Mechanical repairs – while your insurance carrier may give you a pro-rated adjustment for items like new tires, a rebuilt transmission, etc. Guidebooks do not. These items are generally required for the vehicle to be in good working order and fall into the area of vehicle condition. Be prepared when you meet with your adjuster. Bring receipts for all recent maintenance items, repairs, upgrades, etc. Items like brakes are not generally pro-rated. The adjustment given for these items are usually of a conciliatory nature and not significant.
Negotiating – Remember, YOU are the customer. The policyholder. Insurance carriers spend $5.7 B per year in advertising trying to attract new policyholders, they lose on average almost 1 out of 2 (50%) after accidents due to claims handling. Let them know that you intend to stay if they treat you fairly and fairly is YOUR perception and opinion, not theirs. It is their job to make you FEEL like you have been treated fairly and most insurance adjustors lack the social skills to handle people. They follow a process and deviating from the process makes them uneasy and they resist. If you sense resistance, escalate your claim to a supervisor and you will be rewarded. Squeaky wheels get oiled!
Diminished Value Claims – there are provisions for diminished value in three states; GA, KS & NC. That means the insurance carrier will be writing you a supplemental check specifically for diminished value after they settle your claim. Specific formulas are established for that purpose in each state. The adjuster will generally not initiate any discussion and will dismiss this topic as non-negotiable and formula driven by state legislation. Ask and you shall receive!
How many people get a DIMINISHED VALUE ADJUSTMENT? Well I didn’t! Because I didn’t ask for one! Now if the vehicle is a total loss, diminished value is kind of a moot point. But if it gets repaired and the accident was not your fault, you should be compensated. If there is any doubt in your mind that if any “reported” accident will have an impact on your vehicles value, go to www.carfax.com and under ABOUT US you can find out what they specifically report on. This was taken from their site:
Every CARFAX Report contains information that can impact a consumer's decision about a used
vehicle. Some types of information that a CARFAX Report may include are:
- Title information, including salvaged or junked titles
- Flood damage history
- Total loss accident history
- Odometer readings
- Lemon history
- Number of owners
- Accident indicators, such as airbag deployments
- State emissions inspection results
- Service records
- Vehicle use (taxi, rental, lease, etc.)
CARFAX receives information from more than 34,000 data sources including every U.S. and Canadian provincial motor vehicle agency plus many auto auctions, fire and police departments, collision repair facilities, fleet management and rental agencies, and more.
READ the above AGAIN carefully… “Every CARFAX Report contains information that can impact a consumer's decision about a used vehicle”
This translates to…”what we report will have an impact on who looks at your vehicle”. This will unequivocally have a financial impact on YOUR vehicles’ value when you go to “trade” or “sell” the vehicle. All franchised and independent auto dealers in the USA try to avoid trading vehicles with accident history because it complicates the sales process with damage disclosures, thereby increasing liability.
Think of it this way… what consumer goes to a dealer intending to buy a car that has been in an accident?
CARFAX has successfully capitalized on insurance company data sources, motor vehicle and municipal data sources. The information from your accident can and will be shared and will be attached to your vehicle’s history FOREVER.
Get paid for the diminished value up front by your insurance company! Fight for it now because you will give it up later…