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Insurance won't budge

by Elena

I was wondering if you can help me. My car was hit by a drunk driver while it was parked in front of my house.

A total of 5 vehicles where involved. The driver rear ended an SUV and the SUV smashed into a scooter and the scooter got smashed into my car and my car bumped into the car in front of me.

I got an estimate just for the body work of my car (mechanical issues not included) which came out to be almost three thousand dollars. The insurance company ran the "value" of my vehicle based on similar vehicles in my area and told me that it's worth seventeen hundred dollars.

Their settlement is either I take seventeen hundred and keep the car or they'll give me two thousand and I have to give up the vehicle. I found out that if I did repairs on my car in the past half a year, then the insurance is supposed to reimburse me for that also.

I sent them some receipts for repairs that were done on my car recently (transmission and starter) totaling almost fifteen hundred dollars. At first they started saying that regular maintenance repairs don't count.

When I told them that it had nothing to do with maintenance they added a hundred to the two thousand that they were already offering me saying that they reran everything and thats what my car is worth. Today I received a detailed letter of how my car was evaluated.

Half of the things that are described in there are complete crap. Their "typical" vehicle is supposed to have cracks and holes almost everywhere.

My car is no where near that condition. It has no rust or holes or cracks anywhere. I've been arguing with them for almost 3 months now and I'm running out of ideas of how to deal with them. Please Help.


Hello Elena,

Well, insurance companies try to settle for what they believe the value of your is in your local market. They will tell you that your vehicle is certain condition and as you see this could be an unfair assessment.

You do have some rights but let me tell you, it is a tough road and there is a lot of foot work involved. This is very unfair, I know but it happens everyday.

You have a right to dispute both the condition and the value of your car. Ask to see where the company is getting those values and confirm these cars actually exist in your local market. You can be surprise for what you find (or don't find).

Look over the newspaper and similar publications to see if a similar car is there to help you get the value you want.

I suggest you visit: to learn more about the total loss process and the instructions there about how to dispute the value of your car.

I hope this helps you some (and points you in the right direction).

Good luck,

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