How do you fight a total loss claim?

You can file a lawsuit against an insurance company for the full value of a car by sending the insurer a counteroffer along with evidence that justifies the value of your car. If the insurance company doesn't increase its supply, you can contact your state's insurance regulator, request arbitration, or file a lawsuit. Since insurance companies use their own databases to determine value, they may be wrong in their assessment. If you think that's the case with your vehicle, you can challenge its valuation by getting one of your own.

Independent appraisers can be found at local workshops and garages. If you go this route, be sure to get the inspection details in writing so you can submit them to your insurance company. If your negotiations with the claims adjuster are not successful, you can hire an attorney. While this is likely to be considered a last resort, litigation could help you get the settlement you think you deserve.

It could also help alleviate some of the stress surrounding negotiations about total loss. An attorney is likely more familiar with the process and knows how to fight against the insurance company in relation to your wrecked car. Lenders and car insurance companies often request temporary insurance to prevent you from owing more for your car than it is worth in the event of a total loss. The process for obtaining compensation for a wrecked car depends on who was at fault for the accident and whether you file a claim under your own car insurance policy or file a claim with third parties.

You can ask the insurance company to make a total of your car, but insurers ultimately decide whether to total a car based on the car's market value and the magnitude of the damage. When the value of a car is already low, even minor damage that can be repaired can cause your insurer to qualify it as a total loss. The natural reaction to the customer's dilemma will be to conclude that you can't fight a billion-dollar insurer for that kind of money. The bottom line is that the other driver's or car owner's insurer will pay the full amount of the car if the other driver was at fault for the accident (negligence).

It's best to contact an attorney before talking to an insurance company and then let them handle all communications related to your car accident. So, if you think your car is worth saving or, at the very least, repairs cost less than 50 percent of the cost, you'll have to learn to negotiate with your company about the full value of your car's loss. If the total is for a car without collision insurance, then your insurer will not reimburse you for your car's ACV. You've been involved in a car accident and your car is wrecked (this means your repair costs more than it's worth).

If you're in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, you may be able to get compensation for your entire car with your uninsured motorist coverage (UIM), if you have one. Your insurance company may declare your car a total loss after an accident, but you have the option to keep the car if you want to. In Florida, a car is considered a total loss when the cost of repairs exceeds 80% or more of its fair market value. You have an obligation to make payments to the leasing company and even if the car is completely wrecked, you won't get out of trouble.

Insurance companies then review the documentation to verify its accuracy and applicability to the vehicle with total loss.

Darrell Trimboli
Darrell Trimboli

Wannabe tv buff. Certified web scholar. Subtly charming tv maven. Avid tv guru. Hardcore beer specialist. Infuriatingly humble student.

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