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Q

If my insurance company calls my car a total loss how do I determine its value on blue book? Is it trade in, private party or suggested retail? And do they go by low blue book even if car was in good to excellent condition?


A

If your car is totaled then the insurance company working your claim will determine what they feel was the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle in the condition it was in before the accident. Your vehicle's ACV is normally determined by comparing your vehicle's condition to similar vehicles in your area. This may include input from local auto dealers, private parties or recent sales which the adjusters use in their valuation. Condition, equipment and mileage differences are also taken into consideration.

In addition, your insurance company may use a computerized evaluation process to assist them in determining the value of your vehicle. Insurance companies purchase third party computer systems (like CCC) that help them estimate costs in automotive claims and collision repairs. Third party software supplies insurers with software and a database that helps determine the value of a vehicle based upon automating the claims process. These systems have databases and systems that contain benchmarking tools to find the true value of a vehicle from repair shops and dealers.

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An insurer may also look at Blue Book or Nada guide estimates of the value of your car for reference however the ways mentioned above usually are weighted heavier than a blue book value. Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com) even notes that insurance company policies vary quite a bit, but generally insurance adjusters try to determine the replacement value for a vehicle that has been totaled as a value somewhere between Wholesale and Retail.

KBB goes on to state what we have said, that insurance companies also research comparable vehicles that have sold in your area to help determine a fair price. You could average the Trade-In Value with the Suggested Retail of your vehicle and use the resulting value as a reference point for determining replacement value. Remember though that insurance companies do not have any obligation to use Kelley Blue Book pricing to determine replacement values. Insurance companies may use Kelley Blue Book as a reference but will set their own policies as to which values they use.

If your motor vehicle has been declared a total loss then speak with the claims adjuster assigned to your claim to find out what methods the insurance company is using to determine ACV for your vehicle. If you want to negotiate a higher settlement amount for your vehicle then normally the best thing to do is get information from local dealers about what the cost of a replacement car would be for the same year make and model with the same options and mileage as your vehicle and take this to the insurance company as proof that in your area your car was worth this amount.


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3 Responses to "If my insurance company calls my car a total loss how do I determine its value on blue book? Is it trade in, private party or suggested retail? And do they go by low blue book even if car was in good to excellent condition?"
  1. Visitor

    I was Googling to find info on which KBB (private, dealer, etc.) figure an insurance company uses if they total a car, and I ended up here. Great info. Now I know that I will not be able to predict it but can average the two and maybe come close. Thanks.

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  2. Anonymous

    On this website you will find all the answers that you are looking for.

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  3. Anonymous

    a lot of help

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