What if you’re in an accident and your car is a total loss? Assuming that there is insurance to cover your loss, how do you know whether the insurance company is offering you a fair amount for your car? Our car, to us, has a certain value. Unfortunately, that value is often a subjective value and has no bearing on what the insurance company is obligated to pay for your totaled vehicle. They are, however, obligated to offer you "fair market value."
How do you determine "fair market value?" Start by going to Edmunds. Simply click on your car’s make and the site will guide you through the rest.
You might then wish to substantiate the value established by Edmunds by searching ads for similar vehicles on Autotrader and, in Southern California, on Recycler, Craigslist and even the Los Angeles Times.
Finally, have you invested in aftermarket parts? Do you have invoices or receipts for those aftermarket parts? If so, present those to the insurance company to help bolster the value of your car. Over time, the aftermarket parts will most likely have diminished in value but they still may add to the overall value of your car.
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