After an auto accident, one of the tasks that people face is filing claims with insurance providers. Part of the process involves coming with the car value for insurance claims that will be used as the basis for what happens next. Why is this calculation so important? Here are a few reasons to keep in mind.
Nothing Can Be Done Until There’s An Accurate Assessment of the Car’s Value
There has to be a starting point for arriving at the vehicle’s value. While it’s true in many cases that it’s possible to check a recognized resource like Blue Book values and get some idea of what the car is worth. The problem is that there is no resource that can tell the entire story about the recently damaged vehicle.
That’s where an inspection and an assessment by a certified appraiser comes into the picture. The goal is to identify the pre-accident value as well as project the value after repairs are made. Appraisers can tell a great deal about the condition prior to an accident based on the parts of the vehicle that sustained no damage. That resulting figure is likely to be more accurate than some general car resource.
Making Sure the Identified Value is Correct
Being comfortable with the professional who will conduct the assessment is important. The insurance provider will have recommendations of who to use for the inspection. What vehicle owners should remember is that they are free to choose any certified professional that is to their liking.
The choice may be one of the recommendations provided by the insurance company. If one of them is known to you and has an excellent reputation, then feel free to go with that appraiser. When you’re not sure about any of those and you do know a local certified auto appraiser with a great reputation, that’s where you want to go. This one simple action will help you have more confidence in the identified value.
Decisions About Repairs or Totaling the Vehicle
Once the inspection and appraisal are complete, it’s time to figure out what happens next. Based on the identified value versus the estimate for the repairs, the insurance provider may agree that repairing the vehicle is the most practical solution. When the cost of repairs exceeds the car’s identified value, they are likely to recommend that the car be totaled, and offer you a cash settlement.
You also need to look closely at the identified car value for insurance claims and decide what you want to do. Perhaps the cash offer is enough for you to replace the car with ease. If so, take that offer. When you have other reasons for holding on to the car, keep in mind that you will have to pay for the repairs on your own; there will be no money from the insurance company for this purpose.
And Whether to Seek a Claim for Diminished Value
Depending on the specifics of the situation, you may decide to file a claim for diminished value. That value is the difference between what your car was worth before the accident and what’s it’s worth afterwards. If you have a newer make and model, this is an option to consider.
As with all claims, there is no guarantee that it will be approved. Should you feel strongly about this and believe a claim as wrongfully rejected, you do have the option of taking legal action. The appraiser’s work will be a key element in the case, and the professional may end up offering testimony to the court.
Don’t treat the calculation of the car’s value as a minor element of recovering from an accident. Approach it seriously, including the selection of who will inspect the vehicle. Doing so will help make settling the matter and moving on a little simpler.