Total Loss

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Total Loss Appraisal for a Totaled Car Insurance Claim

Has your car been declared a total loss by the insurance company? You deserve full retail market value for your car, including any applicable Tax, Title and Licensing Fees. You have a right to dispute their lowball offers, which may be as little as 50% of what it would cost to replace.

If you’ve been in a car accident or had some other type of loss such as flood, theft, or acts of God from a storm, the insurance company may declare your vehicle to be totaled. Normally that means that it would either cost close to, or even more than than the vehicle’s retail market value to repair.

Salvage Value + The Cost to Repair > Actual Cash Value

The way the insurance company determines whether your vehicle is repairable or a total loss is by using a formula, Salvage Value + The Cost to Repair > Actual Cash Value, which is the Pre-Loss Fair Retail Market Value of the vehicle. This is called the total loss threshold and it varies from state to state. On the norm, most states set it at 75% of the Damage to Value, but there are states that have lower and higher thresholds. 

When your vehicle is declared a total loss, the insurance company must supply you with an fair market valuation or appraisal report. The report must include certain criteria such as the correct equipment, condition of the vehicle, comparables (vehicles similar to your vehicle in equipment, condition and miles in your used car market). Insurance companies will normally use a national 3rd party company such as Audatex, JD Power Mitchell, or CCC, to provide them with a valuation on your vehicle, but there are times where a local appraiser is used. Normally we find that many of the valuations that are used by the insurance companies are up to 40% less than they should be.

You have the right to dispute the insurance company’s assessment

This Example reflects an actual case where the client settled without any legal assistance using only our appraisal. (you may or may not receive similar results):

2000 Mercedes Benz E430 4matic; 64,000 miles, Excellent Condition

Insurance company initial offer: $8,500.00

DiminishedValue.net’s Appraised Value: $14,300.00

Revised offer after receiving Appraisal – $11,481.18

Final Settlement: $13,500.00

the approximate increase in value we normally see is between 5 – 15%

If you feel you’re being offered an unfair settlement, your best course of action is to hire an independent auto appraiser to produce a valuation on your vehicle. You have the right to dispute the insurance company’s assessment of your vehicle if you do not believe it is fair. The claimant (you) will normally have to prove that your vehicle is worth more than you’re being offered, and a vehicle appraisal is the best evidence to support your claim. The approximate increase in value we normally see is 5% up to 50% with most around 15%, i.e. You are offered $20, 000 for your vehicle, the average increase would be $3,000, or a settlement of $23,000.00. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it is less.

If your claim is against your insurance company, your insurance policy may contain an “appraisal clause”. This is a method to dispute their claim that is normally written into most insurance policies. In many cases, if you receive an increase in their settlement offer, the insurance company will also reimburse you for the cost of your appraisal.

Farmers Insurance had selected CCC solely due to it’s evaluations having the lowest payout

Lowball offers are more common than you may think. In the case of Buratovich v. Farmers Insurance, documents obtained during discovery, reflected that Farmers Insurance had selected CCC solely due to it’s evaluations having the lowest payout in regards to a Total Loss Claim. CCC has also recently come under fire in Georgia where consumer advocates claim they have substantially lower valuations than other companies.

In 2008 a RICO complaint claiming: “CCC Valuescope (formerly known as CCC Information Services Group Inc – CCCG) can by no means be deemed a fair and market value of automobiles as CCC Valuescope works exclusively for insurers and therefore has an economic interest to supply valuations that are intentionally below the actual fair market value of what insured vehicles are truly worth.” The complaint was filed by Consumer Advocate Paul F. Davis and goes on to say, “It is known fact throughout the insurance industry that CCC gathers its values from what car dealers would sell a vehicle for at basement wholesale prices, not the true “retail value of an auto of like kind and quality prior to the accident” as mandated by FL insurance regulations”.

Total Loss Appraisal Stipulations:

  • A Copy of the insurer’s valuation of the vehicle. This will normally be an appraisal or report.
  • The Appraisal is based on Fair Retail Market Value.
  • The insurer’s appraised value must be more than $1000 for us to consider the valuation.
  • This valuation is not guaranteed, and is not subject to any money back guarantee we may be offering for other services.
  • There is no guarantee of the outcome of your claim. (this is an industry norm, as there cannot be any monetary connection to the outcome of the valuation)
  •  In the last 2 years, 100% of our Total Loss Clients that filed their appraisals with an insurance company have received an increase in their settlements.

Just fill out the contact form on this page, select Free Total Loss Estimate and we’ll Review Your Claim, Free of Charge.