Tuesday, March 26, 2013

IS THE VALUE OF YOUR TOTAL LOSS CAR OR TRUCK IN DISPUTE WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY? REACHING A FAIR MARKET VALUE SETTLEMENT ISN'T ALWAYS EASY.

FAIR MARKET VALUE APPRAISERS

 FORT PIERCE, Florida - Insurance companies aren't overly generous, that much we all know. But we do expect to be treated in a fair manner by them - especially when claim time rolls around. Much of St. Lucie Appraisal's business involves handling claimant vs. insurer disputes over the value of motor vehicles. How do the insurance companies' low-ball estimates of value fare in the real world? Dismally. Insurance adjusters may have guidelines, quotas and heavy workloads but when faced with hard-to-refute evidence of the value of a car, truck, motorcycle, RV or heavy equipment, continuing to hold the company line usually proves to be a big mistake - for them. Fair Market Value in total losses can be determined in many ways. Insurance companies tend to favor book values which can sometimes be right on the money but often enough - especially with custom cars and motor homes - their accuracy falls flat. Rather than put insureds and claimants into a spin cycle, some adjusters do take the extra time or spend a few bucks for an appraiser to investigate further. That generally leads to concessions which, in turn, produce satisfactory results for everyone.


WRECKED FERRARI TOTAL LOSS VALUE

When we receive an assignment to determine Fair Market Value in an insurance dispute, it's almost a certainty that the owner of the equipment has a clearer knowledge of the actual cash value than the insurance adjuster does. Whether its laziness or simply the need for a reality check, insurance company representatives need to be both thorough and flexible in their investigations when disputes arise.  Mediators, arbiters and magistrates have little patience for unfair claims practices.

If the discrepancy is simply in the estimation of value; that is, if no issue exists involving old damage or excessive depreciation, etc., call us to work on your behalf preparing a Fair Market Value Appraisal for  your car, truck, motorcycle, motor home or heavy equipment. We are licensed appraisers and provide reports in all 50 states.


The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net 


Service in St. Lucie County, Martin County, Indian River County, Brevard County, Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Vero Beach, Melbourne, Sebastian, Palm Bay, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, Haverhill, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, Hypoluxo, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Margate, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Dania Beach, Hollywood, Hallandale, Miami, Miami Beach, North Miami, Opa Locka, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall, Cutler Bay and Homestead.




Truck drawing courtesy of PETERBILT1993
Car drawing courtesy of koenigsegg18

Keywords for this article: adjuster, appraiser, arbitrate, book value, car, claim, dispute, fair, fair market value, insurance, magistrate, mediate, motor home, motor vehicle, st lucie appraisal, total loss, truck, value, heavy equipment

Updated 06-18-2013, Updated 01-21-2014

Monday, March 11, 2013

RUDE AWAKENINGS IN AUTO DIMINISHED VALUE CASES - WHY YOU SHOULD ASK THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER WHICH APPRAISAL METHOD THEY PREFER

RUDE AWAKENINGS IN AUTO DIMINISHED VALUE CASES

FORT PIERCE, Florida - As many people are finding out, automobile diminished value is both very real and very costly. For the uninitiated, when your late-model motor vehicle is repaired after a collision, its value plummets due to the bad Carfax or other vehicle history report now attached to it. Even if all repairs were perfectly done, who wants a repaired car when there are plenty of clean ones to choose from? Because the car is less desirable to used car buyers, its value has dropped from 10% to 50%. This sad fact is usually not realized by the vehicle owner until trade-in time when the dealership informs them that they can only offer $15K instead of the $20K they were expecting. A remedy, however, is available thanks to State Supreme Courts throughout The United States who have ruled that automobile diminished value is recoverable. By making a claim against the insurance company of the responsible driver, consumers should be able to recoup every dollar lost by submitting an Automobile Diminished Value Appraisal to the insurance adjuster.

Although this process sounds easy enough, there are rules of thumb that should be followed in order to guarantee a successful resolution which is a fair settlement offer. Insurance companies, after all, are tightwads so getting it right the first time is of great benefit. In addition to filing claims in a timely manner and hiring a licensed appraiser, seeking a consultation with the insurance company adjuster is a great idea.

There are three methods for determining how much less your car is now worth. The first, patterned after the State of Georgia's Rule 17-C, assigns points for things like severity or air bag deployment that, when added up, equate to a specific dollar amount. The second type of diminished value report consists of data taken from automobile auctions that show examples of sales figures of both virgin cars and ones with bad Carfax reports. The third method for determining the amount of value lost  involves providing a number of used car managers at auto dealerships with the specific loss information  to learn what deductions they would take.

The claim process can be made a lot less contentious by being courteous and asking whether the insurance company has a preference as to the methodology used to deem fair compensation. Their adjusters will almost always offer a few hundred dollars but rest assured, they know that these cars are now worth thousands of dollars less. Rather than obtaining an automobile diminished value appraisal and then hoping it was done to a standard that insurers will accept, make it a point to ask the adjuster which type of report is preferable to them.


The St. Lucie Appraisal Company
P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400
Email: contact@stlucieappraisal.net 


paypal payment button The fee for an Automobile Diminished Value Report is $275.00. You may also make your Credit Card Payment by telephone, call 772-359-4300. Credit card payments can be made on the PayPal page. Click on "Don't have a PayPal account?" to be taken to the secure credit card payment page. 

After making your secure payment please email the body shop estimate or the insurance company appraisal to contact@stlucieappraisal.net or FAX to 772-466-8400.

NOTE: TESLA OR OTHER EXOTIC CAR OWNERS PLEASE CALL 772-359-4300 TO ARRANGE FOR AN AUTOMOBILE DIMINISHED VALUE APPRAISAL.