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Complaint 6 of 7 in "Car Totaled"
Insurance Carrier: State Farm
State: New York
My wife was involved in an accident that totalled her 2007 model year car, that still has 4 years left on the loan. The other drivers' insurance company, State Farm, has accepted 100% liability. They made us an offer based on the average NADA and Red Book quotes, which have a difference of $1100 between them. These are considerably lower than Blue Book and Edmunds but they insist this is the only way they calculate the value. They also want to deduct dealer fees from the payout, even though I purchased the car from a dealer and will again for the replacement vehicle. We are upside down on our auto loan and, if we accept the offer, will still owe over $5000. My insurance company, eSurance, says they use the same criteria to calculate the value and won't help. So far I have just been talking to the claims adjustors. What should I do next?
Insurance Expert Answer:
If you're upside down, there's little than anyone can do.
If you had collision, and a rider that some companies provide for full replacement within the first year, or to pay the difference between total and the loan balance as well, you'd be okay.
As to what you're entitled to, call your state insurance department in Albany or Manhattan and ask if it prescribes what sources must be used as the standard measure of value when a car is totalled -- NADA / Redbook or Blue Book / Edmunds.