TLDR; go through your own collision insurance and then try to prove the condition of the comps is not what they are rated at.
I’m in NC. Wife was in a wreck a few weeks ago that was 100% other drivers fault. He was ticketed for failure yield in addition to driving on a revoked license. He did not own the vehicle but at least someone had it insured.
Filed a claim through the vehicle owner’s insurance who declared the vehicle a total loss and offered a little over 6k to settle based on CCC evaluation. I spent hours looking through VIN history and dealer ads for each vehicle they listed. They rated the condition of her vehicle at,or below average for every category. Every vehicle listed for sale as a comp was automatically considered in “dealer ready” condition which equaled a ~$1200 difference excluding mileage and option differences. Among the issues I found included: -One vehicle with a salvage/rebuilt title history. -One where the listed source price was $2000 higher than the comp. -Multiple vehicles with medium sized dents, seat stains, and one covered with enough mold to look like a biohazard. -4 out of 12 had no pictures available to examine, and one had no record of being listed for sale at all.
While her vehicle had some minor scratches and door dings, it was in the best condition of all but one comp (which was low mileage). I had the maintenance history and a recent oil analysis to prove the vehicle was in above average mechanical condition. I sent my corrected version of the ccc back and upped their price by 600. Adjuster wouldn’t budge.
Filled through my own collision and received the exact same appraisal number from CCC. At least my insurance gave us more credits for condition but most items were in average condition. Minus deductible, came to the same approximately 6k offer (hopefully eventually getting the deductible back). I sent the same info to my own adjuster and made an offer that was essentially NADA value minus a couple hundred. He said he thought my number was excessive and that it didn’t reflect actual cash value but would present my info to the appraisal company and get back with me.
About a week later, he returned with an offer about 1k over the initial. He was still short my number by $500 but the cost of contesting it further was going up, as in NC it meant paying an umpire. I had already paid for an independent appraisal, but his number was high ($9k) and his comps were further away despite being closer in mileage and condition.
Once the deductible is recovered, We’ll get about $7600 as opposed to the original $6k offer.
Side note: I’m a little disgusted by this whole procedure. Had we not had a spare car to drive we would have been under more pressure to take the first number. Many people don’t have that option or don’t have their own collision coverage to use.
Side-side note: Adjusters keep referring to this “actual cash value” as a scientifically methodical number determined by their “independent appraiser”. At least in this case, it was an educated guess based on listing prices and what turned out to be poor assumptions on condition of comps. The error is probably lower on newer, lower mileage vehicles, but if you have a good condition 10 year old car it’s likely off.