"What should I do if I don’t agree with the total-loss payment amount from the car insurance company? "

My car was hit while it was parked and the insurance company declared it a total loss. They want me to accept a settlement check for $2,000, but the cost to do the repairs is $2,700. How can I get the insurance company to pay enough to fix the car?

Answer provided by
Shannon Martin
Answered on Apr 14, 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.
“When the cost to repair a vehicle is close to or exceeds the value of the vehicle, the insurance company declares the vehicle a total loss and will only pay up to the actual cash value of the vehicle.
Your auto damage adjuster writes an estimate of repair and a valuation report if it appears that the car is totaled. The valuation report will usually include comparable vehicles in your area to help establish what the car is worth.
While the car insurance will not pay more than the value of the car (less deductible, if applicable), you may be able to discuss the value with the adjuster and negotiate a little.
In this instance, the difference between the repair cost and the value is likely too great to overcome with negotiation.”

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