Getting insurance for your vehicle should be the next thing on your mind after purchasing one. We all know that after a few good years, this vehicle starts to need some minor or major repairs that come with crippling costs that might just be too much for you to bear. This can lead to an auto total loss. However, this is where your insurance saves the day.
However, car insurances are a lot different from health insurances in that one is treated as a necessity, while the other is a privilege. There are some accident cases where your auto insurance company might refuse to cover your car expenses. You might have to work closely with an insurance claim adjuster to determine how much should go into the repair of your car.
WHO IS AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER?
An insurance adjuster, also called a claim adjuster, is a professional who works for insurance companies. After a car accident, they go to inspect the site, carry out investigations, then finally negotiate the total amount of money the insurance company is willing to pay for your vehicle.
Although they work for your insurance company, one thing you should be aware of is that the insurance adjuster can and will lie to you. Remember always that they work for the company and not for you. The company’s end goal is to make a profit, and the insurance adjuster is there to make sure that the company pays you as little as possible for your loss to increase their profit margin. It’s just business.
That is why, after an accident, you should never accept the first offer of settlement. Your vehicle’s worth is more often more than that, and you can get more out of them by negotiating. However, it is harder to do this when your car has been deemed a “total loss.”
WHEN CAN YOUR CAR BE DEEMED AN AUTO TOTAL LOSS?
When the total cost of repair for your car is more than the estimated value of it, the insurance company will deem your car a total loss. So it is up to you to make proper findings yourself because sometimes an insurance company simply does not want to pay for the repair of your car and might unfairly deem it a total loss.
Also, when reimbursing or paying for the repair of your vehicle, there is every chance that your vehicle is worth more than the first amount they offer you. This is where negotiation comes in.
HOW TO NEGOTIATE WITH INSURANCE ADJUSTER AUTO TOTAL LOSS
It is important to know how to negotiate with an insurance adjuster for the coverage of your vehicle repair because their first offer is almost always a rip-off. Therefore, keep in mind that they are a business, and the end goal of every business is to make a profit, by what means necessary.
DO NOT ACCEPT THE FIRST OFFER
An insurance adjuster will often make an extremely low offer for your car, at first. You must remember this. After an accident, you are already stressed, physically and emotionally. By merely looking at your vehicle in this “totaled” state, you think, “God, I better accept this offer and be grateful because this car looks gone,” but no. Even if the offer seems reasonable at first glance, you should always negotiate.
ESTIMATE THE VALUE OF YOUR CAR
Only you can truly do this yourself. There is a Kelley Blue Book where you can look up your car’s fair market purchase price and know the estimated value of it. Or, you can take your car to a mechanic and have him estimate the total cost of repair. Do not let your insurance company or insurance adjuster take your car to their mechanic. As this will still result in the same rip-off.
COME UP WITH YOUR COUNTEROFFER
After thorough research, it is time to come up with a counteroffer. This should be the least amount you expect to be paid for your vehicle. Write a letter to the insurance company telling them you do not accept their offer. In this letter, describe the car accident in detail, any injuries you sustained and all damages are done to your vehicle, then include the amount you expect to be paid. Remember to double or triple this amount, as the insurance company will most likely pay you way less.
I know all this might sound like a real struggle, and you are there wondering if it’s worth it. I tell you it is. Without insurance, you get nothing from an accident except debilitating vehicle and medical bills. Yikes. The key to getting a really fair payout after an accident is proper negotiation. And if you feel you can’t do this yourself, get a lawyer to do it for you.