Understanding Your Car Insurance Claim Settlement

stress of car accidents and insurance claims Unfortunately you were recently involved in an auto accident.  A week later you receive a settlement check from your insurance company and you are shocked and appalled at the settlement amount.  Your car is worth so much more than the estimate.  You wonder where on earth the insurance company get’s their numbers from.  Don’t worry, you aren’t alone – and better yet, we can help!

Understanding your car insurance settlement

Damage to parts of a car

For damaged vehicles, they consider the amount to repair or replace the damaged part of your vehicle.  So if the rear bumper is damaged, they pay the amount to replace the rear bumper.  They are allowed to use aftermarket parts but you can also request original manufacturer equipment.   If your vehicle has significant damage and the cost of repairs exceed the market value they may consider your vehicle a total loss.

Total loss

In that instance, they pay the actual cash value of the vehicle with depreciation.  Most people are not satisfied with their total loss settlement.  Especially if you have owed the car for a long time and have taken good care of it then disappointment sets in. Please know, you do NOT have to accept this settlement. Learn more about what factors they use to determine the settlement and see what other options you have. Usually they find comparable cars to get to this price, but keep in mind, no two cars face the exact same scenario.  Like, the cars may have the same age and parts, but one car has significantly less mileage, that can make a difference so be sure to look at the comparables. This is where having a personal relationship with your insurance agent can come in handy, we can help!

Injuries in a settlement

For Injuries the settlement can be more complicated to tabulate.  Several factors are involved which includes:

  • Your Hospital Bills
  • Follow up doctor charges
  • Any physical therapy
  • Lost Wages
  • Your percentage at fault

Additional compensation can be negotiated for ongoing treatment, disfiguration or scaring and long term pain.  Consult your personal injury attorney if your injuries are serious enough to have lifelong ramifications.  Remember, once you settle with insurance company you can’t go back and request more funds.  That is why serious injuries can take years to settle as most people wait until they have a full understanding of what the long term holds for them.

Please contact Paula Smith Insurance at (281) 488-8880 for more information on claims handling, what to do if you are involved in a car accident or even if you want to understand more about what affects your car insurance rates.

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