Total Loss Appraisal – How to Negotiate Your Car’s Value with an Auto Insurer after an Accident
Total Loss Appraisal – After getting into a damaging car accident, there will come a time when you will need to seek compensation from an insurance company. The process of receiving a fair payout can be tricky, however. After all, insurance companies are losing money when they are forced to pay out for an accident. An adjuster for a company is going to want to pay you the smallest amount reasonably possible for your vehicle. Before you accept their offer, however, know that we can negotiate for an offer you think you deserve with a Certified Auto Appraiser from Benchmark Auto Appraisers.
Knowing the true value of your car will be vital when negotiating with an insurance company. After you get into an accident, the car will be sent to a claims adjuster who will determine how much the insurance company feels they want to pay for your totaled car. Depending on what type of claim it is, first-party benefits or third-party benefits, you will either be dealing with your own company in the case of the former or another driver’s company in the case of the latter. With the adjuster having an incentive to not pay the full amount in either case, knowing the true value of your car will tell you if you are getting a good deal or not. You will want to have a handy appraisal from a certified appraiser that you hire and works for you.
Luckily, there are sources that you can turn to. The most obvious is your own trusted appraiser. Whatever figure the adjuster comes back with, you do not need to accept it if it does not match the value you have received to replace the similar car, condition, mileage. This can be time-consuming, frustrating and emotional. Let your Benchmark Auto Appraiser team handle these negotiations for you. They are experienced and armed with years of negotiating, the most sophisticated recourses to get you the best settlement from the insurance company in many cases thousands of dollars more than the original offer from the insurance company.
If the initial offer is below the estimates you have received, you will need a professional negotiator to deal with the insurance company’s pressure tactics. Does that mean a lawsuit? No, according to personal injury lawyers for both driver and insurance company, “it is in both sides’ interests to avoid the cost and inconvenience of continued litigation.” This means that we can negotiate with the insurance company before any formal court proceedings are made. They do not want to bring the matter to court any more than the driver. If their first offer is inadequate, it is completely in your power to decline the offer and seek a better offer without suing.
When we enter negotiations with the insurance company and/or claims adjuster you should have the desired settlement in mind, as well as a minimum settlement you will accept. Your high and low numbers should reflect the replacement value appraisal you got from your certified Benchmark Appraisal team. As negotiations press on, you will want to keep a level head that can objectively weigh the strengths and weaknesses of their justification for their offer. A legal professional encourages getting the adjuster to justify their offer in writing. After considering their argument, we will compile an accurate counter-argument. There are a few things an adjuster can bring up however we are prepared for that event on your behalf.
Legal experts also suggest emphasizing the emotional points of your argument; images of the car damage, or how it has been affecting you from getting to work are good examples.
With all of the counter-arguments we organized, we will continue to push for a higher settlement above the amount offered by the insurance company. If you feel that you do not have the time, or ability to adequately negotiate with the claims adjuster, then hiring a certified appraiser is best. We do not recommend you hire an appraiser if the claim is small however we offer a NO-FEE consultation and help with that decision. If the payout you are seeking is greater than the fees associated with an appraiser then it would be worth it to pursue. As well, if the case seems tricky in terms of proving who was at fault, an attorney would be highly beneficial.
After negotiations are over with both parties’ content, you need to confirm the offer in writing. It does not have to belong, just detailed enough to outline the amount being settled and what it is being used to repair.
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