People involved in car accidents usually do not want to deal with claims adjusters. The value given by a claims adjuster to their car is generally less than what owners perceive them to be. That is understandable when you take into account the amount of money you pay for the car, including its upkeep and repairs. The blow is bigger when you think about the type of car you’ll be able to buy if you accept the claims adjuster’s evaluation.
Before consulting an insurance claims attorney, it is essential to understand how claims adjusters actually determine the value of your car. It helps make sure that your vehicle has already undergone proper evaluation. Read on to know more about their work.
Who Is a Claims Adjuster?
A claims adjuster is responsible for scrutinizing insurance claims. Typically, he interviews the parties involved, including the witnesses. He also collects and analyzes police and medical records. They also inspect property damage to evaluate the value of the claim and liability of the insurance company’s liability.
Although not required, claims adjusters gave a bachelor’s degree in a business-related course. They also have various certifications to ensure that they are fully qualified to scrutinize claims. Their duties include:
- Checking if a claimant has an active policy
- Checking the liability
- Determining the extent of damage to property or risk of losses that may have resulted in the loss of property or injury
- Once the investigation has been completed, injuries and damage are evaluated to check whether or not the insurance policy can cover them
- Determine a value for the damaged property and injuries sustained due to the accident
How Does a Claim Adjuster Determine The Value of My Vehicle?
One of the main aspects claims adjusters use to calculate the value of a claim is the amount of damage to the vehicle. The maximum amount that you can receive is the actual cash value for the replacement or repairs needed for the car.
How Does a Claims Adjuster Determine The Actual Cash Value of My Vehicle?
Claims adjusters use many resources to check the value of a damaged vehicle. The actual value is determined using the following steps:
- First, the claims adjuster completes an assessment of all of the damages incurred to the car.
- Next, they make an estimate of the cost of the repairs needed.
- After completion of the investigation and once the quotations for repair costs are received, the claims adjuster will decide if it is still worth fixing your vehicle or if it should be just totaled. The rule of thumb is that if the vehicle is at least 70% damaged, or if the amount of repair is greater than the value of the vehicle, the claims adjuster will choose for it to be totaled.
How Does a Claims Adjuster Determine The Fair Market Value of My Vehicle?
If your vehicle will be totaled, the Fair Market Value is used to determine the amount of money you will receive to get a replacement vehicle. Unfortunately, this normally results in you taking a loss, such as when the replacement vehicle is not as good as your original car.
The following steps are done to check the fair market value of your vehicle:
- A Kelly Blue Book Value is run together with the features of your car.
- Dealership sales reports for the model and make of your car are obtained.
- All receipts for repairs and parts installation done to your car are compiled.
- Price appraisal from a third-party to compare the amounts are utilized.
Always remember, a claims adjuster works for the insurance company. They will always have the best interest of their employer, and not yours. Therefore, it is essential to understand this process thoroughly.
For Questions About Michigan Car Accidents and Insurance Claims, Contact The Clark Law Office.
If you were involved in a car accident in Lansing, your primary concern would surely be the amount of claim to be covered by your insurance policy. If you have doubts about whether a claims adjuster has accurately determined the value of your car, our team at The Clark Law Office can help you.
Our experienced insurance claim lawyers will guide you throughout the process. Call us today at (517) 347-6900 or fill out our form. Our team is committed to making sure you get the amount that you rightfully deserve.