Total Loss? Gold Star Auto Body & Collision Repair has the right information for you!
What to do if your vehicle has been deemed a total loss:
If your vehicle has been in an accident and is not drivable, a wrecker service has likely taken it to their secured storage lot. DO NOT ALLOW THEIR CLAIMS REPRESENTATIVE TO MOVE YOUR VEHICLE BEFORE YOU AGREE ON A SETTLEMENT! This may be the only leverage you have over them to pay you what they rightly owe you. While your car is sitting at the body shop or towing service lot, it is accruing storage fees. The accruing storage fees will ensure the adjuster be more prompt with a settlement. Once you release your vehicle to them, they will move it to their lot and since there are no storage fees, they may take a longer amount of time to agree with you on a settlement. Don’t fall for the scare tactics; they cannot make you release your vehicle until you have reached a reasonable settlement. Through the years, we have seen many people get shorted by 20-30% because they released their vehicle to the insurance company before finding out the value of their vehicle. Unlike DRP shops, non-DRP shops will work for you and look out for your best interest. Non-DRP shops are more likely to advise you on what to do to best benefit you.
The insurance company owes you the retail value based on the condition of your vehicle. Don’t let them use their scare tactics to pressure you into settling for a low-ball offer. We recommend using NADA for the most accurate result. Find out what comparable vehicles in your area are selling for. Remember, they are looking for the cheapest way to settle your claim. If you feel their settlement offer is not reasonable, make sure you use the appraisal clause.