What to do if I’m currently debating with my auto insurer regarding a total loss settlement because their offer is about $1,000 lower than my car is valued?

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What to do if I’m currently debating with my auto insurer regarding a total loss settlement because their offer is about $1,000 lower than my car is valued?

I have done market research and blue book values in my local market and sent them to my adjuster to prove that their offer amount is too low but they continue to ignore my arguement. I have even cited clauses within my policy that states they are required to offer me fair market value and not give me low ball amounts.Also, I have threated to hire an attorney. What suggestions or advice can you give me to get them to offer a fair amount? I do not want to spend extra money that would offset the additional $1000 that they could offer me?

Asked on October 14, 2012 under Insurance Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You really only have two options: 1) accept the settlement; 2) sue the insurer to get the additional money--you would sue based on the claim that they are in fact not offering fair market value and therefore are violating their contractual or policy obligations. Unfortunately, you almost certainly can't do both--it's essentially a given that to get the settlement, you will have to sign something accepting it as payment in full of the insurer's obligations. Given the potential cost of a lawsuit and, more importantly, the time involved--i.e. if you sue, you'll be waiting for the money, even if you win, for months or possibly over a year--it may not make sense to take legal action for $1,000.


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