? Regarding Total Loss that Wasn't my Fault

Sep 27, 2015

  1. iam4miami
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    iam4miami New Member

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    Hi. I'm new here, and I am from Tennessee. I recently was rear-ended by a driver that was charged with DUI and Reckless Endangerment. My car was a total loss, and I have some medical issues.

    The insurance company has offered me far less than I can replace my vehicle. I will be out a couple grand to get the same car with like miles. I don't feel I should be out anything, but they say it is there one and only offer. Is this normal? Everywhere I have read has said never to accept the first offer. It has been 5 days since they offered me the first offer which I refused, and I haven't heard anything back from them.

    Does anyone have any advice on this?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Josh
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    Josh Retired Agent, Current List Broker

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    The insurance company owes you replacement cost. Usually this estimation comes partly from market research and they can usually provide you with an explanation of how they arrived with that valuation. They may even be able to show you a dealer listing for the cars they're using as comparables.
     
    Josh, Sep 27, 2015
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  3. Slassco
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    Slassco New Member

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    The insurance company actually owes ACV or actual cash value, not replacement. That means your cars value, not what it will cost to replace. ACV should take into account the vehicles packages, options, and conditions.

    Most likely it is not negotiable, but you need to get a full report to ensure they valued you car correct. Make sure your correct model, trim, options, and condition are correct. Many cars today have packages like technology or sport not immediately evident to the adjuster but can add to the value.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
    Slassco, Sep 27, 2015
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  4. iam4miami
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    iam4miami New Member

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    The value of my car was determined through a program called Colossus. I have read that this program always low-balls the numbers. Has anyone fought Colossus determinations and won? I had a 2002 Ford Taurus with only 62k miles. If I accept the money they offered, the best I can do to replace with a 2002 Ford Taurus is a car with nearly 200k miles. I don't think it is fair that I have to settle for a worn out car with that many miles and issues or pay a couple grand to get a like car. Ideas?
     
  5. Ron Van D
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    Ron Van D Guru

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    When this crap happens to my clients, I refer them to a lawyer. That is my advice to you, also. And don't say another word to the insurance company until you have a lawyer. You will only screw yourself.
     
  6. pfg1
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    pfg1 Guru

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    x2, and especially if you have some medical issues from the accident.
     
    pfg1, Sep 29, 2015
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  7. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    You should have gotten a copy of the report they used to value your car. Look it over and see why the value came up low. Insurance company can and will make adjustments, but they need to be shown why.

    Also, don't compare to 'advertised' price, compare to what you can actually buy the car for.

    Based on KBB.com (not used by colossus, but a easy data point), in my area, based on an average Taurus SE, private party value is $2493 with 62K miles and $1049 with 200K mileage. This is based on 'good' condition.

    From there, they will make adjustments, such as if the tires are worn, seat condition, etc.

    I'm not sure what they offered you, but before you go give a good chunk away to a lawyer, I would do a bit of research into how they appraised your car and then verify if you can / can't replace your car in your area for what they gave. There is usually a statement in the settlement offer about how to dispute the amount they offered, even if you have already accepted the offer amount.

    Its not hard, but it will require proof that the offer is low, not just an emotional feeling.

    Dan
     
    djs, Sep 29, 2015
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  8. diminishedvalue
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    diminishedvalue New Member

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    You need to get a total loss report and sometimes you can get registration and taxes for the new car paid as long as it is under policy limits. Most insurance adjusters say final but it is not final, talk to the insurance commission in your state for guidance and look up total loss report, if all else fails small claims court works.
     
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