Q: Why choose you instead of one of the other Auto Appraisers in the area?
Ken: Just like body shops, most Diminished Value and Total Loss appraisers work for Insurance Companies also and are
paid motivated to give you a more conservative appraisal. Many use variations of the banned formula 17C in their reports to give Insurance Companies who provide them volume business a “LOW BALL” appraisal. I don’t have any association and/or work for any Insurance Company. I feel that is a conflict of interest to produce a report for both an Insurance Company and Claimants that may oppose them.
Q: How can I tell if an appraiser also works for Insurance Companies?
Ken: The easiest way is just to ask. Most appraisers in bed with Insurance companies will own up to working with them. They don’t want any trouble with the FTC, or the Insurance Division of the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services.
Q: Can’t I just get an report from a Diminished Value Calculator or one of the cheap out of state report mills?
Ken: In the state of Oregon, you’re required to be certified by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to appraise a vehicle except in extenuating circumstances. Most out of state online appraisers do not have this Certification and since no one has come up with an accurate Diminished Value Calculator, most are just scams. Finding out if a potential appraiser is Authorized by the State of Oregon is as simple as looking online at ODOT’s Certified Appraiser License Search to determine if the Appraiser is qualified to appraise a vehicle in Oregon. Many insurance companies consider appraisals completed by Appraisers not certified by ODOT invalid and easy to defeat in court. I’ve also looked at most of the Diminished Value Calculators online and find they can easily be off by thousands. I even randomly compared 3 settled cases and the “calculated” DV and found that if those clients had used a Diminished Value Calculator, they would have lost at least $2000 each.
Q:How does your Vehicle Sales background compare with other appraisers who have a mechanical and/or body shop background?
Ken: I believe that one of the main reasons that my clients have been so successful with their claims using my appraisals is that Insurance companies have a hard time disputing my logic. I build a case as to why the vehicle has lost resale value. I may visit a body shop many times in order to collect all the photos and video I need to prove a vehicle has lost resale value. I don’t just look at inherent diminished value, I also look for Repair Related diminished value which can significantly increase a Diminished Value Claim. Where many of my colleagues only use damage modifiers and never take in account a buyers perception, I do. Because of that, my Diminished Value findings tend to be more accurate and up to 50% higher than those based on illegal modifier formulas based off of formula 17C. I also believe my Sales Background becomes more important when another appraiser calls me to negotiate the Value of the Vehicle. I’m an excellent negotiator, especially over the phone. I never pressure or try to badger the insurance company’s appraiser into agreeing with my valuation, I use facts and logic to proof my valuation’s position.