Normally, the money from an insurance company can cover the costs for vehicle repairs, following the occurrence of an accident. Still, there are times when a damaged car gets classified as a total loss.
What does it mean when an insurance company says that a policyholder’s vehicle is a total loss?
Total loss means that the estimated costs for repairing that same car are greater than the car’s fair market value. Personal Injury Lawyer in Fredericton knows that insurance companies do not care whether or not a policyholder is making payments on the damaged vehicle.
If the money delivered to the car’s owner by the insurance company does not cover the unpaid portion of the purchased vehicle’s price, then the owner must keep paying for the car, even though it cannot be driven. The insurance company has the right to seize a totaled vehicle and to sell it to a secondary market.
Options available to car owner that disagrees with the valuation of a damaged vehicle
1) The owner can just accept the price offered, and strive to make that amount of money representative of a fair deal.
2) The owner can try to negotiate with the insurance company, in hopes of getting them to increase the assessed value for the damaged vehicle. In order to have a stronger case during those negotiations, a smart car owner undertakes certain preparations.
Well before the accident’s occurrence, the car’s owner makes a habit of taking pictures of the owned automobile. Those pictures can be used to show that the damaged vehicle was in good condition at the time of the collision. For evidence of the vehicle’s actual value, it may be necessary to pay a qualified appraiser. An appraiser could vouch for the value of added accessories, such as a new audio system.
3) File a lawsuit against the insurance company: This is another time when the owner of the damaged car needs to provide evidence of both the car’s condition and of the same car’s actual value. As is true when negotiating with the insurance company, the evidence of the car’s condition could come from photographs, which had been taken by the car’s owner. The date when the photo was taken should be on the back.
As far as evidence of the auto’s actual value, that must be obtained from a qualified appraiser. That means that any car owners that plan to sue an insurance company, due to that company’s assessment of a vehicle’s actual value must pay money to a professional appraiser. Few car owners feel ready to pay such an appraiser, even if they dispute the valuation that was conducted by the insurance company. That is why most owners decide to go with the first option.