Don't negotiate over dollars in the abstract, negotiate over prices of actual vehicles that you can buy today. Go find a truck that is comparable and then use the negotiations to resolve any disparities (like the fact that you had a rebuilt engine, which the replacement likely won't have). The adjuster is looking at computer databases; you should be looking at trucks. Also, don't forget loss of use (unless you're in a rental car now).
We are in rentals, covered by insurance.
Anyway, what you suggest is pretty much what I had planned. I spent time on yesterday night taking screen shots from Autotrader, cars.com, and Car Guru oof similar trucks: F150,GM1500, Dodge 1500, 4 door 4wd, v8, similar miles, and similar years (a bit of variance on year). I’ve got probably 2 dozen all listed for 12-15. Plus tax and license fees.
So I think I’m going to counter with that plus info regarding the engine. Do I hit them with a specific number, or just the info and let them reply?
I was thinking something like “here is the list of 20 comparable trucks within 100 miles. They range from 12k to 15k. Let’s settle on 13.5 plus vehicle licensing fees and sales tax”
Back in the 1970s I had a beautiful 911 that was stolen. Allstate gave me a run-around on the insurance. My agent, who was a very senior guy in the company, got into the act on my behalf and backed me when I told the adjusters that I could not replace the vehicle for what they were offering.
We wound up giving the adjusters a list of vehicles that I stated would be acceptable replacements; Allstate balked at the asking prices, so we told the adjusters to go shopping and negotiate the best price that they could.
They came up with a really nice Mercedes 280 SE 4.5, which I accepted in lieu of a cash settlement.
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I would pick a couple that are acceptable to you (e.g. that you would actually buy) and ask the seller to send you a written offer with an OTD price. Send those to the carrier and tell them that's the range they need to be in to get it done. I wouldn't be asking for a specific dollar amount - I would find a truck you want, go test drive it, and make them buy it for you.
If you'd rather take the cash without having a specific vehicle in mind, you can send them the listings you reference above and then negotiate a number at the top of that range. Just be careful that you don't take their money and then find out that prices have gone up - once it's done, it's done.
If they try to beat you down tell them you are negotiating over real vehicles, not pretend ones. Ask them to show you listings to back up their numbers. They will probably decline to do so because "their policy is to use KBB, Edmunds" etc. Their policies are not your problem but - and this is important - the fact that you have to buy a real vehicle to replace the one their insured totaled is absolutely their problem.
Are you bringing any type of bodily injury claim?
No injury claims are involved.
We haven't decided if we are going to replace the truck with another truck or some other option... It kind of depends on what happens with the Flex, which is still an unknown. I think we might move away from a pick-up for the next stage of live... people moving has become more of a thing than stuff moving.
I'm a little confused as to how the insurance actually operates in a case where it is the other driver's fault... It sounds like my insurance pays me out but then they turn around and bill the at-fault driver's insurance. Is that correct?
It doesn't seem like that is all there is too it... Doesn't the company accepting liability have any say in settlement amounts like this? Do big insurance companies have some understanding where they only pay out a partial amount of billed settlements? Why would my insurance low-ball me on an accident that they don't have to pay for? That doesn't quite make sense.
They know they're getting off easy with no injury claims so the release you will have to sign to get the property settlement is worth more than the dollars they are paying. i would push for a higher property settlement (not an unreasonable one) because of that - they will be motivated to get it done and get the release.
You are correct - your insurance pays you and then they get paid back by the at-fault driver's insurance (through subrogation). Your insurance company pays your deductible back to you off the top and then they keep the rest. Your insurance would low ball you because that's what the other insurer is going to do to them. Your carrier will try very hard to get a deal such that they don't pay you more than they will get paid back.
That said, your insurer should be your advocate here - they shouldn't be working against you. I would handle it the same way whether you are negotiating with your carrier or the other driver's (and you are free to negotiate directly with the at-fault driver's carrier if you want to, but I'd keep working through yours for now). The insurance companies have an understanding as to how they want to value claims like this but the cardinal rule is that you must be in the same place financially after the accident that you were in before it. Just keep repeating that, to yourself and to them.
|Ethics, antics, |
You've already received a bunch of good advice but wanted to mention that you should advise your insurance company and provide them with invoices for all the items you mentioned you have done to the vehicle recently such as the engine rebuild, tire invoices, and any other maintenance and repair items. It can help add value to the vehicle.
"I've got a life to live, people to love, and a God to serve!" - sigmonkey
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." - Albert Einstein
"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition" ― Rudyard Kipling
Thank you for the info, it helps.
I'm not out to rake either insurance company over the coals or get more than I'm entitled to, but as you state, I should be put back in the same financial position I was before this occurred. I will be my own advocate for sure... I'm expecting even more of an issue with the Flex in the event it is a total loss. The particular mix of features that it has aren't super common. As of today there is not one on Carmax or Carvana that matches ours... nationwide. There was one last week on Carmax that matched ours in all but one way (ours had a bit more miles) and it sold for way way more than we paid.... But going by replacement value, that is what it would take.
I'm not at the point where I'd say my insurance is working against me, I just get the feeling that my adjustor isn't as organized as she should be, or I'm not a priority. Maybes its just the two active claims that make it harder for her to track everything. In both cases my adjustor asserted that I was not at fault. In the case of the rear-end accident she immediately waived my deductible. In the case of the Flex incident where the guy turned in front of us she didn't waive it but said she would once his company accepts liability. Our stories didn't match initially but a witness cleared it up in my favor.
To date I've not spoken with either of the at-fault driver's insurance.
I just want to move on and get out of the rental vehicles, but I'll hold their feet to the fire as needed, for as long as it takes.
So, my insurance is stating of the vehicles I pointed to for replacement value only one is applicable. They say they only consider the same make and model and plus or minus one model year.
So, according to them I can compare my 2002 F150 only to 2001-2003 F150's... not a 2004 F150, not a 2002 GMC 1500.
Further, they are stating the rebuilt engine doesn't matter because it wasn't within the last year or so.
They offered an additional $400 and said that I had the option of hiring, at my expense, and independent appraiser.
Pretty disappointed with this response... They seem to be ignoring actual replacement cost in the real world.
In other news, the preliminary report on the Flex is that it will be repairs, not deemed a total loss.
Can you find some F-150s in the year range they are requesting? They’re right in the sense that it’s their responsibility to put you back in what you had - a 2002 F-150. The stuff about the engine is just their policy, which you can ignore. I’d find a bunch of trucks in the 2001-2004 range that are comparable and then get more cash for the engine.
There are 4 F150's in the year range they say they will consider within 200 miles listed. I used CarGuru, Cars.com, and AutoTrader. Further, that is restricting the results to CrewCab and 4x4. If I left off the cab size and drive, it would increase the available pool but I think it would actually drag the average down.
Of the four listed, two are right at $9,000, two are right at $11,000. So their most recent offer of $10,200 is spot on average of that sample.
The state of CA has a used vehicle fee calculator so I ran that for one of the $11000 trucks and it was $1200, so I'd like to push them on that. I can try pushing a little more, but it seems like I probably won't get anywhere.
UPDATE: I actually found one more... so five options. The fifth also meets their criteria but only has 97,000 miles and the asking price is $14995. Again, 97,000 is a lot more than the 23,000 that are on the engine in my former truck.
I'm replying with these 5 trucks, to include PDF copies of the postings, and again pointing out that my engine equals far more life than any of these other trucks. Further, I am also not backing down on them covering the taxes. The state of California DMV fee estimator says it would cost $1200 in fees to purchase these vehicles, and I shouldn't have to eat that cost because somebody else hit me. So I bottom lined it with them: Based upon the 5 options I found and the taxes that must be paid, I am still requesting they substantially raise their offer AND agree to cover the taxes in full.
I'm wondering if I should try dealing with the paying company directly on this claim?
I’d stick with your carrier for now. They have subrogation rights against the at fault driver’s insurance so they shouldn’t be coming out of pocket much, if at all. I’d only go around them as a last resort.
And you’re right about the taxes - you had to pay taxes on your vehicle so they have to pay them on the replacement- same goes for tag fees and whatnot.
Basically they look at the cost to repair your car versus the value of your car. That was the question? wasn't it? We had a car that was totaled due to a hailstorm, run fine just potmarked with bumps. They did not change it over to a salvage title.
So, we came to an agreement on the truck. The real sticking point was what value to assign the 23,000 mile rebuilt engine. We got to within a couple hundred of the number I had in mind, more than 20% increase from their original offer, and I called that good enough.
The more significant news of the day is the Flex. A week ago I talked with the service advisor at the collision shop. She was 100% sure we would not be dealing with a total loss situation as the estimate was only at $6300 or so. HOWEVER, they hadn’t had it on a lift yet due to the inability to easily move it to a lift because of the missing wheel.
As of yesterday that damage estimate is now at $16,000+ and the file has been handed over to a total loss adjuster or something. Pretty sure it has driven its last mile, which is a shame. I really enjoyed that car.
What is the most distressing to me is the prospect of having to fight over value, again. There are even less comparable vehicles for the Flex than there was with the truck. Only a handful of Limited AWD w/ecoboost, even less in their “acceptable year range”, and virtually none with the feature set mine has, primarily the dvd system in conjunction with the tow package.
Not looking forward to this at all.
Best of luck. We love our 13 SEL. I've tried looking for EB Limited & they're rare birds.
The Enemy's gate is down.
While on the trip to pick up my wife’s replacement vehicle my insurance called me with the expected official word: Flex is a total loss. 17K in damages plus unknown damages.
Their offer, in my estimation, was fair, and will get me into a highly comparable replacement. The only bummer in the replacement is color. The new one will be all black while the old one was a really nice metallic red with black top.
I’m very relieved that we don’t have to fight over the value of the Flex. That was causing me stress.This message has been edited. Last edited by: thumperfbc,
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