Car crashed, total loss, What to do now?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:14 pm   Post subject:   

i am afraid if I give them the research result, they will deny it. Then it's going to a drag. I already spoke with the adjuster, she said it takes about 5 to 7 business days to tow the car to their junk yard and send out an appraiser to make me an offer. When I ask how long does it take before receive the check, they said it really depends on you if you accept the offer or not. To me it sounds like, they already prepared to low ball me and wear my patient out. At the end, I will accept their offer because I need the cash to buy a car. How can I deal with this situation smartly?

mslugx
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:05 pm   Post subject:   

If we are talking about your own insurer and they offer to move your car and you agree that it is a total loss, you should allow them to move it to mitigate any storage costs that may be accruing. You have certain contractual rights and responsibilities when you are dealing with your own insurer.



Check your policy to see if you can invoke the appraisal clause. If they make you and offer and you feel it is low and have done your research, invoke your right to appraisal. It may cost you 250 to 300 dollars to hire your own appraiser and the insurer will be required to hire an independent appraiser to represent them. The two appraisers will examine all the documents and if they cannot agree to a fair settlement amount, then they will turn it over to a pre-selected umpire for a final decision.



You may even be able to accept the undisputed amount of the settlement and if you do not have the appraisal clause in your policy, first file a complaint with the DOI. Then if that can not be resolved you could take your insurer to small claims court to dispute the difference. People in this forum have contacted me and reported that by just invoking the appraisal clause, the settlement increased substantially.



However, many states have allowed insurers to remove the right to appraisal in their policies. If that is the case, I would send a certified letter to the insurer notifying them that I would seek the disputed amount in small claims court. By removing the right to appraisal they are basically saying, if you don't agree with us, sue us since their is no method to dispute your claim amicably.



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:40 pm   Post subject:   

From your experience, most of the time, do people have to go that extreme to get the amount they deserve?



There are so much steps involved if they make me an offer that i can't accept. It will take a lot of time before the case can be settled. Insurer might play this patient game to low ball me.



Can you tell me how much time does it take for the appraiser I hired to reach a decision with the appraiser they hired?



Thank you Mike and tcope for all the info you provide, I really appreciate it, and have a wonderful Christmas time.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:35 pm   Post subject:   

Different states have different deadlines and rules. Just Google "invoking the appraisal clause" and you will pull up a myriad of articles explaining how, why, when and where to do this.



Merry Christmas to you and good luck with your claim.



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:36 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
do people have to go that extreme to get the amount they deserve?




No . . . most insurance companies make fair and reasonable offers to begin with. What causes claims to drag on seemingly forever is (1) failure to understand how one's coverage works and arguing over a misunderstanding, or (2) getting a lawyer involved (often unnecessarily).


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:59 pm   Post subject:   

@Mike Thanks for the info.



@MaxHerr We will see how it goes this week. What do you mean by "understand how one's coverage works and arguing over a misunderstanding?" Their offer has something to do with the coverage?



I will keep you guys posted.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:21 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Their offer has something to do with the coverage?




Certainly does! You are trying to increase the value of your claim according to the customizing you have done. Generally, this is not covered unless additional protection is purchased.



For example, some people have spent $20,000 or more on custom paint jobs, plus another $20,000 or more for gold-plated valve covers, chrome plating of carburetors, radiators, and other engine/body parts, all for show. Without special coverage, to an insurance company, paint is paint, and a whole car can be painted at Earl Scheib for $500 (I still remember the TV ads in the 1960s: "I'm Earl Scheib, and I'll paint any car for $19.95."). Without the agreed value of the customizing, the insurance company will never pay $20,000 for a paint job -- even on a top of the line Mercedes, Rolls Royce, or Lamborghini.



The overwhelming majority of property and casualty policies pay claims on the basis of "ACTUAL CASH VALUE" which is very different than most people understand. Ask any 10 people you know the following question: "Suppose you are in a traffic accident and your car is totaled. Will your insurance pay for a new car?" and see how many answer, "Yes." Entirely incorrect -- and it's one of the single biggest misunderstandings about insurance.



Look at some of the posts here from folks who write things like, "I've been with the same insurance company for 15 years, never had a claim until now, and I'm being ripped off! They are only offering $5000." As if to say, where's my credit for all those years with no claims.



But auto insurance is protection purchased one year (or six months) at a time. You pay and, mostly, you don't have any claims. And at the end of the year, the scale tips in favor of the insurance company. However, when a claim occurs, the scale usually tips in favor of the insured. But it's not a "win" when you have a claim, because you've lost something else of value.



It's known as an ALEATORY CONTRACT -- unequal giving and receiving. One party to the contract usually receives more [money] than the other party in the performance of the contract. When people fail to understand what is or is not covered, or how, or to what extent, it usually causes a problem in the event of a claim.



Just don't be too surprised when they don't give you much in the way of added value for properly maintaining your vehicle, or for the customizing you have done.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 am   Post subject:   

Hi everybody, I am back with an update on my insurance claim. They made me an offer last week which is 12870, and I follow you guys instruction, to check the report, and make sure they estimate with everything on the car, and sure enough, they only put down sunroof. I sent they a list of missing features, which is premium sound, dual zone temperature control. After a couple of days struggles, They finally came up with an amount for me. They are going to pay out 14000 plus tax and registration to me. which is ok compare to nada.com 13650.00, but it's a bit lower than kbb.com's value 14640.00. Should I settle with this value or should i fight for it? Currently I don't have a car to drive, but i notice how inconvenient that is to get around. I lost my spirit to fight for higher. do you guys think i should accept the offer?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:55 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Should I settle with this value or should i fight for it? Currently I don't have a car to drive, but i notice how inconvenient that is to get around. I lost my spirit to fight for higher. do you guys think i should accept the offer?




Are you serious? At this point you want to argue about a few hundred dollars? Take the money and run. You won.


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MaxHerr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:31 pm   Post subject:   

Haha.. not even trying. I am happy with the money i have. Thanks for all the inputs. tScope, Mike and Maxherr you guys rocks....

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:11 am   Post subject:   

Hi all,

All insurance comapnies have their different policy of cover. It's all clearly written in the policy documents. Well most of the insurance companies cover for any kind of accidents or damage to our vehicle.





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