Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Car Insurance Claims - Does Your Insurer Owe You Sales Tax?

More than half of the states in the USA require that the insurance company pay state sales tax when you replace your total loss vehicle. What those states do not mandate is that the insurance company has to tell you about the tax issue. You probably won’t get the sales tax unless you ask for it.

To find out if your state requires the extra sales tax payment, contact your state’s Department of Insurance.

No insurance company, whether it is your insurer, or another insurer who insures an at-fault driver, wants to pay you one dollar more than the lowest Actual Cash Value (ACV) that they can find. When the insurance company declares your car a total loss is when the strenuous negotiations begin.

Your mission...should you accept it...is to prove that your car is worth its absolute highest value.

State sales tax percentages vary widely from state to state. Here in Georgia, sales tax is calculated on a county-by-county basis. In Cobb County, where I live, the sales tax is 5%. However, just across the county line in Fulton County, the sales tax is 7%. But in the City of Atlanta, sales tax is 8%.

Look at the numbers on a $30,000 automobile. If you lived in Cobb County at 5%, the insurance company would owe you an additional $1,500.00. If you lived in Atlanta at 8%, the amount would be $2,400.00.

If you do not demand the extra sales tax payment, you're leaving thousands of dollars on the table that you are likely entitled to collect.

Don’t allow the insurance companies to mislead you. The Actual Cash Value of the car must include the state sales tax.

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