Do I have to take the offer given to me by the claims adjuster?

Do I have to accept a car insurance claim offer or can I negotiate? My car was totaled in an accident a couple of months ago and it has taken State Farm forever to pay on the claim. Now the claims adjuster advised that I would only be getting $2,500 back for my car. Yeah, it was old, but it was in perfect condition and I can't replace it for $2,500.

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Shannon Martin
Answered on Jul 06, 2021
Shannon is an expert in personal lines liability insurance with 13 + years of insurance industry experience. She also served as a special insurance liaison to AARP members for 6 of those years. She is a graduate of UL Lafayette and currently resides in NY with her family. Shannon is also an amateur juggler, ukulele player, and is a time travel paradox theory enthusiast.
“The offer made by the State Farm claims adjuster was just that, an offer. If you don’t agree to the estimate, you don’t have to accept it.
Ask the adjuster how he came up with $2,500 for the actual cash value. Then do your own research and look for comparisons in your area based on:
  • the same year
  • the same make
  • same model of your car
Get several examples together and respond to the claims adjuster with a written counteroffer.
The claims adjuster will either accept the offer or come back with another offer. If you reach a roadblock–pun intended–you can ask to speak to the adjuster’s supervisor and they can set up an appraisal.
With an appraisal, you and your carrier each select an appraiser that will independently come up with their own actual cash value amount.
Then the appraisers will work together and will provide you and the carrier the final offer amount. This will be the last and final price.”
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