Once your vehicle is involved in an accident, the next step focuses on whether it should be repaired or totaled. It helps if you have some basis for evaluating the car value for insurance claims that’s independent of the determination made by the insurance company. Here are some of the ways that an independent appraisal can help.
Determining the Current Value for Your Vehicle
While the insurance provider has connections with different appraisers, it never hurts to have one of your own. The results of that appraisal have the potential to help you in more than one way. What you may find is that the figure your appraiser arrives at is almost identical to the one that the insurance company is using for the basis of evaluating a claim.
There’s also the possibility that the two appraisals will be different. This could happen if one appraiser overlooks something that the other one finds. In any event, looking at the supporting detail can help you and the provider come to an understanding about the vehicle’s value.
Allowing for the Loss in Value After the Accident
An appraisal will take into consideration the value of the vehicle prior to the covered event, as well as determine the worth after the accident. You may also learn more about the projected value after the car is repaired. All that information can come in handy when making a decision about repairing or totaling the vehicle.
Remember that you don’t necessarily have to settle for the first offer that the insurance provider makes. You can make a counterclaim if there’s evidence to support what you’re seeking. You can also choose to reject an offer to total the vehicle and pay for the repairs out of pocket. Depending on the damage and your attachment to the vehicle, this may be an option. The appraisal results can help you understand the full ramifications of choosing to keep the car and repair it yourself.
Determining If You Need to File a Claim for Diminished Value
Diminished value is how much the car is worth after an accident versus what it was worth before the event took place. You can take this figure for car value for insurance claims and seek to receive all or part of that difference.
Keep in mind that it’s not likely that the diminished value will exceed more than 25% of what the provider set as the prior to loss value, but it may turn out to be more than you expected. If so, this approach is a viable one. Should you find that seeking the diminished value would not help much, there’s always the option of going with the offer from the provider.
Improving the Odds of Receiving the Actual Cash Value
Depending on the results from the appraisal, you may be able to receive what’s known as the actual cash value. That’s value that’s determined after allowing for factors like the mileage on the engine, the general condition of the body, and several other characteristics of the vehicle.
Would the actual cash value be a good deal for you? The only way to know for sure is to have the car appraised and take a close look at the results.
Rather than making assumptions about the car value, arrange for an appraisal. Once it’s done, you’ll be in a better position to make decisions about any claim offers from your insurance provider.