A serious car accident can be a difficult and harrowing experience. Aside from dealing with the injuries, you also need to deal with your car insurance company. If it is a total wreck, you expect the car insurance to pay you enough to purchase another vehicle. But reality sets in once you get the check and discover what your car is worth. You can try to get a fair price for the wrecked car from your insurance company by following these tips.
Know the worth of your car prior to the accident
You can do your own research to determine the value of your car before the accident. Car insurance companies have different tools that they use to determine how much your car is worth. In your case, you can always inquire from independent car pricing sites such as NADAguides, Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book. They provide information about pricing for your car model, putting into consideration its mileage and condition before the accident.
Consider adding other dealer-installed and aftermarket parts and accessories
If you have a custom sound system or wheels installed in your car prior to the accident, make sure that you add them to the car’s value. But make sure that you can produce a receipt that can show the insurance company the cost and the date of installation.
Consider adding the costs of getting a replacement car
Make sure that you include in the car insurance payout claim the costs of getting a replacement car. This includes the taxes, charges, registration, car title and other fees that you pay for when getting a replacement car of equal value to the wrecked one. Car insurance companies allow these costs as part of the payout for the wrecked vehicle since you will not be paying for them if you did not need to replace your car.
Reimburse the cost of a rental car
Check your coverage if it includes rental car fees. Car insurance companies may reimburse you for car rentals until you receive the check for buying a new car. Car insurance companies can either pay for this separately or add the costs into your payout check. But make sure not to forget the reimbursement for any car rentals if it is part of your coverage.
Negotiate for the payout amount
Once you have your wrecked car’s total worth after doing your research, make sure to compare it with the one coming from the car insurance company. If you are quite satisfied with what they offer to pay you, then you can go with it. However, if you feel that the offer is below your estimate based on your research, you can always present the documentation you have collected to explain why you have your own estimate.
What to do in case of a disagreement?
In case the car insurance company disagrees with your payout claim amount despite providing the proper documentation, you can always head to your state’s department of insurance. This department regulates all car insurance companies operating in your state. Try to know how your state handles insurance settlements for a totally wrecked car. Inquire about how you can file a complaint for car insurance companies for unfair treatment. Another way you can go about it is by requesting for an independent appraisal of your wrecked vehicle. Although you pay for the service out of your pocket, you can get a fair and unbiased appraisal from an expert support your claim.
Do you regret buying that new car?
You have just bought a car and you realize that you are regretting your decision. You are experiencing a thing called buyer’s remorse. It is easy for people to get into this situation if they are not careful about what they buy. It case of cars, it can be very costly. There are some things you can do to deal with it, depending on the circumstances. There is a chance that you can have your buyer’s remorse resolved and even return the car.
In many cases, once you have bought the car, the dealer is no longer under legal obligation to take back the car once the sales contract. However, if you feel that you did not get a fair deal or if you did not get what you signed for, try to gather all the documentation and indicate where you were shortchanged on the deal. You can also contact the dealership for a meeting to present your case. While it may be unlikely that you will get immediate attention, having someone else do it for you may sometimes work, such as a friend or a family member. But if that fails, you can always consult the attorney general’s office and know what your options are with regards to your situation.
Sometimes buyer’s remorse comes in the way of high car payments. Making a case for this does not usually work since you should have studied the contract carefully before signing. However, there are also options available. You can still try to work something out with the dealership and inquire whether you can switch to a less expensive car model, something that you can afford. The car dealership will sometime accommodate you especially after informing them about your dire financial situation after buying the car in question. When the issue with your car purchase deals with problems concerning the car itself, you may have a better chance at getting a better deal. But it will take some time. You need to gather all the documentation indicating the mechanical problems you experienced with the car. This may then require several visits to the service department of the car dealership. Provide a detailed list of mechanical complaints in the repair order when you bring your car for service at the dealership.
If you feel that the same issues still remain and have not been fixed, then you can use the lemon law in your state to ask for a car replacement. Lemon laws provide a remedy for car buyers for purchasing a car that fails to meet the quality and performance standards. Car buyers in such cases can ask for a refund or a car replacement. Try to research about the lemon law in your state to know how to proceed in case of buyer’s remorse.
But when the issue of your buyer’s remorse is that you realized that you simply do not like the car, you may have a difficult time convincing the dealership for a better exchange. You can still give it a try if you wish to exchange the car you bought for another model available at the dealership that you like more. Car dealers will consider your side if you are eyeing a more expensive car model. If this does not work, you can also consider selling the car yourself. This way, you will get more money from it than if you trade it for another. But bear in mind that you need to deal with the car loan you took to purchase the car. You still need to pay it in full, which sometimes may require some additional investment.