payer if they are audited?


Wouldn't that be nice, more substantiation of the loss as approved by the IRS. Would be pretty difficult to disprove I would think since there is no government agency that has an opinion one way or the other, but there are substantial court cases and documented payments by insurers to those who have been paid for the losses to support the deduction.



http://www.ican2000.com/dvfaqs.html



Quote:
Income Tax Deduction ? ? ?

Yes - IF you itemize your deductions, use Line # 19 of Form 1040 - Schedule “A” to Deduct your unrecovered Diminished Value. Assuming you have an unrecovered Diminished Value of $ 2,000 and a tax rate of 20%, you can Reduce Your Tax Obligation by almost $ 400.00 - well more than the cost of the Diminished Value report itself - You can even Deduct the Cost of the Diminished Value Report on Line # 22 of Schedule “A”.



Review IRS Form 1040 - Schedule “A” and Form # 4684 with your tax advisor.




You and T should check out Mr Howards Resume and cv. I would venture to say that his experience in both the insurance industry and collision industry gives him unparalleled expertise in both fields to offer commentary on owed losses.



Quote:
Insurance Consumer Advocate Network, LLC

J. D. Howard • Executive Director

BIO • CV



Training ...

J.D.Howard began his insurance career with Allstate Insurance Company in 1965. He completed Allstate Claims Training Programs in 1968. He completed his paralegal training in 1976.



Career Experience ...

J.D.Howard's career experience includes Claims Adjuster, Defense Litigation Supervisor, Author, Trainer, Lecturer (including CLE) , Expert Witness, Plaintiff Litigation Consultant, Talk Show Host, Executive Director of a National Collision Repair Association, and ... Executive Director of “iCan”.



Former Clients ...

As a licensed independent claims adjuster (AZ # 0055079 • 1974 to 2002) J.D.Howard provided ongoing claim resolution/consultation services, on a fee-per-file basis, for such entities as ... Adriatic • American Family • American States • AMICA • Ansvar • City of Phoenix • Canadian Indemnity • Colonial Penn • Employers Mutual [EMG] • Federated American • Fireman's Fund • Hartford • Kemper • Liberty Mutual • Metropolitan • St Paul • State of Arizona • State Farm • TransAmerica [TIG] • Travelers • USF & G • Western Casualty • Western States ... as well as numerous Plaintiff and/or Defense Attorneys.



1987 ...

After campaigning against an insurance backed ballot proposition the previous year (defeated) , J.D.Howard expanded his professional practice to embrace Insurance Consumer Advocacy issues ... including (but not limited to) Auto Post-Repair Inherent Diminished Value claims.



NOTE: In July 1968, as a staff Claims Adjuster for Allstate Insurance, J.D.Howard negotiated and settled his first Auto Post-Repair Inherent Diminished Value claim with an Allstate Policyholder.



1994 ...

After being confined to a wheel chair due to post-polio syndrome, J.D.Howard founded the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network as an effort to empower insurance consumers in Arizona. That effort included a weekly one hour call-in talk show on radio station KUKQ.



In 1997, that effort was taken onLine and expanded to ... “Empowering Consumer Nationwide”.



1999 - 2000 ...

J.D.Howard served concurrently as Executive Director of the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence as well as Executive Director of “iCan”. The CCRE was committed to challenging auto insurance industry efforts that encouraged/suborned inferior (and all to often dangerous) collision repairs.



Once the CCRE was stable and viable (still active today), J.D.Howard left the CCRE to devote full time to the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network … ( “iCan” ).



Expert Witness ...

From 1974 to 2001, J.D.Howard was repeatedly accepted, by Superior Courts of various counties within Arizona, as an Expert Witness on insurance and/or claim settlement value issues.



2002 - Present ...

The Howard Family moved from Tempe, AZ. to Branson West, MO. where “iCan” continues to promote Insurance Consumer Advocacy issues ... including the Policyholders' Bill of Rights.



_________________

If you can't find the time to do it right, how will you ever find the time to do it over.
MikeoftheOzarks
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Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 605

Location: in the missouri ozarks
193.97 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:11 am   Post subject:   

Yep, you work for him don't you Mike?



_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:31 pm   Post subject:   

No, mike advertises on the Insurance Consumers Advocate Network a consumer website. Mike is a sole proprietor that works for his consumers and Mike. I would be honored, however, to be in business or a partnership with Mr. Howard.



I am going to make your life a little easier. A little bird suggested I was wasting my time in here and there are other boards where consumers appreciate consumer help that isn't monitored by obsessed obstinate controlling people. I bid you adieu. Too much work, too little time, more fun things to do. Going to concentrate on some of that DV work as well, you lit a fire under me, thanks its time to ramp that up because insurers are holding back payments for these losses every day. It's going to be stressful enough for you in the coming year with some of your personal shops beginning to face the struggles all bodyshops in the country are facing and they'll be wanting to blame their insurance partners.



Like I said before, its been real and its been fun, but I can't say its been real fun.



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MikeoftheOzarks
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:55 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I bid you adieu.
Very Happy
Quote:
I can't say its been real fun.
gee I'm crushed. Rolling Eyes


_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:39 pm   Post subject:   

Staying out of this one...Hope your heart heals Lori.

fireyone
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:23 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Hope your heart heals Lori.
LaughingLaughingWink


_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:40 am   Post subject: removing a salvage branding ??  

I wish to know if it is possible for an insurance company to reverse it's self and remove the salvage branding on theft recovery for a California vehicle title. In reading threads, I believe you might refer to this as an economic decision to total then I assume they took bids and sold the vehicle. The basis for my problem centers around an unecessarliy high estimate of damage or more approprietly items missing....

Aquired a 2006 Mercedes SLK350 28k miles. No paint or accident damage, no broken glass or torn up consoles. Major items taken and damage were essentially limited to seats, overhead light, center console, outside mirror assemblies, the navigation reader and worn tires. Vehicle always ran and drove without any problems and all systems were functional. It had two codes that went out when cut wires to overhead light were repaired at dealer(2hrs.) No other wires involved. Neat crooks unplugged. Essentially nothing else of significant value. Showed slight damage to bottom of front and rear bumper covers but clearly came after recovery from the tow truck as not in adjuster post theft pictures pictures. The claim was for about 5000+labor+tax then a supplement came in for the seats $15k +labor + tax making the total $26k

My issue is that the repair facility/adjuster that evaluated the vehicle stated they were looking for used seats. Then suddenly saying no used parts available. Did time run out? The main restoration of the vehicle was accomplished by one phone call to a well known major parts supplier any shop knows, LKQ. OEM factory seats w airscarf with console, two visors (all as originally installed) were fitted the next day for $700 total. A $14,300 mistake by the adjuster? Hmmmnn? This statment shows they were looking for and thus okay with used eqipment which was easily located by me. It appears to me there was some other factor here Im missing or it was the adjuster suggested claim paid rather blindly with obvious error. I understand the insurance company paid out a claim. But this was based on the adjuster's numbers totaling a significant value of the car but ......can this error be brought to their attention to the point where they may be inclined to remove the devestating brand from a vehicle that is a recovery???? It was never an unsafe vehicle for the road. While I understand my good fortune, had they simply replaced parts as I did and buff some scratches (not paint ), the vehicle was able to be restored to pre incident level for under $2500 repair using oem new parts for nav reader, overhead light, carpet and used parts as mentioned above. Another item, such as a scratched(not deformed) exhaust pipe could have been depreciated NOT replaced as mentioned in estimate. I have spoken with the state in which I wish to register and they said all they need is "the entity who place it on the title to remove" or to "tell them differently directly". "The entity who put it on is the only one who can remove" In other words, they are open to this understanding. I am writing to this forum before contacting the insurance company again. The conversation was amicable enough. The initial amount told me was that it had a loss of 10k on the claim. We agreed to both research the incident and speak later as this amount could not have met any threshold. I realize the length of question but tried to be clear. All numbers are close approximates.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:27 am   Post subject:   

vonzotto, a couple of things...first off re: the used seats..it's entirely possible that when the adjuster called the yard did not quote them seats due to their condition code. Now what you purchased and subsequently put in your vehicle are fine with you...as an adjuster (my company and most I'm aware of), I'm required to bid ONLY 'ins. quality' parts...if there is ANYTHING wrong with the used part I cannot use it...a minor scratch etc on the seats? I can't bid it...so that could explain the lack of a used seat on the estimate.



I don't see how or why they wouldn't reverse this however, in doing so I'd think you'd be required to refund this over payment.



_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:10 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I don't see how or why they wouldn't reverse this however, in doing so I'd think you'd be required to refund this over payment.




I agree with Lori on this. Although your description of the events are a little scketchy, I would believe that you would be responsible to refund the amount.



Like Lori stated with your parts, insurance quality is a term used to describe a part that is average or above average quality. Also known as LKQ (Like, kind and quality). Based on your description of the missing seats, the adjuster would want to find seats that matched that description. If that quality code could not be found, no bid.



I believe there to be more to this story.


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Public and Private Adjuster for:

Auto, home, marine and transportation liability claims.



Consumer Advocate in auto collision repair.

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Trench
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:16 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I believe there to be more to this story.
I agree.....a lot more...........


_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:53 pm   Post subject:   

Why do they keep dragging up our old fights? Oh the good ole bad ole days! After re reading that old thread, I am amazed we are still on posting terms. Laughing



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MikeoftheOzarks
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:39 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Why do they keep dragging up our old fights?
ah Mikey, I'd never do that...
Quote:
Oh the good ole bad ole days! After re reading that old thread, I am amazed we are still on posting terms.
Laughing Although we had our share of fights, through it all there was mutual respect...I like to think we're friends....just had to get all that 'crap' over first LaughingLaughing


_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:56 pm   Post subject:   

Mike I met Lori, I wouldn't want to mess with her! Shocked



_________________

65% of the time, it works all the time.



Public and Private Adjuster for:

Auto, home, marine and transportation liability claims.



Consumer Advocate in auto collision repair.

Know your rights! Please visit us @



http://www.stopsteering.com
Trench
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