Almost everyone has been in a fender-bender, or single-car accident. Whether a person rear-ends another driver, hits a mailbox while pulling out of their driveway, or inadvertently sideswipes a parked car, even these minor crashes can cause substantial damage to a vehicle. More severe collisions can leave a car crushed, burned, or otherwise inoperative. Drivers with car insurance coverage who have been involved in an accident may find that their insurance company will need to consider some things when determining how much it will pay to settle a claim. One of the primary factors that insurers take into account is the salvage value of a damaged car or truck.
Salvage value is the amount of money that an insurance provider can receive in return for selling a vehicle that is damaged beyond repair, or too costly to fix, to a licensed salvage dealer. Knowing the salvage value of a car can help an owner, and his insurance company, decide what to do with a car after an accident. Since drivers might wonder if their vehicle should be repaired, or donated for parts, or if their insurer will deem it a total loss after a crash, figuring out a vehicle’s salvage value, among other things, can be helpful.
Whether or not they have worked with one in the past, it can be useful for drivers to contact a local independent insurance agent to assist them in evaluating their vehicle’s salvage value. While doing this, she can also guide car owners in examining their current auto insurance policy to make sure that they have adequate coverage. Because an independent insurance agent works with car owners with various concerns and different kinds of policies, she understands how auto insurance coverage can be confusing to those who are unfamiliar with the terms of their policy. She will help car owners assess the salvage value of their vehicle, and, at the same time, figure out if their coverage has any gaps or exclusions that could cost them extra time and money in the long run.
An independent car insurance agent will direct those who have had a crash to resources like the Kelley Blue Book, which can help them gain an understanding of their car or truck’s value based on its year, make, model, and features. This can serve as a starting point when considering a vehicle’s salvage value after it sustains damage. Also, an independent insurance agent will help car owners evaluate the trade in value of their car, along with its current market value – figures that should also come in handy when assessing its salvage value.
Since different insurance companies use different formulas to determine salvage value, and because the amount can depend on specific damage sustained by a vehicle, an independent insurance agent will be a valuable resource for car owners. She works with a number of insurance providers, and, depending on the insurer of a particular policyholder, will often be familiar with the standards used by that company. She can help car owners evaluate their car’s salvage value based on what their insurance company has historically considered in making that determination.
Although she will explain it in greater detail, an independent insurance agent can also discuss how for insurance companies, salvage value is typically the amount that they can recover from the sale of an insured’s vehicle through a salvage wholesaler, but that such a seller must have a license, and that certain criteria must be met. This is why it is important for car owners to work with an independent insurance agent who has handled claims and vehicle losses in the past. She will help the process go smoothly, and make sure that car owners understand the role that the salvage value of their vehicle plays in getting a claim resolved.