Beware of Initial Insurance Claim Offers

If you have submitted and insurance claim and felt the offer to replace your vehicle was inadequate, you’re probably right. Of all the Insurance offers we evaluate there is only one company that I have consistently told clients, “you’re getting a decent offer” it may be on the lower end of what the car is worth, but the cost of an appraisal isn't going to justify a hire settlement. That company is USAA, and unfortunately it’s a private insurer that only insures military service members.

The rest of the insurance companies out there are fair game and in most cases they are so greedy that the cost of an appraisal is going to be well justified. I find the reason for this is that they perform preliminary fair market value with bad data.

What is their incentive to low ball their loyal customers? They do this because they know you need the money and you are vulnerable after the accident. They also want to get rid of your claim quickly, which they know they can do once you accept their offer and cash the check. Most people accept the first offer the insurance company makes and move on.

What I have seen in the offers made to claimants is that the claims adjusters use one of several software programs that generate what look like a well documented and substantiated appraisal of their vehicle. What I find is mistakes and the vehicles used as comparable are the insurance companies own claim vehicles. Sure what better place to find market data than the claims department. These are wrecked cars that the insurance industry as a whole has paid what they called fair market value for. They low balled some other people on their claim and turn around to tell you that your was only worth one of their own vehicles, not an undamaged car that the value was set thought the process in the appraisal clause of the policy, not what someone would have paid you for the vehicle prior to loss.

If you were offered a settlement based on a CCC, Mitchel or something similar I can almost guarantee you’re getting low balled. Even in their own policy Appraisal Clause they have to hire an independent appraiser to represent their own value. I wonder why that original offer is being tossed and an independent appraiser hired? Maybe that original appraised used for the offer wouldn't hold up???? Is the Independent appraiser hired “Independent” or do most if not all of the appraisals they perform on behalf of the insurance company? The point is, the insurance company is a business and they want to make a profit, they will do what they need to offer you the lowest settlement.

Hire a credible appraiser to represent your best interest, the insurance company has a whole staff of people to only save them money, you need to protect what you already paid for in your insurance policy, get a Prior to Loss Appraisal from Auto Appraisal Network