In Reply to: Insurance advice.... (totaled car) posted by Boris on May 20, 2001 at 23:18:34:
Generally, your auto policy will have a clause which provides that, if your car is totalled and you and the carrier cannot agree on the "Actual Cash Value" (fair market value), then each side retains its own appraiser to determine value before the crash. Appraisers can calculate the "enhancement" to the ACV created by "adds" like body kits, modifications, paint or even the highly sought after Acu-Jack.
Then,the two appraisers try and come to an agreement on the ACV. If this cannot be done, then the two appraisers have to choose a third,neutral party to act as "umpire" . The umpire (not the famous "UMP") then convenes a hearing and decides the ACV of your totalled ride.
That's it. BTW, You gotta pay your appraiser (1) for the apprisal, and (2) for the hearing (if necessary).
To gettheinitial amount you will be offered for your total loss,the insurance company uses companies (ADP,CCC) who provide estimated values to the adjuster via a computer base,using average asking/sale data derived from nationwide advertisements and dealer input. I have found that these computer programs are not particularly accurate when appied to "special interest" cars.
The insurance carrier is interested in a quick settlement, nor necessarily in giving you top dollar. However, most insurance companies will increase the ACV of a total if they are provided with proof of "upgrades", but not for maintenance expenditures (like brakes,clutch, service, etc. - they will give credit for new tires, sometimes)