Car Insurance Settlements

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Car Insurance Settlements

Auto accidents are very stressful events. They can leave a person both physically and emotionally damaged. Vehicle crashes can happen in the blink of an eye when you least expect it. This is where your insurance coverage kicks in. After a crash, you need to focus on car insurance settlements with your insurer.

What adds to the stress levels is many automobiles are not valued at the amount owed on the loan. This is called being “upside down.”

This typically happens when a new car is purchased for little or no money down and then depreciates rapidly. Let’s say you purchased a vehicle new for $32,000. After 18 months, you totaled the car in a serious crash. The appraised value at the time of the incident is $27,000, but you owe $29,500 on the loan. The upside amount is $2,500. When you settle with the firm financing your loan, you will need to pay this amount out of your pocket or have gap insurance to cover it.

Get the Most from your Auto Insurance Settlement

This is why getting a fair auto insurance settlement is so important when your vehicle is financed. You need to get a good estimate for the value of your car so that you can settle for a high dollar amount. People often look at the Kelly Blue Book value. This will give both the retail and wholesale value of most automobiles. Insurers will want to give you the lowest pay-off settlement value. Fight to get a higher value, so you can pay off the loan easier if it is financed. Then you can go out and get a new car without having the added stress of settling with the finance company.

Some carriers are trying to attract new clients by offering new car value replacement. This means if you buy a new vehicle and then total it a year later, the insurer will pay for the cost of a new car. This can help in a serious accident, but it comes with stipulations. The premiums for this type of policy are a lot higher. It might be better to stick the savings into safe investments and buy a normal policy for less. One insurer that is widely promoting this type of coverage is Liberty Mutual. They are more costly but will replace the full new value of your car if it is totaled.

There are two basic sources of coverage for your automobile. The 1st one is collision, which covers damages done to your vehicle. The other one is rental insurance. This pays for the cost of renting a car, while your claim is being processed. This can take a couple of weeks, so this added coverage can be useful.

What to do After an Accident

Call your insurer right away after an accident. If the automobile was severely damaged, it will be towed away. An inspector from the insurance company will take a look at it and make an assessment. They may take possession of the car and you will need to sign a waiver form. If the car is totaled, the title will be signed over to the insurer and usually sold for parts. It is important you do not delay this process. If you do, you can be charged extra fees for storage. This can add up to hundreds of dollars a month.

The next thing is getting a rental car. It will probably be 7-10 days before your claim is completely processed and you will, of course, need a car during this time. Normally you can rent a car for up to 30 days, but your claim should be processed way before that.

Reselling Your Salvaged Vehicle
Some people want to keep the totaled vehicle for themselves. There are a few rules you will need to abide by in this case. First, the insurer will make an estimation about how much they would get by selling the automobile at auction. They will then subtract this amount from your auto insurance settlement.

If you plan on repairing the car yourself, be careful

Almost every state has strict regulations on selling “salvage” vehicles. You can spend thousands repairing your damaged car, only to find out it is worth far less than you expected when you go to sell it. This should be left to professional mechanics that can lower the repair costs and still make a profit. Apply for a quick insurance check-up at good to go insurance today. Save hundreds and get better coverage online.