Car accidents are unforeseen circumstances no one ever wants to be involved in. And while accidents can be scary and stressful, you know what’s worse? Having little or no knowledge about the car appraisal process before filing an insurance claim. So, if this sounds like you, you’ll find this article very helpful!
Why car appraisal?
The main objective of a car appraisal is to help determine a fair value for your car after an accident. This is usually done to help your insurer know how much it would cost to fix your car after an accident. In some cases, the cost of the repair may be higher than the current worth of your vehicle. In such a case, the insurance company will pay you the worth of your vehicle as determined by the appraisal – thus ‘totaling’ your vehicle.
The steps to car appraisal
The first step to take after an accident is to report the accident to your insurer. Lately, many insurance companies have claim adjusters who are easily dispatched to the accident scene to appraise the vehicle. First, the appraisal expert would ask you a series of questions to determine the cause of the accident before proceeding to take a look at the vehicle.
Generally, when a car appraisal is initiated, the appraiser is trying to determine the extent of damage from the accident. This is just a standard procedure put in place by insurance companies to determine how much the coverage will cost. This is necessary because the coverage you’ll receive from your insurer is relative to this estimate.
Three important things you must know
The extent of damage to your vehicle after an accident could be so severe that the money to fix it may be more than its worth. In such a scenario, the appraiser may write the car off as a total loss. The smart thing to do in such a situation is to accept payment for the worth of the car instead of trying to fix the car yourself. Your insurer is under obligation by law to offer you a fair price.
Again, being present during the process of appraisal would help you negotiate a fair price for your vehicle. Hence, if you feel the worth of your car is far greater than what you’re being offered, you can easily tell the appraisal agent recent improvements you have done to enhance your vehicle. You’ll then have to provide receipts to that effect.
Lastly, it is not uncommon for your car insurance policy to allow you to bring in an independent appraiser to appraise your vehicle. If this is the case, feel free to pursue this option if doing so would help you negotiate a better deal.
In a nutshell
While the process of appraising your vehicle can be quite daunting, following the few tips in this article will make the process less stressful and help you negotiate a fair deal with your insurance company.