How to dispute unfair total offer from AAA

How to dispute unfair total offer from AAA

My model 3 was involved in an accident and it was other driver's fault. both our insurance is AAA. after over one month's assessment, AAA decided to total my car but gave unfair offer. I bought my Tesla at $59K before tax in the middle of September 2018 and my mileage is 3600 miles by now. AAA only want to give $53K including tax, to buy a matched model, I have to pay over $10K out of pocket. to me, it's totally unacceptable. Do you guys think if this is fair offer? if not, how can I dispute it? any advice is highly appreciated. thanks.

Magic 8 Ball | 4 maj 2019

All depends on what type of policy you have.

jamilworm | 4 maj 2019

What is the cost of the same car now? Many prices have gone down so that could explain the lower valuation than you were expecting.

Hassancook24 | 4 maj 2019

I think you're kinda screwed because of the price drops from when the SR and SR+ came out. Unfortunately Tesla factored in the Federal tax incentive into the price of the car, then when phased out they dropped the prices. I wish I had more advice for you other than to switch carriers. I've heard AAA is a pain

OC.M3 | 4 maj 2019

I bought Metlife insurance for this very reason, plus features AAA doesn't offer (on top of being expensive)

no deductible glass repair (and M3 has a lot of glass)
Gap insurance (no depreciation if car totaled within first year of policy or 15k miles)--had to have this for M3
Got extra discount good for 3 yrs if I completed a 90-min online course on basics of good driving
can pay my bill w/ credit card (for rewards)--something AAA won't do

Point being--shop around for your baby M3. Too important not to...

rxlawdude | 4 maj 2019

If it was the other driver's fault, you are entitled to be "made whole." That means FULL price reimbursement of a "like" vehicle. You should not be out of pocket, unless you choose to upgrade to a newer model.

The fact it's the same insurance company is irrelevant to the situation, where the other driver was at fault.

PhillyBob | 4 maj 2019

As ralawdude said, you should be able to buy the exact make, model and mileage of your vehicle that was totaled. In fact, the insurance will take care of the sales tax too. You should be comparing to a dealership number, Tell your adjuster that you are getting ready to hire outside council ..... that will probably move them off the number. If you are comparing your price to getting a new vehicle, then you are dreaming .....

btw ... if you are a savvy shopper, you should be able to get a better deal by purchasing from a private party ....

lbowroom | 4 maj 2019

You appear to be price shopping compared to new when your car was used.

lbowroom | 4 maj 2019

Demonstrate to AAA that you can't find a used one with same options and miles for that price.

PhillyBob | 4 maj 2019

Sadly there is not a vehicle that can bought that does not depreciate $5K the day you drive it off the lot. The number of people who post in this forum think a vehicle is an investment. What I invested in is pure driving joy .....

JustSaying | 4 maj 2019

Amica , a mutual insurance company (owned by policy owners) when my son totalled his Prius gave us a multipage detail analysis of their offer (including applicable sales tax) and an ability to negotiate.
BTW totalled on Saturday the check by Thursday.

M3BlueGeorgia | 4 maj 2019

Seems like an incredibly good deal, especially since you could buy a new car and get another tax credit, this time for $3,750.

You can buy the LR AWD and add a color and add FSD, and its all paid for. Basically swapping a 6 month old car for a new car.

Exactly what are you complaining about?

Sandman89 | 4 maj 2019

A black colored AWD fully optioned costs 55.5k (plus tax but that's negated by the tax credit). You got 53k. I fail to see how you are out of pocket 10k. At Max you are out 2.5k for a vehicle you drove 3.5k miles. I don't know the color of your vehicle so if it's different, that's another 1k to 1.5k (not factoring in red as don't see that color looking good on a model 3 plus just too expensive...).

Hassancook24 | 4 maj 2019

If you're looking for new insurance, shoot me an email at The credit union I work for can run your info through multiple carriers to get you the best deal. You do have to live in CA, CO,WA, OR, NV, or TX though

rdavis | 4 maj 2019

To be honest... I’m surprised they offered you 53k and not something lower.

rdavis | 4 maj 2019

Doing a quick search shows prices range from 48k-51k on the used market.

Ask the insurance company for substitution of vehicle and see if they can find a like vehicle for you. I personally would rather have the 53k and get my own.

rdavis | 4 maj 2019

As a matter of fact... a fully optioned Model 3 including FSD, larger wheels, white interior, Red, LR-AWD is only $60k - 3,750= 56,250.

I really don’t see what you are complaining about.

M3NOICE | 4 maj 2019

On somewhat related note, I have asked AAA for an insurance quote for an F150 and 2 Model 3s in order to combine auto and home. 5k a year, yes 5 and 3 zeros ?!?!?. I was their customer for 15 years, no accidents. Bye AAA, thank you Costco.

lerryhe | 4 maj 2019

Thanks so much for everyone's input. really appreciated it. to be clear, my model 3 is long rang+FSD+red color. ordering brand new one will be $57,500 + tax and registration fee ($7,950) = $65450. AAA only gave me 53K totally, I have to pay $12450 out of pocket even including Fed tax credit, still about 9K. anybody thinking I am getting a good offer from AAA? also my car drove a few months less than 4K miles, it's almost a new car.

rdavis | 4 maj 2019

Your tax and reg is 14%... ouch.

If you don’t like the offer, don’t accept it. You can file suite against the other driver or pull some comps and make a counter offer to the insurance.

ben.tsm | 4 maj 2019

Why are you comparing to the price of a new car? Compare to the price of a used one with same options and very low miles. But I agree with others who said you should be out of pocket zero, as the other party is at fault. Too bad you will need to argue with the other parties side of the insurance to get there, but don’t accept less.

Sandman89 | 4 maj 2019

@larryhe why is the tax so high? Where do you live? Usually most states have tax ranging between 5.5 to 8%. My car was recently totaled, had about 12k miles and liberty gave me 54.6k. btw keep the charger and sell it on eBay for another 300 which is what I did. My configuration was black awd with fsd, stock tires and black interior. However this was given before Tesla further reduced prices. While I understand it's personal preference, but you can save a little money by switching to a different color. Maryland has 6% tax which came out to about 3300 which is still less than 3.75k credit. Check if your state also gives rebate or not (Maryland gives another 3k credit on top). My company was Liberty Mutual. In the end after credits, I upgraded to brand new white and still came out with more money (albeit not immediately as I do have to wait on the rebate and credits, but that money is as good as if it's in the bank already). Maybe you can fight for another 2k max based on the current prices and your previous color but nothing more imo.

rdavis | 4 maj 2019

As an FYI, Kelly blue book for dealer price is $ 45,500-52,000... so you may not have much of a complaint. From what I see online, they seem to range 45,000 to 47,000 for that mileage without FSD.

Maybe you can haggle a few more K from them, but it appears you can buy a replacement of similar Mojave for that $ 53k.

tigerkc | 4 maj 2019

After factoring in the Federal credit for $7500 (2018) and $3750 (2019), you are actually ahead, assuming you are able to claim the full credit. Just saying ...

Hal Fisher | 4 maj 2019

You might be given first dibs on buying it back salvage. It might certainly be worth far more than the $1k they might want for it. They usually sell totaled cars for dirt cheap

Hal Fisher | 4 maj 2019

Also at least grab what you can out of it like the cable pouch and adapters. You can sell that whole kit for $300.

lerryhe | 4 maj 2019

@qasim715 I live in California Bay Area, I use this online tool to calculate the tax/title cost ( remember that I paid similar tax/title fee etc last year. so my point is I should pay zero out of pocket to get a comparable model 3 either new or similar range/milesages right?

rjriker | 4 maj 2019

The insurance company we chose is a little more expensive than some but they have an option that costs extra that covers the full price of a brand new car with all the options we purchased it with, minus the standard deduction. We had a choice as to what level we wanted the deduction to be, and that affects the premium as well. They do not care how many miles you have on the car either.

Sandman89 | 4 maj 2019

@larryhe dang didn't realize California is that bad with taxes...I guess your best option would be to find all the listings of a comparable used model 3 that you can and use that for negotiation purposes because yes you should not have to pay extra for a comparable car. Terrible situation to be in no doubt.

spuzzz123 | 4 maj 2019

@op take the money and run! I’m sure you got a tax credit card on you orig purchase. You can get half of one on your next And knowing what you know now get the model you really want! If I had your free “do over” I’d totally get a perf model!

rdavis | 5 maj 2019

First... I don’t think that is correct for reg/tax. Try a more official site like

Second, go look at the used Model 3 market and find comparable cars and what they cost. Then contact the insurance company and start negotiating. If need be, sue the driver of the other vehicle and retain a lawyer.

SoCalDriver | 5 maj 2019

Get a lawyer if you don’t like it, but you’ll pay for that too

rdavis | 5 maj 2019

@spuzz123.... not sure you understand how this works for OP.

Either they have a loan they have to pay off with the insurance check, in which case they may be upside down. Or they paid cash out of pocket and that check just goes back into pocket about 10k less than what they originally had. I don’t see how it’s a “do over” for them.

Depreciation in that first year/months is a bitch.

justincouv | 6 maj 2019

This is why some policies have gap coverage.

You actually got a good deal out of aaa

Nakid | 6 maj 2019

I think the issue you're having it because AAA represents both of you. I think you would fair better arguing full replacement value with someone else's insurance company.
But if I were in your situation, I would be a little upset too. The car is barely 6 months old with that low mileage? I would argue that's essentially a "new" car.

lbowroom | 6 maj 2019

Argue all you want, no such thing as an "essentially new car" Look for an "essentially new car" on the used market, if the prices are higher than your offer, then you have an argument.

ElectricAlex | 6 maj 2019

OP I once upon a time was a long time AAA insured driver, I got rear ended by a kid not paying attention and my agent said, “You will get a new rebuild of your Jeep rear end.” No fuss, no question. I was in the office when they found out the kid was also AAA insured. Suddenly they were looking for any way to not rebuild, looking for cheapest settlement.

Had the Jeep fixed half-assed at thier request, solf the Jeep and fired AAA.

My cousin retired from AAA and still advises people not use them for insurance.

Fire them, tell them to pound sand.

ElectricAlex | 6 maj 2019

That would be “sold the Jeep...”

jeff | 6 maj 2019

You get what you pay for with insurance. Hope you enjoyed the $100 you saved on using a decent company and replacement value insurance.

howard | 7 maj 2019

GAP and Replacement Value are typically a rider with most companies. I pay a little bit more for both. On my Airstream, I negotiated 3-year new replacement and it was less than $200 a year more. You essentially self-insured for the difference in policy savings. Did not work out this time.

badaman | 7 maj 2019

Did you NOT get $10K in tax credit for the damaged M3?

Zztops | 7 maj 2019

$53 sounds like a win honestly... and I believe you are grossly over estimating taxes... I live in the same region as you with a vehicle that had a sticker of 4k higher than yours and my tax and reg was less than 6k. lets just say you paid 6K

your purchase total was 65K... you got 10K plus 500 from PG&E.. you are at 54.5K for your car... a 1.5k loss isnt bad at all. in fact id take it... run... and buy a P3D..

with today's prices you can get a dual motor long range, red, and fsd for 57.5K... so after taxes roughly 63.5k...

after the tax incentives and rebates (3750+2500+500) you are looking at roughly 56.75K... chalk that up to getting a newer car with FSD hardware...

If you dont like it, ill give you my car and you give me that check + difference in original build price and you will only be out of pocket roughly 4K...

THEN i'll go buy that P3D ;-)

simonettel | 15 maj 2019

I am going through the same thing. F150 smashed into my M3 4 days ago and the car is totaled. Battery is dead and I can’t get inside my car (app and key card not working)

Has anyone had to call a certified tow company to manually get the car opened? Called a few places and they charge $135-45 an hour and start charging when they leave their office and stop charging once they return to their office. Sounds like BS to me not to just quote a price. Any advice?