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Auto Insurance Claims/settelment on car that has been totaled


QUESTION: so far I have not had a very good experance with my insurance co. and I am expecting A low ball on my car that was deemed a total loss.Its a 2013 acura rdx basic front wheel drive with aprox 6300 miles 5 months old.I'm hopeing you can tell me what the true value should be? Little Egg Harbor Ocean county NJ 08087

ANSWER: In New Jersey, retail value is the mark.  For the vehicle you described, any offer over $32000.00 would be fair, in my opinion.

I hope this helps!

If you get low balled, you have options, you can invoke the appraisal clause.  This will force your company to hire an independent appraiser, and it will force you to hire an independent appraiser.  If the independents can't agree, an umpire is chosen and that person determines who is right about the value.  

Information is always free at Petty Details, LLC!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: any ideas on how to find a good certified appraiser,preferably in the south jersey area. and what the cost might come to ?

The best company is my own, I do not have a counterpart in New Jersey that I would feel comfortable referring to.  The cost is $375.00 plus tax (appraisal clause), or you can get a market value report for $225.00, but that's just the report and you'd have to present the evidence yourself.  The prices I quoted include a physical inspection of your vehicle.  

Also, just so you know, there is really no such thing as a certified appraiser.  I guess one could be certified, but anybody that certifies an appraiser has simply created their own private certification program.  I am aware of no official government authority issuing certificates to appraisers.  I held an all lines adjuster license for many years and acted as an appraiser for insurance companies and attorneys many times, and there was never any license or certification required to appraise.  Appraisers are defined by their experience, training, and specialized knowledge.  Be careful when selecting an appraiser.  Many people qualify as appraisers, but there are few true expert appraisers.  Any certification is without merit unless some investigation into the person or "authority" who is doing the certification is performed and their credentials / expertise confirmed.

I have been asked to certify appraisers, but I have not yet certified anyone. If I do certified them, they could then claim to be certified appraisers under the "Petty Details Appraiser Certification Program" or PDACP Certified.  Follow?  Even though I truly am an expert, how are you to know that my certification is worth anything?  Same goes for the other appraisal certifications.  Also, I don't really buy into the whole "give me $300.00 and you can be part of the certified network" deal.  I just don't think a certification should include any transfer of funds.  I understand administrative costs, but I don't think the math adds up for most certified societies.  

Now, the appraisal itself SHOULD be certified, though.  The appraisal itself needs to contain language that "certifies" it as completed properly and under the right method for the state where the appraisal is happening.  There is a formal methodology that should be used, but generally appraisers use various techniques to arrive at opinions of market value, which is what any appraisal is, a qualified opinion, developed using proper techniques and data.  

If none of this makes sense, or if you have other questions, I urge you to look us up and contact the office.  Nobody trumps me in this field.  Information is always free at Petty Details, LLC!  If you don't think we're for you, you can surely google for appraisers in NJ and should find a plethora to go through.  

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Justin Petty


Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.


Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author ( All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

Past/Present Clients
State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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