How to Appeal an Adjuster’s First Estimate

Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Jerry Becerra with Barbary Insurance, and today I want to talk to you about how to appeal an adjusters first estimate on an automobile insurance claim. People are frequently dissatisfied with the way an auto insurance claim is managed. And so the first thing you should probably understand is how claims are adjusted. People are used to the concept of replacement cost. Getting new for old. But that is not true at all with auto insurance. Automobiles are depreciated. And they can depreciate rapidly. Once you drive it off the lot you’re automatically losing about 10 to 15 percent of the automobiles value and then it will slide downward every year. So the first thing you might want to consider is have a realistic expectation of what’s going to happen in an automobile insurance claim and decide do you need collision coverage or comprehensive coverage if your vehicle’s getting very old. Now let’s say you’ve got coverage, you’re in an accident and you’re not happy with the way the adjuster has gone through with the claims adjustment. First thing would be to get some facts. Find out what that vehicle is really worth. You might check with Blue Book, you might call around to dealers in the area, prevailing rates are really what’s going to matter more than Blue Book. Find out what a vehicle of similar quality is selling for in your area. Then go back to the adjuster and begin negotiating. You should be able to talk an adjuster into meeting you at least half way on something like that. Remember that your deductible’s going to factor in also. And finally sometimes a vehicle can be totaled just because the damage is more than the vehicle’s value but the vehicle can still be completely drivable. For instance you might have a $3000 car that gets hit very badly and loses a bumper, you might have to spend $3000 to replace the bumper but still you could keep the car. You can buy that car back from the insurance company as salvage and do the repairs yourself. And so know that that’s an option, it’s not always a good option but it can be done. I’m Jerry Becerra with Barbary Insurance. You can find out more about me and coverage at

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