Navigating Total Loss Claims: Should You Accept the First Offer from Your Insurance Company?

When you’re dealing with a total loss claim after a vehicle accident, you might feel overwhelmed and tempted to accept the first settlement offer from your insurance company. However, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the actual value of your claim before making any decisions.

Why You Shouldn’t Rush to Accept the First Offer?

Initial Offers May Be Low: Insurance companies often start with a lower offer than what your claim is truly worth. They anticipate negotiations and aim to settle claims for as little as possible to minimize their payout.

Assessment of Your Vehicle’s Value: The first offer may not accurately reflect your vehicle’s actual market value. Insurance companies use various methods to determine a car’s worth, which might not always align with its current market value. 

Your Financial Well-being is at Stake: Settling for less than your vehicle’s worth can burden you financially, especially if you still owe more on your car loan than the insurance payout.

 

Steps to Take Before Accepting an Offer

Research Your Vehicle’s Value: Use resources like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to understand your car’s fair market value. Compare this with the insurance company’s offer.

 

Review Your Insurance Policy: Understand the terms of your policy. Know what kind of coverage you have and how to settle a total loss.

 

Gather Evidence: Gather receipts for any additions or upgrades you’ve made to the vehicle. 

 

Negotiate: Don’t hesitate to negotiate with your insurance company. Present your research and evidence to back up your claim for a higher settlement.

 

Seek Professional Advice: Consider consulting with an attorney, especially if the gap between the offer and your vehicle’s value is significant.

 

Remember Your Rights

You have the right to a fair settlement. If negotiations don’t lead to a satisfactory offer, you can escalate the matter through your state’s insurance department or consider legal action.

Accepting the first offer on a total loss claim can be tempting, but it’s rarely in your best interest. Take the time to do your research, understand your policy, and consider all your options.

Give us a call here at Vames, Wang & Sosa Injury Lawyers today for a no-hassle, free consultation. Seeking professional advice is the best way to ensure you receive a fair settlement reflecting your loss’s true value.

Emery Wang

Emery Wang

Emery Wang has been a lawyer in Oregon since 2009. While attending Lewis & Clark law school, Emery worked as a Multnomah County District Attorney, and since then has been a full time personal injury lawyer.

Vames, Wang & Sosa Injury Lawyers focus on vehicle crashes, personal injury, and first-party car accident insurance claims. They have offices located in Gresham and Hillsboro.

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