GREENSBORO, NC — A paper clip. If you bend it out of shape and try to make it make look like a paper clip again, well it sort of does. But it’s just not the same as a paper clip that’s never bent pulled apart. That’s the same idea with a car that’s been wrecked. You can put it back together but it’s never quite the same and therefore has lost some of its value.
But if the accident wasn’t your fault, do you have to eat that loss? That doesn’t seem fair. And That’s what 2 Wants to Know’s Lechelle Yates and Call for Action thought when one of your neighbors reached out for help.
Norma Partee’s 2014 Volvo S60 sedan was perfect until someone hit it. The accident damage totaled $7200. The other driver’s insurance paid for repairs but the crash still cost Norma. A Volvo dealer told Norma before the crash her car was worth $25,525. But the wreck knocked off $3,100 to $5,000. In the insurance world, that’s called diminished value.
To make up for the diminished value, the other driver’s insurance company offered her $800! Auto appraisers we talked to have a name for that offer –
“I call it go away money. The insurance company offers you a value to go away. They hope that $800. Woo hoo. $800. That’s perfect. I love it. And thank you for giving me money. And then you go away,” says Brian Manning with NC Auto Appraisals.
2 Wants to Know Call for Action advised Norma to hire an auto appraiser. The appraiser estimated the loss of value at $3800. The insurance company’s appraiser countered with $3400 and this time Norma said yes. And she walked away with $2600 more than she was initially offered.
So often we’re just worried about getting the car repaired. We don’t even think about having the right to get back the money we lost.
So how much will an appraisal set you back? Anywhere from $200 to $500. BUT the appraisers we talked and the websites we looked at will pre-qualify you. So basically your questions are free.
And if your appraiser and the insurance companies appraiser are way far apart, our legislators actually looked out for us. If the two sides can’t negotiate something, there’s a system in place to help everybody come to a number.