McKayla Girardin, Car Insurance Writer
You can fight an insurance company over a totaled car’s value by sending the insurer a counteroffer along with evidence justifying your car’s value. If the insurance company does not raise its offer, you can contact your state’s insurance regulator, seek arbitration or file a lawsuit.
How to Fight an Insurance Company Over a Totaled Car’s Value
- Receive a settlement offer from the insurance company.
- Gather evidence, including an independent appraisal, the car’s sticker details, prices for comparable vehicles, photos of the car before the accident, and receipts for any features you added.
- Send this evidence and a counteroffer to the insurance company.
- If the insurance company does not agree to your counteroffer, contact your state’s insurance regulator to request help.
- Ask your insurance company for third-party arbitration if necessary.
- File a lawsuit as a last resort.
It’s important to remember that insurance companies are only required to pay a car’s actual cash value (ACV), not the cost of a replacement car or the original price you paid for the vehicle.
Fighting an Insurance Company’s Decision to Total a Car
Car insurance companies and state laws determine when a car is declared a total loss, so it is unlikely that you will be able to fight your insurer if they decide your car is totaled. Unfortunately, you can typically only fight your insurer about your vehicle’s value.
However, if your insurance company declares your car a total loss in violation of your state’s laws, it is important to contact your state’s insurance regulator for help. They can investigate the situation and see if the insurer is acting in bad faith.
To learn more, check out WalletHub’s guide to totaled cars.
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