Oregon consumers who total their vehicle will have more information and more leverage as they negotiate their vehicle’s value with insurers, beginning Jan. 1, 2010, according to the state Department of Consumer and Business Services Insurance Division.
House Bill 2190 will increase the transparency of the total-loss process by requiring insurers to provide vehicle owners with written explanations of the methods used to determine the value of a totaled vehicle as well as additional information about the total loss process. We will be creating the total-loss notice insurers will be required to provide to consumers. Additionally, HB 2190 will reduce the pressure on some consumers to settle by requiring insurers to pay consumers the undisputed amount of the vehicle’s value up front while negotiations continue. Finally, the new law encourages insurers to make fair settlement offers. It does this by requiring insurers who include an appraisal provision in their policies to pay a consumer’s reasonable appraisal costs when a final appraisal places a higher value on the vehicle than the company’s final offer, DCBS said.
The Insurance Division has a consumer tip sheet on total loss at: http://insurance.oregon.gov/consumer/consumer-tips/4845-4_vehicle-total-loss.pdf.
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