How to make the case to insurance for Actual Cash Value of Model 3?

How to make the case to insurance for Actual Cash Value of Model 3?

Seven months into the ownership of my 2018, metallic silver LR AWD Model 3 Tesla I was involved in an accident because another car pulled out in front directly into my path. I walked away with only a couple of bruises but after only 7900 miles under it's belt, the extent of the damage to not only the body, frame and electrical components (including a broken screen as a result of my elbow during the collision) my car has been determined ultimately as a total loss. I am now working with them to negotiate the actual cash value for the car. I absolutely loved the car and aim to replace it as soon as things are settled with another. Since things like delivery costs don't stand up in deterring the "actual cash value" I accept that I will have to bridge a gap between the two cars, but I am hoping to minimize it as much as possible! The question for you is how do I ensure I receive the maximum value for my car from the insurance agency?

This week, the higher ups within the insurance agency are being pulled into discussion of my insurance claim to help the agents Ive been working to find resolution on their end. So, I have the next couple of days to strengthen my case before meeting with them again and come to you to discuss how I may shore up my claims of the car being valued more than what they determined in their offer.

As it stand currently, we are negotiating to determine the actual cash value of the Model 3 taken as a total loss. They stated that since they don't have data to pull from, they determined the value based the price similar-ish Model 3s have been sold for - which in my case, resulted in two Model 3s sold at a dealership another state over (selling price for each of the two cars being around $47k) In reality, and from the research Ive done by looking at used Model 3s for sale online a more accurate valuation (to actually obtain a replace meant for the car in reference) seems to be closer to $53k+ They requested I share with them links to some of the cars I had found to look into themselves, which ranged in price from $53k to $55k after adjusting for difference in features.

Those of us who purchase a Tesla view the price of the car and the value proposition differently than that of other ICE cars considered before committing on a Model 3. Likewise, I have worked to diffierienceate differences between this car and the typical vehicles they process claims for within their agency. Ive reiterated how Teslas are a different beast compared to all the other cars out there on the road - non negotiable pricing, limited availability in comps for valuation, longer service life and continual, over the air upgrades playing a role in depreciation differently, the significance of the fuel system's massive battery being included in the cost of the car rather than an inexpensive tank that is later filled continuously with petrol at a premium, and the limited awareness of EV's in general from all those not connected to the moment, etc.

During this final push in making a case for the actual cash value of my vehicle, might you have any suggestions, advice or experience from dealing with this yourself that you've found to be successful in garnering from a total loss claim the actual cash value you felt was accurately reflected the cars's replacement value?

The method I pursued in finding examples of other cars listed seemed from my point of view to be the most direct way in determining the car value for my car, but perhaps their are other, better methods for determining valuation that I could leverage in my claim with the insurance company?

jimglas | 17 giugno 2019

the unicorn silver has to be worth something?

Magic 8 Ball | 17 giugno 2019

Making a crazy scene in the office sometimes leads to a quick and satisfactory settlement.

FISHEV | 17 giugno 2019 comes up with $48,603.00.

You would think the insurance company would have worked all this out BEFORE they insured your car otherwise they have no idea what is their risk or what they should charge.

FISHEV | 17 giugno 2019

Going forward, see if your insurance company will do "Agreed Upon Value" for your new Tesla if you find there are issues with getting fair value. Progressive will do that.

Neomaxizoomdweebie | 17 giugno 2019

I don’t know, I think I’m smelling Fear. A totaled Tesla is nothing new.

Magic 8 Ball | 17 giugno 2019

The best place to come for advice on how to negotiate with insurance companies on a totaled Tesla is right here, yessir a bunch of strangers on a forum will set you right.

lbowroom | 17 giugno 2019

Its pretty simple. Find the car you had with the same features with similar mileage for sale. Add sales tax and registration fees. That's what insurance should pay.

more | 17 giugno 2019

unicorn silver - awd. I couldn't agree more. If I could have that car back I’d rather have it than a brand new one.

I found the online estimates to be closer to 53k if the condition is switched from fair to excellent - which it was prior to the accident.

I agree in them having some idea before the estimate, once a claim finally comes in though I'm sure its heavily incentivized to sell the lowest offer and work from there...

I actually have progressive. Do you have experience having a claim with the "Agreed Upon Value" vs Actual Cash Value"?
- it seems, at the moment they are going to negotiate with me, which seems a bit like agreed upon value, but they have yet to make their second offer. so who knows.

*** Has anyone ever been able to calculate the value of a car based strictly on linear depreciation of an asset? given I had no plans on selling the car anytime soon, that's truly the simplest way to calculate value of something that you plan to use until the end of its expected life... ***

FISHEV | 18 giugno 2019

"I found the online estimates to be closer to 53k if the condition is switched from fair to excellent - which it was prior to the accident."

Pretty sure I used "Excellent" on which came uo with $48k above. If you purchased "Full Self Driving", you may not be able to recover that money. It's is a 2018 with 7,500 miles and the $48k sounds right. Car depreciate a lot in first year and Tesla is a car.

On Progressive and experience with "Agreed Upon Value"....oh yearh..beautifully restored '80 Whaler. Book value old boat about $10,000. Agreed upon value was $54k, when 360 boats went up in a massive fire, I had a check for full agreed upon value in two weeks. A lot of people with regular insurance and loans on their boats got hammered due to the what they owed and the book value of their used boats.

lbowroom | 18 giugno 2019

Again, have the insurance company show you Model 3s that you can buy today with the same options you had on your car with similar mileage. That's what they should pay.

sosmerc | 18 giugno 2019

I went through an experience several years ago when our 2001 Mustang GT Premium Vert burned up in a fire. My Sate Farm agent informed me that State Farm uses an independent firm to negotiate the settlement and THEY work for the best outcome FOR STATE FARM. The car was in immaculate condition prior to the fire and was still under warranty. Also, we had just put brand new tires on it and it had a full tank of gas. I remember their first offer was $5000 and I about had a heart attack. I went through 3 different adjusters and finally discussed my situation with the State Insurance Commissioner to find out what "actual cash value" really meant. It took months but was well worth the effort. We ended up getting $22,000. I researched used Mustangs being offered in "within 500 miles of our garaged
area" and with very similar mileage and options. Eventually I sent them about 10 cars and their details and said I would accept the value of any of those ten cars. The whole experience was not very pleasant or enjoyable, but in the end we felt we got a fair settlement. It should not be so hard, but don't forget to take advantage of your State Insurance commissioner if you are having difficulty with your insurance adjuster. Good Luck!

dmastro | 18 giugno 2019

Tesla is currently listing a pre-owned 2018 LR AWD with 10,213 miles for $54,700 on the website. Maybe that will help.

rxlawdude | 18 giugno 2019

It sounds like you were at-fault, or are in a no-fault state and thus required to negotiate with your own carrier. That is the most sucky position to be in, as far as guaranteeing you are fully compensated.

As a torts (civil liability) case, the at-fault driver's insurance must compensate you fully (up to their limits of liability on the at-fault driver's policy). This includes either finding a like-replacement (same features with similar mileage to your totalled vehicle), or compensating you the cost of a new replacement less reasonable depreciation for the miles your total vehicle served you

rxlawdude | 18 giugno 2019

@sosmerc, as I frequently say, avoid insurance companies with "state" and/or "farm" in their name. :-)

sosmerc | 18 giugno 2019

Yea, we really liked our agent, but after that experience with the company (State Farm) we switched to another company. But it's been my experience that you don't really find out how well a company is going to serve you until AFTER you file a claim.
That Mustang saga was pretty weird. We had NO issues with the car....but it caught on fire all my itself while parked outside under a carport. The wife had driven the car to town and back for errands. It was a complete loss. I thought maybe the insurance company might have inquired with Ford because I told my agent I had heard about some "issues" Ford was having with faulty cruise control switches causing fires.....but they didn't seem to care. Just another claim to try and "manage".

SoCalDriver | 18 giugno 2019

See what they offer you. I went through this with my last car late 2018. My car (non Tesla) was new, 3 months old and had only 4K miles on it. Their first offer was $100 less than I had paid for it brand new, including tax and license.

Their offer is subject to be negotiated. Depending on the company, it may not be easy. With a car that new, it should be very close to what you paid. Check the comparable vehicles for sale and be prepared to show documentation.

Good luck!

Hassancook24 | 18 giugno 2019

I had a similar situation, but I think I came out on top and didn't have to do any negotiating. Totaled my Mid Range Model 3 in late May after 6 (glorious) months and 4500 miles, and when it came to the settlement, I started to get nervous because I didn't think I'd get very much for it due to depreciation. They didn't have many comps to go off of apparently (because it was a limited run), and they valued it at $49k. I bought it for $46k plus taxes, then bought Autopilot for $2k during the fire sale so this seemed right. But I essentially got a refund for the full value of the car. Add in the taxes and fees and the full settlement came to about $53k, minus my $1,000 deductible means I got $52k. Plus I get to keep my state rebate and federal taxes. Needless to say, I didn't have to fight them on anything.

Back to your story, I'm sure there are a ton of comps out there for them to go off of. I'm not sure if it has to be local or Make sure to provide receipts for anything else you added like tint, EAP/FSD purchase, aftermarket things like wheels and PPF/Ceramic/Clear Bra, etc. and that should push it up I think. Good luck!

more | 18 giugno 2019

Thank you for sharing your experiences @lbowroom, @Hassancook24, @SoCalDriver, @dmastro. You give me some hope that with due diligence and perhaps some luck? I will ultimately come out on top rather than looseing my shirt from this unfortunate accident.

The fault is still being determined by the police and a final report that includes a reconstruction of the accident has been ongoing for the past 6 weeks.

The other guy ran through a stop sign prior to pulling out in-front of me to take a left handed turn He was issued a citation at the scene but I must wait until the final report until I am completely exonerated from having any fault in the accident.

The other driver is UNDERINSURED (only for $25k) so regardless I have been working with my insurer (progressive exclusively as they will be the ones who ultimately go after American Family to recover funds from them.

@lbowroom - so far I have provided Progressive with 4 cars that closely matched either miles or features and adjusted accordingly based on the difference in features, such as they only having rwd vs awd / black vs the up-charge for silver.

They do indeed use an outsourced service to figure the actual car value. Speaking with them today, they said the referenced cars I provided Didn't Change the price estimate.

@sosmerc - In what way did you involve the state commissioner? Did they become involved in the actual claim or was it more that the insurance company straighten up after being told you had reached out to them?

Overall, I feel like these guys either don't have the time or have yet to make the time to sit down and reevaluate the claim as unique situation rather than continue to apply the run of the mill process typically used with all other cars on the road.

more | 18 giugno 2019

@dmastro - Do you happen to have a link or screenshot to the used Model 3 listed on Tesla's site?

lbowroom | 18 giugno 2019

I would contend that an all-wheel-drive is a different model of car than the rear wheel drive. You can’t take the highest priced RWD and add $10,000 to it for the price difference at the new car level if that's what you're attempting to do. If you can't find used AWD Model 3's for sale, I suspect you aren't looking hard enough

greg | 18 giugno 2019

If you can't find a silver car, then I'd ask the insurance company to include the cost of having whatever closest car they can find that matches the other features, wrapped in silver. As the total cost of the car.

After all, the point of insurance is that you are supposed to be put back as close as possible to how you were before the accident ["made whole again" in the legalise].

Agreed value is a simpler way to go - as that way you are accepting them being able to opt out of repairing and just pay the agreed money/value to you.

lbowroom | 18 giugno 2019

I checked autotrader filtering for silver awd. 2 actual silver came up, one for 53k another performance one for 65k. Can't post the links for some reason but assume you can do the same search

dmastro | 19 giugno 2019

@more: I guess pre-owned vehicles are shown regionally based on location. This is the one I referenced above (Sacramento market):

Also, saw this article today indicating lots of pre owned inventory showing up.
I assume you can punch in zip codes for other markets to view additional inventory

sosmerc | 20 giugno 2019

@More, I involved the Insurance Commissioner for clarification of the language used in my policy. I believe that when my insurance company found out I was discussing my claim with the Insurance Commissioner they starting taking my concerns more seriously. By being patient and persistant we finally got a fair settlement.