Updated: Jan 13
If you have suffered a total loss or your vehicle was damaged by an at fault driver there are three prudent steps to take before accepting a settlement offer from the responsible insurance company:
1) Locate a licensed Diminishment of Value (DOV) Total Loss appraiser. Your choice should have only excellent Google reviews and be located near you. Do your homework! 2) Get a no cost consultation first. Sometimes the insurance company offer is fair and reasonable. (Not often, but sometimes).
3) If an appraisal is merited make sure that they stay involved until your settlement is achieved.
A client called DVAC after totaling his 2020 Chevrolet Colorado with only 8745 miles on the clock. His insurance company used CCC to value his vehicle and claimed that his truck was only worth $23,500.00. As is so often the case, the insurance company’s valuation was way off and did not include correct tax, tag and title fees. He was referred to DVAC by his auto body shop. We were retained and immediately invoked the appraisal clause. DVAC ran the correct actual cash value (ACV) using vAuto which provided a National thirty day running average of values. DVAC also ran values in his local zip code. Our report was presented to the independent appraiser hired by the insurance company. We discussed our valuations and within minutes settled at $31,350. Obviously it pays to hire a licensed professional. Market fact always prevails.