Why is the Value of My Property Damage Claim So Low?
Property damage claims in Georgia are frustrating for most clients because generally speaking, the value of a damaged piece of property is not what people expect. In the case of cars, they are generally sold for more than they are worth, which skews our perceived value. Georgia law sets the value of personal property at the fair market value of the car, as if it were being sold at auction. Unfortunately, this value doesn't always match what the bank is owed on a loan for the property or what a private buyer would pay for the property in a private sale.
Because insurance companies know that the law in Georgia limits the value of a property damage claims, they may not not be willing to negotiate for things like after market modifications without evidence that they were covered under the policy and added to the property within a reasonable amount of time before the loss. A classic example is if a car is damaged in a wreck and deemed a total loss but a month before the wreck the car had a new motor installed. If the insurance company is provided a bill of sale or receipt for the new motor, then generally speaking the value of that new motor will be considered in the determination of the total value of the property damage.