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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 5749
Experience:  20 years of proefessional experience
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My husband car was t from the rear by another car. The

Customer Question

My husband car was hit from the rear by another car. The insurance company from the
person who hit him was suppose to fix this problem. They were repairing the car now
they say that the car is totaled and will cost to much to be repaired because the value
of the car isn't worth. Our car is a 2006 Nissan Altima I know this is old but we just
had a new engine put in the car a couple of months ago. We borrowed the money to
have this done. The reason we had this done is because we didn't want a car payment
at this time we were going to keep this car for another year or two so we can finish
helping our children pay off their student loans. They are going to pay us 5,380.00
which most of this will have to go to paying off the loan for the engine. Now we are
being forced to get another car with a car payment. We need to get the titles back
from the loan company so the insurance company will pay off this loan then we will
get remaining balance. Our insurance company said this is what insurance companies
do. I just don't think this is fair since this was not our fault we were rear-ended and
now we end up with nothing. Could you please advise us on this situation.
Thank You
Gwen (confused)
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

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Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.


There are several different methods by which an insurance company may calculate the amount it will pay you for a loss. Payment based on the replacement cost of damaged property is usually the most favorable figure from your point of view. This is because it compensates you for the actual cost of replacing property.

In the auto insurance industry, however, they use what is known as ACV or actual cash value which is also known as market value. It is the standard that auto insurance companies use when reimbursing for losses. It represents the dollar amount you could expect to receive for the item if you sold it in the marketplace.

So the issue here for you is whether the insurance company is paying you for the value of the car based on the new engine that you recently put in. One way to determine that is to go to a car dealer that takes in used cars and pay them to put a trade-in and retail value on your car after a through inspection. Some dealers may be willing to do that for $100 fee. Otherwise you would have to hire an expert in the car valuation industry to do that. Because to the time and costs associated with hiring such an expert and then calling him to court to testify as to the true value of the car, most people in your shoes just accept whatever the insurance company offers.

If you so not want to do this and you feel there is a substantial difference between what your car is worth and what they are willing to pay ACV, then your option is to sue the driver that rear-ended you in small claims court and call the expert witness to testify for the difference.

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