When a car is totaled why don't the insurance companies use the Kelly Blue Book to figure the value?

I'm in California, I was told they use a sytstem of finding 8-10 cars with your specs (year, mileage, extras, etc..) and then average it out for the value of the car....I know the condition of the vehicle prior to the accident could come into question however this process seems to tilt toward in the insurance companies favor......thoughts?


Looking up my car on nadaguides.com it was within 200$ of KellyBB and thanks for the duh answer, really intelligent! and I get that insurance is to protect us, I got hit from someone running a red w/a cop behind him and got completely totaled so i just want fair value for my car, which was an 07 with 8k miles on it.....and in my opinion that value shouldn't differ just because its an ins co.....however Im not naive enough to think that ins co's hose people all the time.....I got a sob story from Mercury since the guy only has 10k of coverage for property damage...I suppose wanting a fair outcome is a stretch in these cases.

Update 2:

thanks david c, yes that was helpful.....car was deemed totaled already so now I'm waiting on the settlement...i was told that they find 8-10 cars with similar characteristics and average out the price from those....

8 Answers

  • bobby
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Insurance adjusters do not use the Kelly Blue Book because it only list estimated values of a vehicle. Insurance adjusters do not use the Black Book either. If they use any book at all, is is the NADA, (National Automobile Dealers Association). The NADA book gives the base value of a automobile and also includes the figures for vehicle options and how much do deduct for certain things, such as high mileage, and to add for certain things, such as alloy wheels, luggage racks, low mileage, etc. Yes, the NADA does list those little things that we don't think about where the other books do not. Depending on how your states laws are written, Insurance companies are required by law to give you a fair value. and also required by law if the damage estimate exceeds 75% of the value, they are required to total it. Now what I just said may or may not be the case in your state, as I said, it all depends on how your state's laws are written. I hope this helps.

    Additional Info:


    What you are saying about they look at 8 - 10 cars and figure a value from those does not make sense. I have never heard of that, honestly that sounds to me like a bunch of insurance B.S. to me. I would like to advise you to contact a attorney and ask him to advise you of your rights in this matter under California law. Remember, you are one against a insurance company. Insurance companies do want to give you as little as possible for your car. Dont let them screw you over. If your car is a 07 with 8k miles, you should get a darn good settlement. Plus, it would be advisible for you to do your own research. Look up NADA on the web at NADA.com. use it to get an idea of your vehicle's value and that way you will be armed with some information when a settlement is offered to you.

    Source(s): A friend of mine is a Insurance adjuster.
  • Kenny
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Kelly Blue Book really isn't that accurate. most insurance companies use www.nadaguides.com They use a book version rather than the website, because the books are more accurate. If you go to www.nadaguides.com and type in your car with all of your options, look at the average or clean retail value of the vehicle and that will give you a good idea of what the car is worth assuming that it is in average condition. If the vehicle has damage not related to the accident, then that will lower the value of the car.

    Source(s): Collision center manager www.nadaguides.com
  • 1 decade ago

    There are two Kelly Blue Books.

    One is the resale value of the car and the other is the wholesale value

    the wholesale value is the lesser value and is what the insurance co uses when they pay you.

    The Resale value is what you could expect if the car was cherry.

    Source(s): This is what I was told by my Insurance agent the first time I totalled a less than new car and wondered why I couldn't have anew car to replace the old ratty one i was driving since the accident was not my fault. I tough when it wasn't your fault they had to give you a new one. Live and learn
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because it is not the Blue book value they look at, it is the blackbook. The Bluebook is marked up similar to retail. Car Dealers used that as a selling tool. When buying a car or whatever, always look up the blackbook value.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    kellt blue books are estimates. they is so much more to factor in the equation.

    how many miles, other damages and maintence to name a few.

    yes any company will favor themselves in judgments. if you want to you can always fight it, but expect to lose.

    insurance is mainly to protect yourself from the other person when you are at fault.

  • 1 decade ago

    Ofcourse it tilts towards the insurance companies, duuh!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes... Insurance comanies want to give you as little money as possible so they will use a system where they can give you as little money as possible.

  • lukky
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    thats why they are worth millions...they dont get that way by giving away money...insurance companies are run by satan.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.