MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. If you’ve been in a serious car accident, in addition to dealing with medical bills, you’ll also likely be dealing with insurance adjusters regarding your damaged vehicle. If your vehicle has been seriously damaged, your insurance company may declare it a total loss. A totaled vehicle is a car for which the cost of repairs exceeds a predetermined percentage of the vehicle’s current value. According to CarInsurance.com, the threshold for Minnesota is 70% of your car’s current value. This means that if the cost of repairs to your damaged vehicle exceeds 70% of your car’s current value, your insurance company will declare the vehicle totaled. The settlement will be the amount of money your insurance company determines your car to be worth. But this is where settlements can get tricky.
How your company determines the value of your vehicle can make a big difference in the settlement you receive. Your insurance company may use the Kelley Blue Book to determine the value of your car, or your insurance adjuster may use special formulas, or even a computer program to estimate the value of your vehicle. While you’ll never receive a settlement that will be enough to purchase a new vehicle if your car has been totaled (just driving a car off the dealership’s lot reduces a car’s value significantly), you can sometimes convince your insurance company to offer you more money for a totaled car by taking certain steps.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the value of cars can vary significantly depending on where you live. If you think your settlement is too low, look at classified postings for cars with similar makes and models in your area. If you cannot purchase a similar model for money you are being offered by your insurance adjuster, showing these postings may be able to convince the insurance adjuster that you may deserve a higher settlement. U.S. News & World Report also notes that you can help your case by making sure that insurance adjusters are considering whether your car has special features. Furnishing your insurance company with receipts for maintenance and repair can also prove that you kept your vehicle in top working order and that you deserve to purchase a similar vehicle in good or excellent condition.
So, if your car has been totaled, you want to make sure your insurance adjuster has good information about your vehicle’s make and model, as well as any special features your car includes. Don’t assume your insurance adjuster will consider extra features automatically. Next, check to see how much your similar make and model car is selling in local classified ads and at local dealerships, in addition to checking the Kelley Blue Book. If the sales price or estimated value of your vehicle is higher than what your insurance company is offering, consider speaking to your insurance adjuster and ask why he or she is valuing your car at a lower amount. Finally, be ready to furnish your insurance adjuster with maintenance records.
If you are having difficulty receiving the insurance claim you believe you deserve, consider speaking to the Minneapolis, Minnesota car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Martin T. Montilino today. Our firm can review your claim, make an accurate estimate of the value of your vehicle, and fight to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law. Visit us at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more.
THE LAW OFFICE OF MARTIN T. MONTILINO, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320