How does an insurance agency determine the value of a 2011 Mustang when the 2011 vehicles do not have a book value yet?

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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: Nov 12, 2010

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Insurance Question from Pauls Valley, OK

Asked on 11/12/2010

How does an insurance agency determine the value of a 2011 Mustang when the 2011 vehicles do not have a book value yet? I have recently purchased a 2011 Ford Mustang V6 Couple with the Pony Package. It has a MSRP of $28,650. I bought it back of invoice because I am an employee of Ford Motor Company. Not only that, but there were rebates, etc. on the vehicle so I got a really good deal on it. To make a long story short, the insurance company is offering me even less that than and my Mustang only had 3,500 miiles on it when it was totaled. How do adjusters normally determine the value. It looks like they compared it to Mustangs in the area that do not even compare to mine in equipment. What should I do??

Answer given on November 14, 2010

Insurance companies use various books, like the Blue Book and/or Gold Book as well as car prices in the area in determining values of cars.  In spite of the fact that you got a good deal on the car, new cars depreciate dramatically in the first year.

You can dispute the offer of settlement.  Then the burden of proof is on you to come up with a value for your car.  You can use newspaper ads, online auto sales sites or anything else to help you prove the value of your car. Print out the online ads, since they may get pulled if the car is sold or taken off the sales site.   If you have the original sticker you can prove the options and extras you had on the car to back up your claim.  Once you have all of this, talk to the adjuster again.  If they won’t cooperate ask to speak to a supervisor and plead your case with them. 

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