After an accident, my car was totaled – but I still owe money on it
Given the fact that car values significantly decrease after they are driven off the car lot it is not uncommon for people to be “upside down” on their car loans. This becomes a major problem in the event that the car is involved in an accident that causes the insurance company to declare it a complete and total loss. This means that the cost of repairing the damage is more than the current value of the vehicle and rather than incur that expense, the insurer will simply pay the insured the value of the vehicle.
So what happens when you still owe money on a loan for a vehicle that is no longer able to be driven? Some people have a supplemental insurance called “Gap insurance.” This insurance is usually offered by car dealerships to address this issue of being “upside down.” This insurance is meant to pay the difference, or the gap, between what you owe and what you are paid through your primary insurance claim.
Fair Market Value
If you do not have Gap insurance, you may still have some remedies to try to reduce the amount of money you are out of pocket paying the loan off. One of these remedies is to contest the insurance company’s valuation of your vehicle.
There are different ways to determine the value of the vehicle. There is the “Fair market value” of the vehicle, also known as the cash value. This value listed by publications such as Kelley blue book, and programs that calculate the value based on the input given. If the insurance company used the fair market value by looking to an area outside of your market, the valuation may be influenced. The cost or value of a vehicle in a large city may be significantly different that the value of the same vehicle in a smaller city.
It is Important to Keep Records
Keeping all records of service, detailing, custom equipment packages, or any other vehicle extras will also influence the value of the vehicle. If you can prove that you kept the vehicle in a good or excellent condition, the final valuation may be much higher than the initial valuation.
Call a Kansas Auto Accident Lawyer | Wall Huntington Law Firm
If your car was totaled following an accident, consult with an attorney. If the insurance company offers you less than the fair value of your vehicle, you do not have to accept it. Consult with an attorney to see if you may be able to contest the insurance company’s offer. The attorneys at Wall Huntington will be happy discuss your situation with you. Call the Law Offices of Wall Huntington at 316-265-6000 | toll-free at 800-475-4140, or visit us online today!