Thanks for taking the time to check us out. Our goal with the new blog is to make you smarter about your rights when dealing with vehicle insurers and we promise that if you follow our blog going forward, you’ll learn a lot about “total loss claims, vehicle appraisals, arbitrations and how the “system” is designed to avoid paying many of you what your vehicle is actually worth.
If you’ve had a chance to look through our site, you’ve probably figured out by now that we know what we’re talking about when we say that the vast majority of vehicle owners really don’t know their rights when dealing with insurance companies, especially when it comes to vehicle values and claim settlements associated with total loss and accident repair claims.
In the coming weeks and months, we’re going to cover topics that include MPI claims in Manitoba, vehicle appraisals, purchasing new and used vehicles and at least 10 important things every vehicle owner needs to know before buying, registering and, in many cases, making claims with insurance providers like MPI.
Because we’re based in Manitoba, our first focus will be on Manitoba Public Insurance and how MPI saves enormous amounts of money every year by underpaying, or “lowballing” offers to victims of total loss claims. It is a common practice with MPI and because most MPI customers aren’t aware that there are independent appeal procedures available to them that, when utilized, will ensure they get a fair settlement that reflects what their written off vehicle is really worth.
It might surprise you to learn that when your vehicle is “written off” by MPI, for whatever reason, that nobody involved in deciding what they offer you for your vehicle is actually a qualified vehicle appraiser and that, in most cases, no qualified appraiser ever physically inspects your vehicle prior to that offer being made. Instead, MPI consults the Canadian Black Book, which, even when used correctly, is only a guide, not a bible, on vehicle values. They also look back in time to see what they’ve paid out on similar vehicles in the past.
Finally, in most cases, they run the general info on your vehicle through an American company called ADP / Autosource (why Manitoba drivers have to rely on a U.S. company to decide what Manitoba vehicles are worth has never been fully explained, but it costs Manitoba taxpayers a shitload of money every year).
The catch is that many companies like ADP are notoriously biased in favor of the insurance companies and undervalue total loss vehicles to save their clients money.
Here’s an excerpt from a story in The Chicago Tribune a few years ago that pretty much says it all…
“Both ADP and CCC, as well as other, smaller players, claim to save insurers from paying many millions of dollars in “excessive claims. But critics have another view. Lawsuits filed in various courts against ADP, CCC and several insurers allege that much of the money saved by insurers has come out of the pockets of claimants unfairly denied the full value of their cars or treatment for their injuries.”
We could go on…and on…and we will as time goes by. For now, know this…in many of the approximately 35,000 total loss claims MPI settles every year, the system is rigged against you getting paid the true value for your vehicle. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that an independent appeals process called Appraisal or Arbitration exists in Manitoba and is available to anyone who feels that they are getting offered less than what their vehicle is really worth and we will explain it in more detail in a future post.
In the meantime, if you’re in the midst of dealing with a total loss claim, call or email us and we’ll fill you in on how to get your claim out of MPI’s hands and into the independent process.