Once an insurance company determines that your car is totaled, it is supposed to pay you an equivalent of the car's value just before the accident. It's likely that you will want to maximize your payout while the insurer will be interested in minimizing the payout. These tips will help you get a fair payout from the insurer:
Include Extra Features
The insurance payout of a totaled car should be based on the pre-accident value of the car minus a few deductions, such as your deductible. When determining the pre-accident market value of your car, make sure the insurers include any extra features or aftermarket installations that the car had. For example, tell the insurers about the heated seats you installed or the upgraded entertainment system since they increase the car's value.
Include Recent Repairs or Replacements
A ten-year-old car with its original engine is less valuable than a similar car whose engine has just been replaced. This is because the new engine would have experienced fewer problems and lasted longer than the old engine. Therefore, tell the insurer about such replacements or upgrades to the car. Of course, you will have to prove your claims, for example, by availing yourself of the receipts associated with the repairs.
Research the Value of the Car
It's good to be an active participant in the valuation process by researching the value of your car. That way you will have facts to back up your claims when negotiating with the insurance company. Use independent car evaluation to determine your car's worth before the accident. Ensure you provide all relevant data concerning the car's age, mileage, and accident history, among other things.
Include Further Costs Associated With Replacing a Car
Even if you received the true value of your car before the accident, the money wouldn't be enough to give you a similar car that you can legally drive. There are other costs you will have to incur when buying the replacement car. You still have to register the car, pay sales taxes and title costs. You should get paid for these costs too since you wouldn't have incurred them without the accident.
This process isn't difficult. The process of getting a good payout for a totaled is just like any other negotiation process – you need to quote the amount you want and back it up with evidence. In addition to the above tips, you just need to present all the required documents and stay in constant communication with the insurer.
For auto insurance, contact a company such as Affordable Insurance.