Q: My car was determined a total loss. How can I determine if the actual cash value offer the insurance company is offering is fair?
A: You should be aware that the fair market value (or "actual cash value") is not what you purchased the vehicle for, nor what you owe on the loan. This means that the car is worth what an identical car could be sold for in today's market. The Kelley Blue Book does give you a starting point. We recommend using "www.cars.com" to do a search for similar cars in a 500-mile radius. This will give you asking prices for similar cars. You can also contact dealerships and ask them what they'd list the car for with the same options and the same mileage, etc. Bottom line: if the insurance company's offer is similar to what our own comparables research tells you, then we'd recommend that you accept the offer. If not, we can negotiate the value upwards for clients by showing comparables to the carrier and attempting to find some middle ground.