Your car has been totaled. Your life has been very stressful the last few weeks— you’re trying to get to work and doctor’s appointments without your car. And you’re on the phone all the time with the insurance company just trying to get them to offer you money. Then, finally, an adjuster calls you out of the blue and rattles off how much they are going to pay you for your car.
At first, you think it sounds alright. After all, you had such low expectations. Then you realize that the number they gave you includes sales tax and other fees.
You do research online at Kelley Blue Book. You search for similar vehicles for sale on websites such as Autotrader.com, Cars.com, and Carfax.com. After looking at these websites, you are convinced the insurance company is underpaying your total loss claim.
So you call the adjuster back. Explain to them how you did all this research and your car is worth more than what the insurance company offered. The adjuster calmly responds that the insurance company ran a valuation report that is very thorough. The report searched the market area for comparables and then adjusted the price based on options, mileage, and condition.
The insurance adjuster offers to send you a copy of the valuation report for you to review and then emails you a copy of the report.
CCCOne Market Valuation Report
When you first get a CCCOne Report it looks very impressive. It’s in color, well organized, and relatively easy to read. The report is usually between 12-18 pages long.
On the first page is the CCCOne Report Summary. This page provides the Base Value of your vehicle along with the Adjusted Value. Both the Base Value and the Adjusted Value are calculated by CCCOne.
The Base Value and Adjusted Value are determined by CCCOne’s methodology. On the second page it explains the methodology. Again, at first glance, it looks very impressive.
One interesting point is that CCCOne’s methodology changes from insurance company to insurance company, which means that this page will look different depending on which insurance company asked for the report.
One of the biggest problems with CCCOne’s methodology are the condition adjustments it makes. Neither CCCOne or your insurance company have inspected the comparable vehicles that were used in the report. More often than not, the insurance adjuster preparing this report has not even inspected your totaled vehicle but just viewed photographs.
Also, CCCOne’s mileage adjustment is often inconsistent and not in line with generally accepted motor vehicle industry practices.
How to Fight a CCCOne Report Depends on Whether Your Claim is First Party or Third Party
A First Party Insurance Claim is one that you make with your own insurance company. In this case, under your Collision or Comprehensive coverage. If this is the type of claim you are presenting, more information and tips are below.
A Third Party Insurance Claim is one that you make against another driver—generally, the at-fault party. If you are making a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance, read this article:
Your CCCOne Report May Not Comply with Florida Law for First Party Insurance Claims
If you are processing your total loss claim through your own insurance company, Florida law has requirements for your insurance company. Before you start negotiating, it is important to know the rules that are supposed to be followed.
The main statute is Florida Statute 626.9743 – Claim Settlement Practices Relating to Motor Vehicle Insurance. The statute states that an insurance company
may elect a cash settlement based upon the actual cost to purchase a comparable motor vehicle, including sales tax, if applicable pursuant to subsection (9)….Florida Statute 626.9743 (5)(a)
This Florida law then provides multiple methods an insurance company can use to determine the actual cost to purchase a comparable motor vehicle. It is our position that your insurance company’s use of CCCOne may not meet this law’s requirements, based on the reports we have seen.
CCCOne was created for insurance companies. There is a reason that most insurer’s use this system to evaluate total loss claims. Insurance adjusters will often tell you that every insurance company uses this system or that it is “industry standard.”
The failure to follow the law is a systemic issue. Do not expect to change the insurance industry through your one claim.
Tips for Negotiating a Total Loss Claim with Your Insurance Company
- First, ask for the valuation report
Florida law requires an insurance company to send you the valuation report, if you ask for it. 626.9743(5)(2)(a)&(b). It will be very hard to negotiate your total loss claim if you do not see the basis for the insurance company’s settlement offer.
- Research the comparables on the CCCOne Report
Look up all the listings of comparable vehicles on the CCCOne Report. Are those vehicles available and are the details accurate? The listings should have where they came from. Also, check to see if you can find an accident history on the listings. The retailer may disclose that on the listing but it is unlikely that CCCOne took that into account for comparables in your report.
- Look out for condition adjustments on the CCCOne Report
If your CCCOne report has accurate comparables listed on it, but then there are significant adjustments, ask about how those adjustments were determined. Generally, the adjustments are made at the bottom of each comparable. Their arbitrary nature is evident as the adjustments normally are the same for each comparable. See below for an example.
- Send comparable motor vehicles in your area to the adjuster
Florida law states that an insurer may elect a cash settlement based upon “the cost of two or more such comparable vehicles available within the preceding 90 days.” 626.9743(5)(a)(1). At first glance, it appears CCCOne reports comply with this method. However, many CCCOne reports have arbitrary adjustments – for condition, mileage, or projected sold adjustments. Many CCCOne reports do not merely use the cost of two more comparables.
- Pull a paid report from an industry source such as JD Power (formerly NADA)
Florida law also states that an insurance company can determine the actual cost of your vehicle by:
The retail cost as determined from a generally recognized used motor vehicle industry source such as:Florida Statute 626.9743(5)(a)(2)
a. An electronic database if the pertinent portions of the valuation documents generated by the database are provided by the insurer to the first-party insured upon request; or
b. A guidebook that is generally available to the general public if the insurer identifies the guidebook used as the basis for the retail cost to the first-party insured upon request;
Again, your CCCOne report seems to meet this method. But Florida requires the retail cost as determined from a generally recognized used motor vehicle industry source. You’ll notice the law doesn’t say a “generally recognized insurance industry source.”
CCCOne is not used by the motor vehicle industry. Used car dealers do not use CCCOne to determine what to sell a vehicle for. They do use JD Power’s database (which was formerly NADA). There is a cost to access the database that car dealers use. However, you can buy a report for a few dollars. The prices generated by this system are much more accurate as it includes actual sales data. Also, the mileage adjustments are consistently applied.
Sometimes insurance companies try to deduct storage fees, towing fees, or other collision repair fees from your total loss settlement. Read this article if your insurance company is threatening to deduct storage fees from your total loss settlement.
Our law firm represents people when their insurance company fails to pay them enough for their total loss claim.
Call us at (407) 848-5800
Irvin & Irvin always offers a free consultation. We may be able to help you without having to hire us.
If you do need to hire us, we represent clients on a contingency fee. That means we don’t get paid unless we make a recovery for you.
If we are successful, your insurance company has to pay your attorneys’ fees and court costs in addition to the amount they owe you for your total loss claim.