Automotive

Vehicle Total Loss - Tips for dealing with adjuster/arbitration?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 20th, 2019 4:09 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 10, 2015
606 posts
227 upvotes

Vehicle Total Loss - Tips for dealing with adjuster/arbitration?

Hi Folks,

Recently my vehicle was deemed a total loss by my insurance provider and I am now locked in a battle with the loss adjuster over the value of said vehicle. I am in BC but only my basic insurance is through ICBC, collision is through a private insurer and this claim is going through them.

When the vehicle was deemed a total loss (this took over a month) the adjuster gave their offer and provided me with a copy of the Autosource Market-Driven valuation report. Their valuation was low and I had some concerns with how the arrived at the value:
  • Several of their comps were identical to my vehicle but the adjusted the price of these vehicles anyways
  • They used an average of the comparable vehicle's adjusted prices to determine a base price for my vehicle (that's fine) but this price was further adjusted to reflect options that my vehicle didn't have even though this was already addressed by adjusting (lowering) the price of comparable vehicles that had more options than mine. They said that this is because most of the vehicles sold that year had this option and mine doesn't (half of the comparables didn't have it either)

I expressed my concerns to the adjuster and asked them to clarify. I was expecting them to review the appraisal and come back with a counteroffer but instead they sent the same appraisal report saying "this is the value".

Next I suggested that we use the comparable vehicles (that were in the original report) with the same options as mine to determine a fair value and avoid the concerns that I had with the way the values were being adjusted. This was met with a prompt reply that my only option to contest their value is arbitration.

Now, I have no problem taking this to arbitration and am confident I can get far more than they are offering even if I limit myself to the comparable vehicles that they used (which I won't) but I was wondering if anyone had some other tips that I can use to try to arrive at a fair valuation for the vehicle. I always thought that it was common practice to negotiate these kinds of settlements but based on this experience I was incorrect.

Also any tips for dealing with the arbitration process would be very much appreciated.

I have read through this thread but was hoping for some additional tips.

Thanks!
11 replies
Jr. Member
Feb 1, 2009
183 posts
163 upvotes
Toronto
How much lower was their offer vs. your expectation? Is it comparable to the black book? If possible it would be interesting to see the copy of that autosource report. Also, who is the arbitrator in this situation?
Deal Fanatic
May 1, 2012
8700 posts
6389 upvotes
Markham
Do your research and find comparable cars in price ranges that you feel is adequate. Then make sure you submit those. They will try to lowball, so you need to counter it.
Newbie
Nov 28, 2017
58 posts
16 upvotes
Hi,

I am assuming your car was purchased as a used car. If so, you need to go to arbitration with Diminished Value calculations. Here is a site that helps with that:
http://mycarisworthless.com/

If your car was purchased new, then the law covering this changes and the diminished value or comparable vehicle calculations are not a consideration legally. Here is a link that explains how each situation is different and what the insurance company's obligation is:
http://www.icbc.com/autoplan/optional/D ... -depre.pdf

Good luck,
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 5, 2008
11685 posts
5107 upvotes
Toronto
er34er34 wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2018 3:19 pm
He said he already read that and included the link in his original post.
I missed the link thanks, but all the info is in that thread.

EDIT: regardless, it should all be merged.
Last edited by Swerny on Jan 23rd, 2018 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
May 4, 2014
4056 posts
4357 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Swerny wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2018 3:22 pm
I missed the link thanks, but all the info is in that thread.
Yes, you see, that thread for the most part suggests that the insured should bring up arbitration(which insurance companies try to avoid).

In OP's case, the insurer is already suggesting him to go through arbitration. Maybe it's a bluff, who knows... but at this point, I think there is not much he can do as it sounds like they aren't even wanting to negotiate or pressurring him to accept the offer.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 10, 2015
606 posts
227 upvotes
Thanks for all of the replies. i will post an update after I finish dealing with this.
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2015
1100 posts
346 upvotes
SaskBerta
DanTh3Man wrote:
Jan 22nd, 2018 3:20 pm
Hi Folks,
Next I suggested that we use the comparable vehicles (that were in the original report) with the same options as mine to determine a fair value and avoid the concerns that I had with the way the values were being adjusted. This was met with a prompt reply that my only option to contest their value is arbitration.
!
Anikiri wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2018 1:32 pm
Do your research and find comparable cars in price ranges that you feel is adequate. Then make sure you submit those. They will try to lowball, so you need to counter it.
Ouch! I did exactly what Ankiri said, and ended up getting just over three times the insurance companies initial offer with my recent TL.
I also put in detail why I could not accept that offer, and why it would not even come close to what it would cost me to replace the car.

The main thing that they tried to hold against me was my cars mileage. Mind you my car was in better shape than most comparable's with half the mileage.
Originally they threatened arbitration, but was able to get it sorted in the end. I sent a friendly email with comparable's and explaining my standpoint. I've attached it if its of any help.

This was with SGI, so also public insurance.

Initial offer was 1500$, settled at 4890$.

Find some solid comparables. Also if I were you I'd post which model vehicle you have / mileage. And insurance co's offer. Maybe RFD can give further input, or even help you find comparable vehicles.

Best of luck OP!
Hello *adjusters name*

I am emailing you regarding claim #

I am attaching the bill of sale for the 2001 which was not included as per your request, as well as a few links to comparable of what I could find. (HPP option is rare, hard to find)

I have attached all recent receipts for repairs, tires, etc.

Let me know if you need any other receipts for the vehicle. The previous owner provided all service records to me as well.

Here's a 2001 identical to mine: Same package, options etc. In Ontario (where cars usually go to market a lot cheaper then here)
(link was here)

Here's a 2006 with less mileage then mine, similar options, but not an HPP package and also rebuilt title.
(link was here)

Here's a 2003 Marquis with the same package that mine has, lower mileage also.
(link was here)

I've had almost no luck finding comparable cars to this one, especially in condition/price.
Let me know what else I can do to help. I can also provide photos taken prior to the accident, that shows that the body was in immaculate shape
Deal Addict
Jul 17, 2003
1266 posts
150 upvotes
Toronto
I'm interested in what happened also.

Currently going through this...

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