How can I get a higher settlement amount from my car insurance company?

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How can I get a higher settlement amount from my car insurance company?

I was in an at fault accident 2 months ago, without depreciation or GAP coverage on my policy. My car was less than a year old at the time of the accident, so I still owe about $21,000 on the loan. The insurance company has offered me $17,500 to settle the claim. I have spoken to a manager at my insurance company several times, which raised my offer from the initial offer of $14,995 to the current offer of $17,500. The manager says there really is nothing else that can be done to raise the amount higher than $17,500. Do I have any other options to get a better offer from the insurance company in my situation?

Asked on December 19, 2016 under Accident Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can only ask IF they are paying the then-current fair market, or blue book, value for the car (given make, model, age, mileage, etc.), since that is all they had to pay if you lacked depreciation or GAP coverage (in particular, the amount you still owe is irrelevant); without those additional coverages, the insurer only owes at most the value of the car. If they are paying less than FMV, you could potentially sue them for the additional money, since they have to pay what the car was worth, though if the difference is small (e.g. you believe it's worth $18,400 when they offered $17,500), it's not likely worth the time, effort, cost, and delay to sue.
You can also potentially sue the at-fault driver for any amounts or losses not covered by insurance, such as your deductible.


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