Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Apr 23, 2011

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Insurance Question from Morris, MN

Asked on 04/23/2011

What do we do if the insurance company refuses to give us a fair value on our totalled pickup? Our truck was driven into while parked infront of our house 3 weeks ago and the other driver's insurance company is giving us a low ball offer. I've submitted 20 or more comparison vehicles that show the vehicle is worth about $3000-4,000 more than what they're offering, but continue to throw them out saying "they're not appropriate comparables". I've played by their rules, submitting comps within the 75 miles radius, same make, model, year, etc...but they continue to stick to their low ball offer and not adding any value for aftermarket accessories on it. What should be our next step?

Answer given on April 30, 2011

It is unfortunate that the adjuster here is unwilling to work with you and to accept your evidence of values.  I assume you have provided receipts for the aftermarket items, to prove that they were on the truck.

If you have collision coverge on the truck, you may want to get your insurance company involved.  If they will make a reasionable offer,  less your deductible, you may be better served to have them fight with the other insurance company.  While there is no guarantee it will work out,  it may save you grief and get some money to you to replace your truck.

If you don’t have collision coverage, or don’t want to go that way, I would suggest you ask for a supervisor at the other insurance company.  Perhaps going over the head of the adjuster you have will get some reasonable action.  There also may be an artitratrion clause where you can have the insurance company go to arbitration on this claim.  It can be complicated, and sometimes your insurance company can work that route if they settle with you.

A final resort is to contact the Dept of Insurance in your state.  Sometimes they can get the insurance company to work with you with a simple phone call.  It can also slow down settlement, but it is an option.


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