Total Loss Claims for Specialty Vehicles
A Total Loss Vehicle is one where the cost of repairs to the vehicle exceeds its value. This cost considers rental car, repairs, and salvage value the wreck may have. As a general rule, most insurance companies will consider any vehicle in which repair estimates exceed 60% of the vehicle’s Market Value as a probable Total Loss.
Some exceptions to this occur on vehicles which are "specialty" vehicles; that is they are antiques, classics, Hot Rods, or exotic vehicles. These vehicles require special shops, special ordered parts, long lead times on obtaining parts, and other factors which will prompt the insurance company to "get rid" of the problem rather that to fix it.
The "Specialty Vehicle" Problem
The exotic or specialty vehicle creates unique problems for both the appraiser and the insurance company alike. These vehicles don't have readily available "comparable" vehicles available to benchmark the value. The result is that the insurance company sublets the valuation of these vehicles to independent contractors to obtain a value for settlement. The qualifications of the subcontractor must now be questioned. There are some good appraisers available to the general public, with few of these are willing to work for insurance company. The best bet for you in this case is to hire the services of a qualified and certified appraisal firm like Ready2Appraise.com to gain a second opinion in these cases. Your being assured that you are receiving a fair settlement far exceeds our appraisal fees!
Determining Total Loss Values
How does the insurance company determine the value of my vehicle?
This is a really good question! The easy answer is that the insurance company hires one of three services which specialize in doing values for the insurance industry. They don't work for the general public...only the insurance company! Does this give you a clue?
While some valuations are accurate, or "close enough", many are not sufficient for you to replace your totaled vehicle with a similar one. And that is the test to see if you are getting what you deserve.
Total Loss Values Through an Unbiased Eye
The last point to be made is the condition rating of your vehicle. This brings to mind the 3 panel cartoon which hangs in many body shops and insurance offices. The first shows a pristine show car with the caption:" What you think your car looks like". The second shows a "beater" with the caption:"What the insurance company thinks it looks like". The last shows a typical every day car with the caption: " What it actually is!". Be careful on how you present your car to us. We place our reputation on the line every day on your behalf; please respect that and provide accurate information on the honest condition of your vehicle. It will pay off in the end.