How do I settle my claim with the car insurance company?

How do I know if my claim settlement was fair? Progressive offered me $22,500 as a payout for my Jeep Wrangler. It was totaled in a car accident last month. I found another Jeep I can buy, but it will cost $27,000. Should my payout be able to cover the cost of a new Jeep completely?

Shannon Martin · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
“If you feel the claim payout for your Jeep is too low, there will be some information to review first.
The goal of
car insurance
is to indemnify the driver. Indemnification is to restore the driver financially as to how they were, no better and no worse.
When a vehicle is totaled, a claims adjuster will issue a check for the
ACV (actual cash value)
of your particular car, not the cost of replacing your car.
Some of the factors an adjuster uses to calculate your ACV are:
  • Age of the vehicle
  • Wear and tear
  • Prior accident history
For example, if your Jeep was in a few minor accidents before, the ACV is lower than if it wasn’t.
Don’t let this discourage you! There may still be a way to get a little more money for your next car. When looking for a replacement Jeep, compile a vehicle list with the exact same year, model, and specifications as your totaled Jeep Wrangler.
If the average value of these options is closer to $27,000 than $22,000, take this information to a trusted mechanic and seek their opinion. If they agree that your payout should be higher, get in touch with your adjuster and submit a counter offer.
The counteroffer is a letter explaining the situation and how you came up with the value of $27,000. Send along any supporting documentation like the examples of other Jeeps and a statement from your mechanic.
There is a good chance they will offer a little more money. If not, this is where you would want to contact a car insurance lawyer for assistance.
Once you get a new Jeep make sure you have coverage that includes
new car replacement coverage
so that this doesn’t happen again. You can get multiple quotes easily with the
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

Join 4M+ members in lowering their car insurance

Browse By Topics

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free