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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Total loss, best way to get top dollar?



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      12-22-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
BigBoosting
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Total loss, best way to get top dollar?

I am looking for some input on what is the best way to haggle with my insurance company to get the best price for my car. I have never had to do this before so I am not sure of the process.

Some of you might have seen my previous thread about my accident and whether it was a total loss or not. Turns out it was over $28K in damage, so its a goner.

The car is an 08' E92 6MT with 31K miles. It is literally in perfect condition with no paint chips, scratches, dents and the interior looks brand new. No rash on any of the wheels. Nothing I can think of to mark down the price.

Has the sport package, M3 rear lip spoiler, Bluetooth, and 6FL option. The car is also still under the extended factory warranty for another 40K miles and 3 years.

Nada says retail is about $27K in excellent condition and Kbb.com says retail is about $30K, and I have seen a large range in FS ads from $24K to $30K.

What should I expect to get out of my insurance? Is a realistic number in the $27K+ range and how should I talk them up to that assuming they come back with a much lower offer?
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      12-22-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
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Read your policy and become familiar with the loss settlement language. I have USAA and it has "Fair Market Value," which is broader than the common "Actual Cash Value." It allowed me to pull ads within my area (150 mile radius) and show that getting a comparable vehicle would cost a few thousand more than blue book. Also, make an itemized list with receipts of every modification. Service records and photos will help build your case that your car was above and beyond. I don't remember the name of the software off the top of my head, but they probably don't use NADA or KBB. Their software gives the adjuster a price and you need to provide a reason for them to give you more; you're trying to reduce the depreciation because your car was better.

I've worked in insurance for 7 years and dealt with this first hand for myself 2 years ago. My first settlement offer was 8500 and I ended up with 11500.

Good Luck OP!
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      12-22-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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Not sure who your insurance is through or what your specific policy states, so I am just speaking from my personal experience and research:

NADA and KBB don't play a huge factor, but they are part of the equation (most of these sites low-ball). A total loss is valued by factoring in the price that reasonably similarly-equipped cars are selling for in your geographic area. And by that I don't mean list price -- they are looking at the actual selling price. My advice is to scour Autotrader (& similar) for other cars that are as close in mileage and options to yours as possible. You have low miles and are 6MT, so you may need to broaden your search outside your area. Depending on how recently you purchased your car, you can use the selling price you paid for your own car as part of your research as well.

There are also independent appraisers who will help you come up with a fair value for your vehicle. Talk to a reputable body shop in your area -- chances are they know of one or two who you could work with.

Try to go into this with 2 numbers in your head -- your ideal settlement price, and the minimum you'd be willing to accept. Work with your insurance company (with the help of the independent appraiser and an attorney if you happen to know one who'd be willing to help) to get somewhere in between those 2 numbers.

To address your last question, $27k is not unrealistic or unreasonable at all. Is that the ideal price that you'd like for your car? I think you may be able to push for more.

My car was damaged this Summer and for a few weeks there I thought it may be totaled so I did a ton of research. I was shopping for an E92 that was equipped similarly to yours, and most of the ones I saw were CPO selling in the low $30k range ($31-32-ish) with a few stragglers with accident histories selling around $25-26k (all '08-09 6MT E92s with <45k miles).
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      12-22-2012, 12:20 PM   #4
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I have Geico for insurance. The $27K was a middle of the road number I took from looking at kbb and nada. My adjuster has used to term "fair market value" so if that means possible wiggle room for me that sounds good.

I do like the Autotrader idea, my collision center suggested the same approach. They haven't made their first offer yet, not sure when that will be. Hopefully soon so we can get the ball rolling on me getting a new car. I will go ahead and start to compile a list of cars and be ready when I hear from them again.
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      12-22-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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If you happen to have a relationship with someone in the business of selling pre-owned BMWs it would be extremely helpful if you spoke to them to get an excellent idea of what similarly equipped vehicles have sold for on their lot in the past few months. I called my contact at the dealership where I'd purchased my car and they were happy to send over some figures. That's what I was planning to use as my rebuttal for whatever Allstate's offer would have been.
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      12-22-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
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One approach might be to see if your BMW dealer would assist in finding a near identical replacement car and would transfer the remaining extended factory warranty.

Or a CPO vehicle as near to yours with the extended warranty.

Use this as a realistic data point with the insurance company. Be polite if the ins co low balls you first pass, it will be the first offer not the last.
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      12-22-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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A few years back, my IS350 was totalled. My insurance was State Farm and they offered me basically equivalent to very good condition KBB. So probably more than I could have sold it for not wrecked. On top of that, they reimbursed me for sales tax paid, which was another few thousand. Not sure what Geico's policies are, just a comparison point.
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      12-22-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laser View Post
One approach might be to see if your BMW dealer would assist in finding a near identical replacement car and would transfer the remaining extended factory warranty.

Or a CPO vehicle as near to yours with the extended warranty.

Use this as a realistic data point with the insurance company. Be polite if the ins co low balls you first pass, it will be the first offer not the last.
+1 Good advice.
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