How do I get a higher payout from my auto insurance company after a total loss?

I've been fighting with my insurance for the past six months about my totaled vehicle. I've provided them with multiple comparable options to my vehicle and they keep giving me a low offer for a settlement. They said I need to either accept their offer or hire an independent appraiser. What should I do?

Answer
Car insurance companies never pay out the full value of a vehicle. When deciding the settlement cost for a totaled vehicle, companies use the actual cash value of your vehicle, which includes depreciation.
If you’re looking at comparable options, you must make sure that the vehicles match the condition that your vehicle was in prior to the accident.
You should also be sure to review any terms or conditions that your insurance policy contains. There are specific conditions that insurance companies follow when paying out a claim. There could be a reason why their settlement number is lower than what you believe is fair.
If you review all of these factors and you still aren’t able to come to an agreement, you’ll most likely need to hire an appraiser.
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Emily Maracle
Answered on May 07, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
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