Lake City, FL—When a vehicle sustains damage in an accident and the cost to repair it exceeds what the vehicle is worth, the insurance company may consider it a total loss. When a vehicle is considered a total loss, the insurance company will generally provide a claimant with a cash payment equivalent to what its book value is listed at.1 Of course, a claimant’s coverage may influence how much the insurance company is required to pay for a totaled vehicle.
Valuing a Totaled Vehicle Claim
In order for an insurance company to value a totaled vehicle, it must compare it to vehicles that are of the same make and model to determine how much it is worth. Oftentimes, the insurer will provide a claimant with an amount that seems lower, and often is lower than what a car accident victim should receive. But why?
Insurance companies operate with the same goal as all other businesses—to earn a profit. In order to protect any profits it does earn, insurance adjusters will often offer claimants less than what their claims are actually worth with the hopes that they will accept the settlement. And if they do, the claim then closes and the accident victim is left with an amount that may not be enough to replace their vehicle.
What can a claimant do if they think their totaled vehicle claim is undervalued?
If an individual believes the insurance company has undervalued their totaled vehicle claim, they don’t have to accept the first settlement that was offered. In fact, they can negotiate with the insurer in an effort to try and get the adjuster to increase their offer. However, if an individual plans on challenging the insurance company’s offer, they will need to provide proof as to why they think their claim is worth more.
For instance, they can provide “mileage records, service history, and even affidavits from mechanics to show that [their] car [is] worth more than a typical car of its make and model,” according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
Koberlein Law Offices Can Determine How Much a Person’s Totaled Vehicle Claim is Worth
If the insurance company offered a car accident victim an amount that seems a bit low for their totaled vehicle claim, a Lake City, FL car accident lawyer can determine if the offer is fair or needs to be raised. The FL accident attorneys at Koberlein Law Offices will take the time to assess the value of an individual’s vehicle and negotiate with the insurer on their behalf in an effort to get them the money they are entitled to.
Koberlein Law Offices is here to help individuals gain a better understanding of the insurance claims process and how they can avoid being taken advantage of by the insurer.
Koberlein Law Offices can be reached at any of their office locations listed down below:
855 SW Baya Drive
Lake City, FL 32025
118 Ohio Avenue N, Suite A
Live Oak, FL 32064
8443 SW 14 Lane
Gainesville, FL 32607