FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Each state has its own rules and regulations to guide insurance company’s in determining what a vehicle is worth. However, interpretation of those rules might vary and result in an incorrect valuation. Insurance carriers interpret rules to provide the greatest benefit to the insurance company. Daily experience with many insurance carriers provides us with the knowledge and expertise to obtain the best settlement on your behalf.

Most insurance carriers pay outside database companies to provide comparable samples vehicles. The sample vehicles may or may not be a close match to the total loss vehicle and may be located as much as 100 miles from your residence. Each state has guidelines for database usage and approved providers. Remember, the database providers are paid by the insurance carriers and may be guided by specific selection criteria in locating comparable vehicles.

The adjuster who inspects your vehicle is one part of the valuation process and prepares his report based on the insurance carriers defined criteria. Results of the inspection process are then used to make adjustments to the database average value to determine a settlement offer. Again these are paid resources and work for the insurance carrier. Errors or omissions can and do occur and might contribute to a lower settlement offer.

Insurance premiums are based on several factors. These include the value of your vehicle, your past driving record and the deductible you choose. Other considerations might be how many miles you drive, where you live or if your vehicle is kept in a garage. The above factors, as well as others, are used to determine your premium level. However, they do not guarantee a fair total loss settlement.

Insurance companies may use a ratio of the cost to repair to market value in determining a total loss. If the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds a certain percentage of its market value, the insurance company will usually consider your vehicle to be a total loss. Important to note is that each state provides its own guidance in determining a total loss.

Each total loss settlement is unique and each circumstance must be individually evaluated to achieve the best settlement. However, our experience and knowledge of the valuation methods used does enable us to provide a superior level of service that results in a high success in rate in obtaining greater settlement offers

Our fee is based on the increase in the final settlement offer from the insurance carrier. A contingency fee of 1/3 is the cost associated with our success.

There is no cost to you if we are unable to get you, the vehicle owner, a higher settlement offer.

You might still be entitled to some money back. Each state has different rules involving leased vehicles. We have been successful in getting refunds for certain upfront payments.

DIMINISHED VALUE

What is diminished value ?

Diminished value is the decrease or loss in resale value that your vehicle suffers resulting from an accident.

How is diminished value determined?

We use certified appraisers' who calculate the value of your vehicle just prior to the accident and then determine what similar vehicles sold for that have been in similar accidents. The diminished value is the difference between the pre and post values.

Can my car dealer tell me how much the diminished value is to my car?

Yes and no. Vehicle' with bad Carfax reports are disposed of by dealerships and sold to wholesalers. Each person or company that is involved in the sale process has some profit or markup on the sale. The real measurement of diminished value is what the vehicle is sold for to end consumer when compared to an undamaged vehicle.

What is inherent diminished value?

Inherent diminished value is a term used to describe the loss in resale value to a vehicle that is directly related to damage resulting from an accident.

Can I file a diminished value claim on a leased vehicle?

No. Diminished value claims can only be filed by the titled owner of the vehicle.

Can I file a diminished value claim if am at fault?

As a general rule NO. There are some exceptions, such as where you have you purchased a special type of insurance or where a state has mandated that all vehicles involved in accident suffer diminished value.

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