If you don’t agree with a total-loss adjuster about your totaled car’s value, you can appeal their decision by sending a counteroffer along with evidence justifying your claim. On the other hand, if you don’t agree with your insurer’s decision to declare the car totaled in the first place, you don’t have many options. Whether or not a car is totaled ultimately depends on state laws.
What to Do If You Don’t Agree with a Total-Loss Adjuster’s Valuation
- Review your settlement offer. Your insurance company should send a letter explaining their offer for your totaled car claim. If they do not send you this, you should reach out to them and request as much detail as possible.
- Gather evidence for a counteroffer. If you believe your totaled car was worth significantly more than their offer before the accident, you should include information like an independent appraisal, sticker price details, pricing for comparable vehicles, photographic evidence, and receipts for any features or upgrades you added.
- Send your evidence and counteroffer to your insurer. You should include how much you believe your vehicle should be worth, with all the evidence to support your claim.
- Contact your state’s insurance regulator. If your insurance company does not agree with your counteroffer and you think they may be acting in bad faith, you can contact your state’s insurance regulator for help. You may also want to ask for third-party arbitration, so an outside person can review the claim with an unbiased opinion.
- Seek legal help. If your insurer still does not agree to your counteroffer, and you believe you are asking for a reasonable amount, seeking help from an experienced total-loss claim lawyer can help you understand what legal actions you have available.
It is important to remember that insurance companies are only legally required to pay for a car’s actual cash value, or how much it was worth directly before the accident, not the full cost for a replacement vehicle or even the original price you paid for the car.
What to Do If You Don’t Agree with Your Car Being Totaled
If your insurance company has determined your car is a total loss and you disagree (or vice versa), there isn’t much you can do. State laws dictate whether or not a vehicle is totaled, based on a total loss threshold. Unless your insurance company is violating your state’s laws in declaring your car totaled, there isn’t much you can do about their decision.
To learn more, check out WalletHub’s guide to totaled cars and see how your state determines if a vehicle is a total loss.
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