How can I negociate a higher payout for my car insurance claim?

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How can I negociate a higher payout for my car insurance claim?

I was involved in an accident and my vehicle is totaled. I don’t believe the insurance company is offering a fair value for my vehicle. I would like to know if I have any options and what they are. The insurance adjuster I spoke to today did not seem to want to negotiate but gave me her supervisors number. I will call tomorrow but would like some tips on how to handle the negotiation.

Asked on November 28, 2016 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Facts are your friends, so to speak. The insurer is only obligated to pay, if your vehicle is totaled, the then-current fair market value (e.g. "blue book" value). This varies by make, model, year, mileage, features/options/trim, condition, etc. If you feel the value is too low, show evidence that it is: e.g. find documentation from Kelly Blue book, from CarFax, from advertisements for cars like yours, etc. showing the value you believe it should have. Be sure to look for information regarding the options you had (if you had more than normal) and mileage (if it was lower than averag)--you want to show the insurer that you can back up a higher price than they are offering, so that way, they know if they decline to pay the appropriate price and you choose to sue them for the money (e.g. sue for "breach of contract"--for the insurer violating its obligation to pay the fair market value), you will have evidence to prove your case in court.


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