can an auto insurancr give you what they want to for a totled vehicle?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Generally-The insurance company should pay you the fair market value of the vehicle before the accident. If the accident was caused by someone else and their insurance is paying the bill, then you should get fair market value plus use of another vehicle for a reasonable period of time. That may be only a few days. Insurance companies sometimes rely on Kelly's blue book or other publications that are available but lately they seem to be relying on their own sources to check for similar vehicles for sale in your area. You can do your own checking on web sites such as autotrader, ebay, or craigslist to see if they are being fair. Ask them to let you see what they are using to determine the value and then check for value added items on your vehicle such as a larger engine, gps system, better sound system, lower miles, etc.
If your insurance is paying, the same rules apply except you may have a deductible to pay. Your insurance contract may have "cost of replacement" provisions rather than market value so check the language in the contract.
This is an area that is often disappointing because you need to replace your car, the insurance company will only provide a car rental for a limited number of days, and the insurance company has the money!
If there was an injury claim and you have an attorney, they will usually give you some assistance on the property damage. If I am handling the injury claim then I do not charge to help out with the property damage claim. If you do have an injury claim, talk to your attorney before you sign any release, even if the release says it is for property damages.
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