4 Ways to Get the Most Money for Your Totaled Car
Determining whether or not a car is totaled depends on how much damage the vehicle has suffered. Colorado law states a car is totaled when the cost to repair the vehicle to a condition that makes it driveable is more than what the vehicle is worth. Many insurance companies decide a car is totaled when it will cost over 65 percent of its value to fix it.
The value of your vehicle is the most critical factor when determining whether the damages it has sustained warrant a total-loss classification, but how do insurance companies determine that value? Usually, this is completed with a database that insurers consult. However, these values are decided with the intent of making a profit.
When you total your car, they give you the value of your vehicle minus your deductible. They then take your car and sell it for parts to recoup whatever remaining costs that they can. With this in mind, it is very common that you get a lowball offer the first time it is presented to you. In order to maximize your chances of getting the most money possible, follow these tips.
Know All the Details of Your Vehicle
The money given to you for your totaled vehicle is based on the vehicle's value at the time of the wreck. It would help you most to provide your insurance company with the sticker that provides all of the details of your car when it was purchased.
If you do not have access to the sticker, get in touch with the dealer where you purchased your car. Ask them for a list of your vehicle's features. The dealership should have all of this information on file for all their vehicles sold. When you do this, you are doing everything you can to get a fair market value.
If you still cannot retrieve this data, the next best option is to conduct online research for the year, make, and model of your vehicle to best decipher its exact features.
Find Comparable Vehicles in Your Area
Visit websites like autotrader.com, cars.com, carsforsale.com, and cargurus.com to look up vehicles with similar features and mileage as yours. Print these out and provide them to your insurance company as supplementary materials.
Get a 3rd Party Appraisal
An adjuster that is not affiliated with you or the insurance company will be able to give an unbiased opinion for what your car is worth. After they determine what condition the car is in, you can provide this information to give more credibility to your insurer. This will make your negotiation attempts less feeble.
Make Your Counter-Offer
Compare the offer given to you to the ones found on your supplementary websites, research, and 3rd party appraisal. If they match up, then you have probably been offered a reasonable price. However, if you still feel like you are being lowballed, decide on an appropriate counter to present to your insurance carrier. Email your provider with all of the information you have compiled and showcase the credibility of your data.
Get What You Deserve
If you feel your car has been under-valued, it is crucial that you speak up as quickly as possible. Ask for a copy of the report your insurance company put together, including everything they used to decide what your car's value would be. In many cases, by fighting back against your provider, you can get an additional $1,000 or more.
If you or a loved one have recently been involved in a car accident, call our office today at (719) 249-6240. Our team of experienced and credible attorneys wants to help you fight to get all of the possible compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate, Gaddis, Herd, Craw & Adams, P.C. is here to help.