Some basic questions and answers…
Here are some common situations and questions that we hear on a fairly frequent basis. If you don’t find an answer to your specific issue below, send us your question(s) and we’ll contact you directly to offer advice and to let you know what your best course of action is going forward. Remember…you have rights!
On the subject of appraisals done to establish actual cash value, you should know that many insurance companies, including MPI, won’t always recognize appraisals unless they are done by appraisers whose qualifications can’t be questioned. So…before you spend your money on an appraisal, ensure that your appraiser has a history with your insurer.
A... Absolutely. MPI regularly undervalues vehicles. In fact, the odds of getting more money for your written off vehicle in arbitration are over 90% when you hire us to act on your behalf.
A... In that event, the arbitrators will appoint a third-party appraiser, called an umpire. The umpire will review both sides of the dispute, study the current market prices and inspect the vehicle (where possible) to determine a fair market cash value for the vehicle. If they can’t agree on an umpire, each side will submit their umpire choices to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a decision on who should act as umpire. The umpire’s decision is binding on both parties.
A... No, the process is available to you for repairs as well. If you’re unhappy with the quality or the extent of the repairs done by an authorized repair shop, you have the right to take the complaint to arbitration to seek satisfaction.
A...No. There is no “certification” process in Manitoba for appraisers. Your best result will come if you hire independent experts with extensive experience representing both the public and MPI. They know how the system works. Our experts have over 75 years of combined experience and we have handled thousands of MPI claims representing both sides of disputes.
A... Yes. There are a number of actions that we can take to convince MPI to overturn that decision. Denied claims are seldom cut and dried and many claims are reinstated when the right arguments are made. Talk to us.
A... No, you don’t. If you believe you’re being overcharged for insurance, you can have the car appraised. You then take the appraisal to your Autopac agent and you will be charged on the value of the appraisal, not the inflated amount.
A... No, you don’t “need” to have it appraised, but it’s a good idea. You should also have a record of work done, a pictorial history of the vehicle and a current opinion on value in case the vehicle is ever stolen or burnt and can’t be physically inspected. The appraisal or the opinion on value should be done by independent experts recognized by MPI or you risk having MPI ignoring the source of the appraisal.
A...No, they are not. In January of 2018, MPI forced appraisers they use to sign an agreement that rendered them biased in MPI’s favor. As a result, MPI’s two most senior appraisers, with over 75 years of experience, resigned from the list and will no longer represent MPI. They will, however, now represent you. Accurate Appraisals was founded for that purpose.
A...No, you don’t. Once MPI has made a final offer in writing, they must pay you that amount, plus taxes, up front...even if you take the claim to arbitration. The arbitration will then deal with any additional money you feel your vehicle is worth.
A... No. Many of our clients hire us right from day one because they simply hate dealing with MPI and they prefer not to have to. Once you authorize us to act on your behalf, MPI must deal directly with us until the claim is settled to your satisfaction.
A...Costs vary, depending on the service you require. We always provide a cost breakdown before we begin, and, in arbitration cases, we guarantee to get you more from MPI than what you pay us, or we’ll give you your money back. Period.
A...That’s a tough one. Every claim is different and there’s no set time limit. MPI prefers to have them done in 30 days, but if MPI’s appraiser chooses to drag it out, it can take a while. Two weeks would be a rough average, but there’s no guarantees. The good news is that you get your advance payment of their final offer immediately, so any waiting is only for the extra money you hope to get. Patience favors the insured because MPI wants claims closed ASAP.
A... That’s an easy one. ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING! Do not negotiate over the phone. Do it by email or snail mail or fax. If they make you an offer, it must be in writing. On MPI claims, the offer must come on a Proof of Loss form. That’s their offer to you. They must provide a second, blank Proof of Loss form for you to fill out with your offer to them. If you reject their offer and they reject your offer, a legal dispute is created and from there, you have the right to move the dispute to arbitration, which takes MPI out of the process and puts it in the hands of the two appraisers for settlement.
A... We suggest you keep current on a bi-annual basis in most cases. Updating the appraisal every six months keeps the appraisal current but does not require a whole new appraisal unless major new work or upgrades have been done. The cost to update an appraisal is also significantly cheaper than re-doing it from scratch.
A... Move on. If you feel you’re not being treated fairly, call us. We’ll take it from there.
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