Video: Mo Money, No Problem for Our Car Insurance Claim

Watch on YouTube: Mo Money, No Problem for Our Car Insurance Claim

My dad negotiated an extra $1,000 from the insurance company for our trusty old Lexus that was totaled in a care accident. His “Art of the Deal” (boo Trump):

  1. Don’t settle for the first offer.
  2. Keep good records and do the work.
  3. Be nice to the claims adjuster.

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Video Transcript:

Hi! Welcome back. This is Matthew from A in Finance.

Remember how my dad was rear-ended in that car accident July? Since it was the other guy’s fault, we went through his insurance company, Mercury, to settle the claim. BTW, my dad said that Mercury was really good to deal with. Anyways, once they did the tear down, the repair shop found a lot more damage, which was too much to fix on an old car like ours. So the insurance company said that our trusty old Lexus was a total loss, which means that they just give you a check for the value of your car instead of paying for the repairs.

This is when my dad told me, how much money they give us is based on negotiation, so don’t just take what they offer. What this also means is that you can get a better deal if you do a little work. Anyways, Mercury sent over their first offer of $7,733, which my dad said was pretty fair based on some of the values he found on Edmunds.com and the National Automobile Dealers Association. But, he said that the offer didn’t compensate us for the $600 of repairs we just made on the day of the accident and the new battery we bought a month earlier. All of that was then a complete waste of money, so he was determined to get some of that back by negotiating a better deal.

So this is what he did. First, he pulled out his files on the Lexus that had all of our maintenance records from the beginning of time. The folder kind of looked like my school binder at the end of school last year. He really needs to clean that out. Ha ha! Anyways, he made a list of the money we put into the car during the past year but focused mainly on the past month. Again, he really wanted to get back some money for $600 in repairs and the $160 he spent on a brand new battery, but there were other things we spent money on that still had most of their value left like the tires which still had 55,000 miles left on their warranty. He said he didn’t expect to get much out of these other items, but he wanted to include them to demonstrate how much money we were putting into maintenance. He said it’s always better to support your counter offers with some facts and basis for your opinion.

With the evidence in hand, he called Nick, the claims adjuster. Well, Nick said that all of that was regular maintenance and that he couldn’t adjust the offer based on that. What he needed was quotes for other Lexuses for sale. So my dad got off the phone and he spent an hour on the internet looking for other used Lexuses. He found a few more that were priced higher than the comps and emailed them to Nick. My dad says that you always want to make it as easy as possible for the other guy to say “yes.” One way to do that is to provide all of the evidence so the other guy doesn’t have to do any work. He just has to look at it and say “yes.”

All of this time, my dad said he was super nice to Nick. He said you should always be nice, but in cases like this, you really want to be super nice because you want the other guy on your side. He works for a big company and he has some leeway on his offers within his company guidelines, so you want to give him every reason to help you.

Well, Nick finished his review and called my dad. He said that he used the higher priced comps and he also bumped up the maintenance rating from average to “well-maintained” because of all of the records and receipts that my dad sent him. Based on that, Nick was able to increase the settlement from $7,700 to $8,700.

Another thousand dollars more–that’s pretty good. I guess it really does pay to be nice.

Anyways, thanks for watching. Hoped you enjoyed it and learned something. Please subscribe to our A in Finance YouTube channel and like us on Facebook. And look out for another video next week. Thanks. Bye bye.

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