As experienced Conyers car accident lawyers, we would not be surprised. Insurers are always looking to save money, and shortchanging a claimant is one obvious way for them to pad their bottom line. Fortunately, Georgia law spells out how the insurer should determine the actual cost of the vehicle. It must look at vehicles from the same manufacturer that have the same model and year. Comparable vehicles should also have similar mileage, style, and options. The actual cost should also include applicable license fees, taxes, and other fees—at least, the amount of fees and taxes that would be paid on the totaled vehicle. This can really add up, and you should be sure that you are receiving this amount in your settlement. How does the insurance company arrive at the cost of the vehicle? There are several methods spelled out in the law:
- Averaging the cost of two or more comparable vehicles in the local market. The insurer can look at dealer’s sales prices or even newspaper listings.
- Using quotes from licensed dealers in the local market.
- Relying on fair market values pulled from a database.
You might believe that the insurer is dramatically undervaluing your vehicle. For example, the insurer might claim there are no comparable vehicles in your local market, so they pull an unrealistic number from a database. If you believe you are being shortchanged, meet with a Rockdale County car accident lawyer to review.