That’s Not What My Car Is Worth!
Getting into a car accident is a huge interruption to your life, but finding out that your car will no longer be drivable? That’s worst-case scenario. Sadly, many people who find themselves in that unfortunate situation feel doubly blindsided when they hear the settlement amount for their totaled vehicle. Whereas those with great auto insurance are pleasantly surprised and super happy!
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You had a working vehicle prior to the accident, and they know that the insurance company is supposed to get them back to pre-accident condition. Why then, isn’t your “total loss” settlement enough to purchase a comparable vehicle?
First, it’s important to remember that there are numerous factors that affect the value of your vehicle. The year, make, and model are all important, but so are its condition ratings, mileage, options, and trim level. If your tires are old and the undercarriage is rusty, that will bring down the value of your vehicle. If, on the other hand, your car is in pristine condition and has had routine maintenance performed on it, you can expect a higher settlement.
Second, remember that your settlement check reflects the actual value of your vehicle, not the replacement value. A dealer may have sold your car for hundreds or thousands of dollars more than your settlement amount; that’s because their job is to make a profit, which isn’t going to happen if they sell the vehicle for only what it’s worth.
So is the insurance company trying to rip you off? Definitely not; in fact, thanks to fair claims settlement practices, it would be illegal for them to do so. Insurance providers use a third-party company to evaluate your car’s features and compare them to similar cars in your area. That information is used to come up with a fair settlement amount that accurately reflects your vehicle’s market value.
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DISCLAIMER: It is important to note that the information contained herein is made general for the purpose of explanation. You should consult your policy for exclusions or other language that may alter your policy.