Record a written appraisal with the insurance company.
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Many vehicle owners may have modified their vehicles by adding performance parts to the engine, or you may have added some exterior body enhancement or replacement parts or accessories. Or your vehicle may not have any modifications but may be a low kilometer or very clean vehicle. With a vehicle that has low kilometers or with these modifications or enhancement parts added, it gives your vehicle a substantial increase in value. However, if your vehicle gets stolen or burnt the insurance company has no record of the vehicle’s condition or the additional parts that you may have added to enhance the vehicles’ appearance. Often, receipts are not proof enough that you have upgraded your vehicle.
The only way to have proof of your vehicles’ condition and appearance is to have an appraisal done on the vehicle so that the insurance company has a record of it on file. Many insurance companies will err on the lower side of value when doing a payout if your vehicle is a total loss due to damage, fire or it is stolen.
The appraisal includes photos of the vehicles’ interior, exterior and drive train. The appraisal also includes a cover letter indicating what you have done with the vehicle and what additions or enhancements or modifications that you have done to the vehicle to add to its value. There is also a detailed and itemized list included as part of the report that shows the items that have been put on your vehicle and the condition of each part of the vehicle. With this report filed with the insurance company there are never any issues or argument as to the value or condition of your vehicle if there is a total loss. This report is usually good for a period of three years but is up to the individual insurance company as to how often it should be renewed. Should you add additional items to your vehicle at any time, it would be wise to have an updated appraisal submitted to the insurance company.
Should you be faced with trying to prove to the insurance company as to the condition of your vehicle after it has been stolen and you have not had an appraisal done on it in the past, we can still submit an appraisal with information supplied by you. However, it is a little more difficult to prove the value.