On January 1, 2023, Auto Claim Specialists sold its ownership of Vehicle Value Experts, ending a five-year relationship where Vehicle Value Experts was a wholly owned subsidiary. On July 1, 2023, the termination of the separation agreement between the two companies will force an alteration in Auto Claim Specialists’ fee structure for public insurance adjuster services. Appraisal fee expenses will no longer be part of a combined, contingency based commission, and will be handled and billed separately from public adjuster fees. The Auto Claim Specialists public adjuster fee will continue to be charged on a contingency basis as a percentage of the negotiated settlement increase.
The current fee structure for handing a total loss claim is 20% of the negotiated settlement increase plus a $75 public adjuster fee and $25 handling fee, with a minimum of $800. Beginning July 1, the Auto Claim Specialists fee structure for a total loss claim will be 20% of the NET negotiated increase plus a $20 software fee, with a minimum of $350. With an expected appraisal fee of $450, that would maintain the expected total minimum fee at $800.
The Auto Claim Specialists commission will remain at 20%. However, appraisal fees will be deducted from settlement increases before applying the percentage (thus, 20% of the NET negotiated increase). Further, since the public adjuster fee structure will be disjoined from other fees, the $75 separate adder for the public adjuster fee will no longer be necessary. In addition, we are lowering our handling (software) fee from $25 to $20.
For diminished value cases, the new fee structure will be 25% of the net negotiated diminished value (negotiated diminished value less appraisal costs) plus the $20 software fee. These claims require much more negotiation time and expense. In addition, expected appraisal costs for diminished value cases run higher since this type of claim essentially requires two appraisals – one to value the vehicle prior to the accident and one to value the vehicle following its repair.