Useful Insurance Claims Websites and Resources
Post Insurance Claims Websites Questions (below)
Following are insurance claims websites and resources with descriptions that will provide information to help you maximize your car, home and business insurance claim.
Kelley Blue Book – www.kbb.com New and used vehicle pricing/valuations for Automobiles, Trucks (light), Motorcycles, Boats, Classic Cars. In our opinion, their valuations are generally higher than NADA on cars and pickup trucks, but lower on watercraft. Note, their online valuations are not nearly as detailed as their paper guide books, which you can usually find at your local public or county law library or car dealer. This guide book is more popular with insurers in the US western states.
NADA “Gold Book” – www.nadaguides.com Vehicle pricing/valuations for new and used Automobiles, Trucks (light), Motorcycles, Boats, Classic Cars, RVs. In our opinion, their valuations are generally higher than Kelley Book on watercraft and lower on cars and pickup trucks. Note, their online valuations are not nearly as detailed as their paper guide books, which you can usually find at your local public or county law library or car dealer. This guide book is more popular with insurers in the US eastern states. (It is also more popular with tax assessors in counties that annually tax watercraft).
Trader Online – www.traderonline.com New and used classified listings of motorized vehicles for sale such as Automobiles, Trucks (heavy and light), Motorcycles, Boats, Aircraft, Equipment, Classic Cars, RVs. In our opinion this site has not only the largest selection, but is the easiest to search by type and geographic region. Use this website to find comparable vehicles to yours for claim settlement purposes. Start here first.
Cars.Com – www.cars.com New and used classified listings of motorized vehicles for sale such as Automobiles, Trucks (light). It tends to be tied into newspaper classified ads. Use this website to find comparable vehicles to yours for claim settlement purposes.
Car Fax – www.carfax.com Provides vehicle history based on vin (vehicle ID number). Of course this site is useful for purchasing a used vehicle to see if it was previously totaled or crashed, to check odometer mileage and type of use (rental, fleet). You can also use it to discredit an insurers “comparable” vehicle if you suspect the insurer is using it in a “lowball” valuation. Motorcycles are not listed as of July 2008.
Auto Check – www.autocheck.com Provides vehicle history based on vin (vehicle ID number). Of course this site is useful for purchasing a used vehicle to see if it was previously totaled or crashed, to check odometer mileage and type of use (rental, fleet). You can also use it to discredit an insurers “comparable” vehicle if you suspect the insurer is using it in a “lowball” valuation.
California Auto Body Association – www.calautobody.com Useful information if your insured vehicle is being repaired.
National Auto Body Council – www.autobodycouncil.org As of 2007, not really of much benefit to the consumer. But the closest thing to a national auto body association available. Individual state auto body associations may be of more benefit to consumers.
California Bureau of Automotive Repair – www.autorepair.ca.gov A good source to check on a body shops complaint record before agreeing to using the insurer’s body shop. For example, to see if it has a habit of repairing parts that it was paid to replace. (Look under that trim panel to see if the sheet metal was repaired or replaced). Check your own states department of consumer affairs, automotive repair division. This is usually one government service (unlike state insurance departments) that is eager to investigate your complaint. State investigators are usually snubbed by body shops and so they have a bit of a revenge motive. That works to the consumers benefit.
NAPIA (National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters) – www.napia.com A good way to find public adjusters in your area. Although the organization provides excellent education for its members, many members join just to put the logo on their advertising and skip the education part. Look for “certified” NAPIA members when considering hiring a public adjuster.
National Contractors State License Referral Website – www.contractors-license.org – A good way to get linked to any US state contractor license board and check for complaints as well as aids in hiring and managing a contractor in your state. Note – if your state has no such free publications, get them from the California License Board. You can tell the clerk you are considering building or buying in California.
California State Contractors License Board – www.cslb.ca.gov A good source to check on a contractor’s complaint record before hiring him. Also provides very good free publications on how to hire and manage a contractor. You would be surprised how many consumers sign contracts that don’t meet the basic legal requirements.
Association of General Contractors – www.agc.org As of 2007, not really of much benefit to the consumer. But the closest thing to a national contractor association available. Individual state contractor associations may be of more benefit to consumers.
Findlaw – www.findlaw.com Use this link and go to “Legal Professionals” to find federal and state law, cases, statutes, etc. in all US states. It is open to the public and very easy to use. Start with this legal research site first.
Emory University Law Library – www.law.emory.edu/index.php?id=552 A public source for legal research.
California Department of Insurance – www.insurance.ca.gov A good source for consumer information that is free. Also some very good free publications. Note – no state insurance department is going to help you “maximize” your insurance claim. Most of their employees are recruited from the insurance industry and their attitudes are similar. When they boast about fighting fraud, its fraud by policy holders, not fraud by insurers. A $5,000.00 maximum fine for an unfair claim practice by an insurer is a joke, especially in a legal system that can fine you, a consumer, $150,000.00 per song downloaded illegally! No government department of insurance has the guts to revoke the license of an Allstate or a State Farm Insurance.
General Insurance Links – www.ultimateinsurancelinks.com More geared to people in the insurance business, but here it is anyway. It has links to US states departments of insurance.
NAIC (National Association of Insurance commissioners) – www.naic.org/cis We give you this link because it may help you in shopping for a good insurer. It will show the number of complaints and the complaint ratio for complaints against insurers. It can also be shown by state.
Better Business Bureau – www.bbb.org If you believe the BBB can have any impact on an insurance company, then here it is. You could use the BBB to establish a record on the insurer’s “preferred” body shops and contractors and local agent. You might also want to consider their mediation and arbitration services offered in some areas. They can be very economical and a fresh departure if your local judicial mediation and arbitration services seem to be dominated by the “Good Ol Boys” ..