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Discussion Starter #1
Who's been through the process with insurance companies on settlements for a totaled vehicle? Working with the other driver's insurance carrier and was told that this company tends to give lower appraisals and offers than some others. I prepared for the worst, but the initial offer was better than that. I know I need to get out of expectations and into realistic values, but not sure what my range of options is in the negotiation.

They've built a comp sheet using 2 for-sale vehicles, both with very low dealer lot prices and average to above-average mileage (and neither is available anymore). Mine was an absolute cream puff, very low miles, no damage/wear for its age, great package, great options. They've done some accounting for the differences between mine and the comps, and it's fine as numbers go, but when I search comps I come up with asking prices about 15% higher. It's in the ballpark (upper teens), but I don't know about squeezing that much out of a used car dealer in that price range.

Who's been there, done that? Any advice?
 

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Do your research, gather your ammunition and stick to your guns....

You know what YOUR vehicle is worth, this wasn't your fault and you shouldn't have to pay for someone else's mistake. Make sure you prepare yourself with comparable vehicles, not some junk with high miles. Their job is to settle for the least amount possible and thats exactly what they will TRY to do.
 

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Also, not sure what damage was done or just how "totaled" it was, but if its something like major cosmetic which almost always totals a car out, AND you really loved it and know it runs and will run great a long time, you may wanna think about tryin to buy it back as they will most of time be happy to sell it to you after your settlement for a fraction of the settlement...that is, if its fixable along with some things you might can live with(ie.dents, ect.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also, not sure what damage was done or just how "totaled" it was
Bones (frame forks) sticking out the front "totaled". Firemen using what was left of it's running life to get it to unstick from the BMW that crossed the stop sign in front of my daughter with it "totaled". It (GMC Canyon crew) did it's job - gave up the front end but spared the passenger compartment completely except for the airbag - no injury at all. I might like the tubular assist steps off the sides, but that's about it. She's a goner...
 

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More than likely the airbag was the final say In it being totaled.. However, they are comparing apples to potatoes... Stick to what you know your car is worth.. What is your insurance company saying?
 

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Red X Angler
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"Other fault" insurance is always going to low ball you. Locate similar trucks at retail locations within 500 miles and make it clear you will settle for no less than the proven retail, or a suitable replacement truck that you must drive, have inspected and approve before you will accept it. At some point they will say "this is all your getting" at that point accept or hand it over to a lawyer, then include lost wages, rentals, DR bills and any other inconvenience they could have even "possibly" created. Sometimes unfortunately it is a waiting game because they know most people cant..
 

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In '03 I had a new 4runner stolen when I moved to CA (nice welcome 'eh?). The insurance company asked me to find comps. I went to www.cars.com and found the three highest comps I could with similar mileage at dealers within 100 miles and averaged them. They gave me that number, no questions. I thought it was very fair.

My wife's car was also totaled about a year later (mid 90s cavalier). Same company, same process, but they gave me more grief on the value. It was also much harder to find comps for that car (coupe vs sedan, sport package, similar mileage, etc). It was only worth ~$5k, so we were arguing over $500. Within a few phone calls we met in the middle and settled it.

If your contact isn't able or willing to negotiate, ask for their manager and so on up the chain until you get someone who's willing to talk.

Good luck! There is where you find out the real value of your insurance company.
 

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Interesting comment from the Whisperer (bold emphasis mine):
you find out the real value of your insurance company
When my old Ody was totalled and the other driver was at fault, I never involved my insurance company. I have had some people tell me I should have and some tell me I shouldn't. I don't know which of the truisms is more accurate - one is that if you involve your insurance company it is a black mark that may count against you in the future and the other is that because it will eventually cost them nothing (they will get it from the other company) they will more willingly give you a good price to keep you happy.

In my case my car was not worth much; it was over 10 years old and had about 200k. I was pretty bummed. It was one of the old style smaller Odysseys with the 4 banger. Seated 6, got about 25 mpg and probably would have run fine for another 150k or so. It cost me much more to replace than it was worth.
 

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If they low ball, flat out refuse. Go over the adjuster's head. Be willing not to settle. Don't ever tell them you have to have the money to get something else to drive. You tell them the opposite.
If my insurance company weren't gladly assisting me in this, I would find another insurance company.
My insurance company has supplied their attorneys at no cost to me when they weren't obligated to. But that is the level of service I pay for.
 

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And in the meantime of all this waiting, make sure you have a rental car AS LONG AS YOU NEED, through their company...they may try to set a limit on it but legally they cant, especially if they havent settled
 

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You can appeal assessments. It's pretty easy if you do it in the allotted time frame after a new assessment. Outside that window you have to provide a reason that you didn't do it within the allotted time, like you didn't own it then or the market has changed. If the new assessments are not sent registered mail, until you pay tax on the property you can claim ignorance of the new assessment and appeal outside the allotted time. If you have paid tax based on the assessment without appealing you are pretty much stuck though.
 

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Reading this thread yesterday must have jinxed me...

The Ex had someone plow into her car yesterday, and it may be totalled. Unfortunately... It's still in my name. And the insurance is in hers. 2011 Wrangler Unlimited.... I have the bad feeling that I am going to wind up being hosed here.
 

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You shouldn't be. Jeeps are high market right now.
A coworker totaled his Jeep two months ago. He had it 5 years. Paid 26,000 for it. Insurance company paid him 21,500.
So he's drove a nice vehicle for the last 5 years pretty cheap.

Been looking at some old CJ's to store at the coast for 5 or 6 months out of the year. You got folks with brush painted Jeeps 20 years old half rusted out with 200,000 miles on them wanting 4500 bucks.
 

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Red X Angler
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Take any offer that makes pay off ( if you have one) otherwise make them replace it and put it in her name her insurance. It gets her out of your business quickly. And my past experience is that's a good thing with Exs.
Reading this thread yesterday must have jinxed me...

The Ex had someone plow into her car yesterday, and it may be totalled. Unfortunately... It's still in my name. And the insurance is in hers. 2011 Wrangler Unlimited.... I have the bad feeling that I am going to wind up being hosed here.
 

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