When we write off a vehicle, the decision is based on 4 factors:
- the cost of repairing the vehicle
- the estimated salvage value of the damaged vehicle
- the market value of the vehicle immediately prior to the loss
- loss of use costs, such as a rental (if applicable)
Determining a vehicle's value
We use a comprehensive database from Audatex Autosource, an independent provider of valuation services, to help determine the market value of your vehicle. Autosource has valued millions of cars, trucks, and classic and specialty vehicles since 1981.
We use the Autosource database because it offers values on over 30 million vehicles annually, with over 750,000 vehicles added per week.
Before we submit your vehicle information to Autosource to determine its value, the adjuster will go over the vehicle's condition and options with you to ensure that there is agreement on them.
Factors considered in the calculation of your vehicle's value include:
- exterior condition
- interior condition
- condition of mechanical components
- condition of tires
- after market equipment
Your adjuster reviews the value received from Autosource to ensure it is appropriate and then contacts you with the offer of settlement and will provide you with a copy of the Autosource valuation package for your information so you can see how the vehicle was valued, including examples of similar vehicles that have been offered for sale.
Repairs to your vehicle
The adjuster will also want to see original invoices for major repairs to your car within the last year to the:
- exhaust system
- electrical system
- repainting of the vehicle
Normal maintenance such as oil changes, tune ups and replacement of belts and hoses will not affect the market value of your vehicle.
If you're not happy with the price offered, you may use arbitration to resolve the situation. Two appraisers - one appointed and paid for by you, and the other by SGI - will choose a mutually acceptable umpire and the 3 individuals will render a decision.
Note: You can represent yourself in the arbitration process.
Both you and SGI share the costs of the umpire equally. We cannot regulate the costs of the umpire. Costs typically range from $50 to $150. If the parties cannot agree on an umpire, either party can ask the courts to appoint one.
The decision reached is binding upon both you and SGI.