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Q

If your car is considered totaled in Oklahoma what source must be used as a standard means of value? How does the insurance company decide upon the dollar amount they offer you and is it negotiable?


A

The Oklahoma Insurance Department, the insurance regulator for your state, notes that car insurance provides coverage on an actual cash value (ACV) basis, which means that the company owes the ACV at the time of a total loss situation.  The OK Insurance Department does not have the authority to determine the ACV of your vehicle but there are state laws that help say what should be used for an auto insurance company to calculate your vehicle's fair market value / actual cash value.

According to Oklahoma state law your vehicle's ACV amount may be determined by the cost of a comparable motor vehicle in the local market area, one or two or more quotations obtained by the car insurance company from two or more qualified dealers located within the local market area when a comparable motor vehicle is not available in the local market area, or the cost of a comparable motor vehicle as quoted in the latest edition of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Official Used Car Guide or another nationally recognized published guidebook.

So the value of your totaled out vehicle in Oklahoma should be determined based on the value similar vehicles in your area or if there are none for sale in your area that are comparable then estimates from dealers on what your vehicle would be worth. Automobile insurance companies can also use car evaluation guidebooks such as NADA or Kelley Blue Book (KBB).

If your vehicle has been totaled out then you can check its value in NADA and KBB on your own to get an idea of what you will likely be offered for the actual cash value of your vehicle. When your settlement offer comes in from the automobile insurance company if you find it too low then you can try to negotiate a higher amount. Normally to negotiate more money to be paid out for your vehicle you will need to show that it is worth more. One way to do so is to reach out to local dealers to get documentation of what they say your vehicle was worth in the condition it was in before the accident that totaled it out. Using this information go to the claims adjuster on your claim to see if you can negotiate more money for your car.

If your agent is not able to explain to you what to do in this situation or fulfill your car insurance needs, contact a CarInsurance.com agent and they can explain not only insurance terms and explain claim procedures but also tell you how they can get you low cost car insurance.


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