That being said, there is another potential situation that can compound the stress of an auto accident even further. Often, the amount an insurance company offers for a totaled car is not even sufficient to cover what is owed on the wrecked car. This may occur if you wreck a new car shortly after buying it. The vehicle has taken its big initial depreciation hit, but you have barely had time to pay down your loan balance.
This can also occur if you have taken advantage of a special financing offer that minimized or eliminated your down payment.
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While these programs certainly keep you from having to part with a large chunk of cash to buy a car, they almost guarantee that you drive off the lot with negative equity. This becomes a problem if you total the car before restoring a positive equity position. When your insurance check cannot pay off your car loan in full, the amount that remains is known as a deficiency balance. Because this is considered unsecured debt — the collateral that formerly secured it is now destroyed — the lender is especially aggressive about collecting it. Like the replacement cost issue, this problem has a solution.
Add gap insurance to your car insurance policy to ensure that you never have to deal with a remaining balance on a totaled car.
9 Tips for Dealing with an Insurance Adjuster
This coverage pays for the cash value of your car as determined by the insurance company and pays for any deficiency balance left over after you apply the proceeds to your loan. Gap coverage, like replacement cost coverage, adds to your insurance premium.
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Auto Damage Careers
Key Takeaways Car insurance is meant to make you whole in case your car is damaged or stolen, but what is your car actually worth to your insurer? Market value vs. For repairs, insurance companies will often enlist an adjuster to inspect the vehicle and estimate the cost, as well as recommend a preferred garage.
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Gap insurance protects car owners when the compensation received from a total loss does not fully cover the amount still owed on a financing agreement. Any statement you make that downplays your injuries will be used against you when the insurance company evaluates your claim and offers you a settlement.
It is better to politely tell the claims adjuster that you want to speak with an attorney before you say anything than to devalue your injuries. Getting Your Car Fixed When it comes to getting insurance money to repair your car , the claims adjuster might say, "Take your car to our approved and certified body shop and we'll get it fixed for you and arrange for a loaner from National until the work is done. Check out the reputation of the insurance company's body shop, ask if they will use original manufacturer or after market parts. Make sure the insurance company's body shop will reduce the diminished value of your car.
Ask if you can take it to your body shop. Go over all the variables to make sure your car gets the best repair possible, and then decide. If you are unsure of any of this, or if their offer seems unreasonable, click here to contact a reputable attorney in your area that will guide you through this process. Your Auto Insurance Adjuster and Injury Claims If your car insurance policy will pay for your injuries under your Med Pay or PIP coverage , then your medical bills will be paid under your policy up to your medical policy limits.
They do not, however, pay for your lost wages or your pain and suffering unless you live in a no fault state. If the other driver is at fault then their insurance company may be responsible for paying not just for your medical bills and the damage to your vehicle, but your lost wages, other expenses you incurred or will incur in the future, and general damages which include your pain and suffering. Since they could be on the hook for a lot more money than your own insurance, you'll find the insurance adjuster's questions to be more in depth when being questioned.
You can expect questions such as: What part of your body was injured? Have you had any injuries or treatment to that body part ever before? When was the last time you were treated for an injury to that body part? What was your doctor's diagnosis at that time? You have to be careful about what you say! If you tell them that 10 years ago you injured your back at work, they may try to say this was just an aggravation of the old injury and assign it less value even if it's been fine for the last 9 years. The insurance adjuster will try to minimize your personal injury claim and quickly get you to sign a settlement agreement to close the matter.
What to Know About Your Auto Claims Adjuster
Is that's okay with you? TIP: If you were injured, you may want to speak to an attorney before talking to the other driver's insurer so you avoid saying or signing the wrong thing which could hurt your chances of making a personal injury claim or getting paid what you deserve down the road. Working with an insurance claims adjuster to manage a serious auto accident claim on your own can be taxing and sometimes confusing.
If it is a serious accident involving serious injury or death, the advice of a reputable attorney could be invaluable. Don't chance saying the wrong thing that downplays your injuries or makes it seem like you contributed to the cause of the accident.
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