Should I accept 1st offer on my totalled car?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/09/2007 - 22:05

My 2000 Honda CRV EX w/ 129k miles on it but in EXCELLENT condition (roof-rack and new all season $500 tires) was totalled. Private party excellent was $9k.
The liable party's insurance company (USAA) is offering $10969. I imagine this is to pay off the car and tax/license on appx $9k to replace it with a similar auto.
Could/should I counter for more money?

Posted: 10 Jan 2007 05:06 Post Subject:

Here is the million dollar question... counter with what amount and why?

You will need to show USAA why their amount is incorrect and why your demand _is_ correct. Sorry, I just don't see that you have any leg to stand on since you confirm that the KBB Private Party value is basically about what they are offering.

USAA uses CCC to obtain their values. Your best bet is to have them send you a copy of the CCC report and look over it for any errors. Apprasiers love to total out vehicles as it's a quick job for them with no follow up. But they also rush through these and don't allow for the correct options, mileage, etc on the vehicle. I read one recently where the moon roof and navagation system were not added. These items accounted for an additional $1500 to the value. In your case if the roof rack was not standard, I'm betting it was not included. I'm guessing it would only add $20 or so to the value. If the tires were only 30-60 days old they _might_ add some value. Older then that and tires in good condition were already considered.

Posted: 07 Apr 2007 04:34 Post Subject:

tcope, i have to comment regarding your statement that appraisers love to total out vehicles b/c it makes thier job easier. as an adjuster, i can assure you there is at least twice the paperwork and time involved in totaling a vehicle...condition rating the vehicle, equipment/options check, prior damage appls has to be done, the evaluation is submitted, wait for it to come back, make offer, obtain title/ letter of guarantee, move the salvage...this process can take days, even weeks to close. give me a repairable vehicle anyday, i'd rather write a check on the spot to complete repairs and be done w/ it...this usually takes about 30 minutes to close.

i assume you are speaking of just appraisers and not adjusters...for those that may not be aware, they both can appraise the damages, however the adjuster has the authority to appraise, make the offer and issue payment... the appraiser usually just writes the estimate and hands over to the adjuster. either way, the total loss has to be done properly...insurance companies definitly don't prefer to total a car, especially for simplicity.

Posted: 07 Apr 2007 02:38 Post Subject:

Yes, I was referring to appraisers (this is who I mentioned in the post) and they inspect a _vast_ majority of vehicles. Insurance companies almost never have adjusters do this (in some rare situations they do, though).

It's not correct that " either way, the total loss has to be done properly", I've seen hundreds of total loss valuations done incorrectly (and there are probably thousands that were incorrect that I don't know about).

Consider this... take your own person vehicle and obtain it's value on kbb.com, nada.com and edmonds.com. Take note of the options list that each site has you list. They are different from site to site. One may ask about an option that the others don't list. One may having something close but not completely correct. The total loss valuation sheets/lists are the same way with insurance companies... probably worse as they've not been updated in decades. A recent example I had was just about a month ago. An owner had a factory navigation system in his vehicle. The CCC sheet the appraiser used did not even have a box to check off for this, so it was not considered (ouch!). In addition, he did not include the moon roof either (double ouch). How does one miss a moon roof? It's fairly obvious. I also see many appraisers just use average mileage on a vehicle because the odometer was digital and the vehicle could not be turned on (they did not bother to call the owner as this would slow them down).

Appraisers are either paid or rated (and their pay is based on their rating) by the number of vehicles they inspect. This obviously means they want to spend as little time as possible inspecting and dealing with each vehicle. Independent appraisers don't get paid for writing up supplements and staff appraisers don't get any consideration on supplements either.

Posted: 08 Jun 2007 03:08 Post Subject: A TOTALED VEHICLE

This thread is older but for anyone reading......

If you get an offer for your totalled vehicle and you do not like the offer, you can do a couple of things.

Find Auto Trader and like publications. Find similar vehicles like yours that are selling for more. Find online websites that sell vehicles. Do the same there. Look in your local newspapers and find similar vehicles selling for more.

Provide your findings to the claims adjuster.

Those suggestions are no guarantee you will get more money but I have had clients do this and succeed in receiving a higher pay out.

You cannot simply disagree with the claims rep and expect to get more $. You have to supply them with something as proof. They get audited on the claims they handle by their company and have to be able to justify why they paid out on claims. If you give them a good reason to pay out more, many will gladly do it.

If you still are unsuccessful and still want to pursue it, ask to go before an arbitrator.
Good Luck!



*System Edited : Link moved to Signature as per TOS

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