In Louisiana, an insurance company can “total” a vehicle if the cost to repair the damage is 75% or greater than the “actual cash value” (ACV) of the vehicle. If you are like most people however, the value of your vehicle to you is much higher than the money the insurance company may want to give you. My clients often tell me that whatever money the insurance company gives them cannot replace their old vehicle, especially if they didn’t have a note on that car!
So, what should you do if you feel that the insurance company is low-balling you on your total loss claim? First, do your own research. Sites like Kelley Blue Book are good resources for getting an idea as to the private party sale value of your vehicle. While they may not provide you with the ACV, they can at least provide you with a range of the reasonable value of your car.
Second, ask the insurance company for a copy of their total loss evaluation report. This is a document the insurance company uses to make their total loss offer. It should contain values of comparable vehicles for sale, your vehicle’s wreck history, any deductions the insurance company is taking off for prior damage to your vehicle.
Third, if you recently purchased new tires or other major parts for your vehicle, make sure you provide the insurance company with receipts from those purchases. New tires for instance, may increase the value they are willing to offer you.
Finally, if you still feel that you are being undervalued, it may be worthwhile to pay for your vehicle to be evaluated by your own independent appraiser.
Have You Been Injured In A Covington Area Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.