- Insurance adjusters usually determine reimbursement for a totaled car by assessing the sales price of comparable cars in your area, often established through Kelly Blue Book or another reputable source.
- If the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your vehicle is more than the Blue Book value due to aftermarket upgrades or other factors, then you must prove to the insurance company that your car is worth more than comparables.
- To prove your ACV, you will likely need to provide the vehicle’s maintenance history; receipts for upgrades, accessories and custom additions; or anything else that may denote your vehicle’s worth, such as a car show award.
There are a number of things that you have to take care of after an Atlanta car accident. From reporting the accident to law enforcement to filing a car accident claim with the insurance company, you want to do everything “right” to try to recover the maximum amount of compensation.
One type of compensation that you will surely be interested in receiving is a check for the value of your totaled vehicle. So it is important to know how insurance companies determine the value of your car, including Blue Book value.
How Insurance Companies Determine the Value of Your Car After A Wreck
When you are in a car crash and your car is simply damaged, the insurance company typically handles costs of repairs. If you are in a crash and your car is totaled ─ meaning that repairing it is less cost-effective than replacing it ─ then the insurance company is responsible for compensating you for the value of your car.
Usually, the way that insurance adjusters determine how much your check should be is by assessing the sales price of comparable cars in your area. For example, if your car was a 2006 Toyota Corolla, then the insurance adjuster would look up the current value of 2006 Toyota Corollas on the market today. This is often done using a reputable source such as Kelly Blue Book, hence the term finding the car’s “Blue Book value.”
Unfortunately, the Blue Book value of your vehicle may not be the actual value of your vehicle. For example, if you put in hundreds ─ or even of thousands ─ of dollars’ worth of upgrades to the engine, tires, speakers, entertainment system, etc., can you recover more money?
It is important that you understand the difference between the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your vehicle and its Blue Book value. In order to show the ACV, you will need to prove that your vehicle was worth more than a comparable model on the market today. To do so, you may need to provide:
- Vehicle’s maintenance history
- Receipts of any vehicle-related purchases, upgrades, maintenance, servicing, etc.
- Vehicle’s upgrade history, including accessories and custom additions
- Anything else that may denote the vehicle’s worth, such as an award from a car show
How an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Even if you show proof of the items above, a car insurance adjuster may not be so eager to pay you what your vehicle was really worth. When this is the case, turn to an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney for help negotiating a full and fair settlement.
At The Millar Law Firm our personal injury attorneys know how to aggressively negotiate on your behalf and improve your chances of recovering a maximum settlement amount. To learn more about our services, contact us today online or by phone to schedule a free case consultation.