Total Loss/Fair Market Value

You are involved in an auto accident and your insurance company or the at-fault person’s insurance company determines your vehicle is a total loss. An offer has been made but is it fair market value of the vehicle? Insurance companies use automated systems that cater to their own interest of the lowest value. They do not apply all factors that a licensed appraiser will consider in determining your damaged vehicle value. Professional Adjustment Services’ total loss evaluation report can save you thousands of dollars. Collecting from your own insurance company, you can insert the policy appraisal clause, and on a third party claim, you can sue the third party personally for the difference in value in a court of law.

Common questions:

1) How does the insurance company determine my vehicle is a total loss?

      Usually the amount of the estimated damage exceeds 75% – 80% of the estimated value of the automobile.

2) What methods do the insurance companies use to determine the value of my total loss vehicle?

      Insurance companies use a variety of methods to arrive at the value of a total loss vehicle. The vehicle year, make, model, color, options, mileage, condition, prior damage and geographical location are all factors that could influence a particular vehicle value. All utilize some method of sampling the values of similar vehicles. The sources of these valuations range from the price of similar models at local dealerships, prices in the NADA guide, Kelly Blue Book, Red Book, local newspapers and classified ads. These value guides appear to be the most accurate and fair way to evaluate a total loss automobile.

  Some insurance companies is to use CCC Valuescope valuations. CCC Valuescope works exclusively for insurers and therefore have an economic interest to supply valuations that are intentionally below the actual fair market value of what insured vehicles are truly worth. This method involves sending field inventory representatives to a car dealership nationwide and obtaining not the true retail value of an auto of like kind and quality prior to the accident but the value car dealers would sell a vehicle for at basement wholesale prices. Consumers whose settlements are based on the CCC Valuescope method, could find a sizable gap between what they receive for a totaled vehicle and what they need to replace it.

Are you unsatisfied with the insurance company’s offer on your total loss? There may be a difference between what the insurance company is willing to pay you, and the fair market value of your vehicle. You are entitled to a fair market settlement and you are always entitled to your own independent appraisal when negotiating a settlement with an insurance company.

Professional Adjustment Services can provide you with a certified fair market value report utilizing considerable training and years of experience.