Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

Help with value of 2001 540i A Sport Package: Total Loss

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by 398518, Jul 14, 2015.

    • Member


    Post Count: 1
    Likes Received:0
    Hi members,
    I need some help. My wife was in an accident with her 2001 540i (the other persons fault) and it is being considered a total loss. Apparently the structural damage is too much to repair. Here is info from the new car sticker:

    Sport Package
    Cold Weather Package
    Electric Rear Sunshade
    16-way Comfort Seats
    Park Distance Control
    Navigation System
    Premium Sound System w/ DSP

    The car only had 73,400 miles on it. The initial appraisal from the insurance company is coming in at $8,300. I told them if they can find the identical car at that price, I will buy it.

    How can I get a true market value for this rare and irreplaceable BMW?

    • Member


    Post Count: 3,866
    Likes Received:242
    I think there have been discussions in past years on similar topics, try a forum search for 'insurance' or perhaps 'value' or 'valuation'. I tend to think proving higher value is an uphill battle against claims adjusters - laws vary state to state, but if they cut you a check and you deposit it, it may well be that means as far as they're concerned you've legally accepted their amount with little-or-no possibility to argue for anything more. It may be hard to argue against the avg. values spit out by nadaguides.com, KBB, edmunds, etc.

    It's no surprise we value our cars more highly, insurance companies don't see it that way though. Proving a higher value is all on you, such as documentation of any modifications that might account for an increased value, or above average care and maintenance. Also, labor for modifications doesn't mean much for insurance purposes - if, say, you had a transmission replaced and it was $2500 labor & $2500 parts, and it was just done, installing a newly rebuilt trans that for all practical purposes is brand new, then I'd expect the insurance company would agree that you've proved the car now has an additional value, maybe even the full $2500 for the trans, but I don't suspect they count much for the labor costs. If you're lacking documentation of an above-average maintenance history & care regime, it's going to be a hard sell to get an ins. co. to agree it's anything more than a typical BMW of that vintage. Even if you know the color or options pkg. wasn't common and wouldn't be easy to find in any used bimmer, you'd have to support that anything that was a check-mark option when new commands a premium above avg. prices now.

    Wish I could have more optimistic hopes for you, but my experience is that getting ins. companies to up their valuations, particularly if it's not your own company, is akin to squeezing blood out of a turnip with a 85,000lb press. If your successful, it's because of patience and extreme persistence. If, say, you only drove the car on sunny, dry Sundays, unless you GoPro'd every outing for the last 15 years and could submit that as proof, then perhaps the only option might be thorough photo documentation of the car, even as it sits post-crash, to prove no rust... but, in California for instance, such efforts would be pretty much meaningless - but, rust belt states, maybe such effort might end up meaning something.

    However it works out, of course sorry to hear of the loss of your car, presumably it did all it should an protected your wife - hope she's ok. Search the car sites and see what you can find for comparables - autotempest.com, autotrader.com, cars.com, ebay, even search used on the BMWUSA,com site. Compare to the value ranges identified by KBB & Nadaguides, and see if what's on the market can also help make your case. Hopefully you'll have some luck!
    • Member


    Post Count: 181
    Likes Received:15

    Sorry to hear of the demise of your E39. Certainly hope your wife was not seriously hurt.
    Don't know if this helps at all but, I just sold my 2002 540i Sport similarly optioned but, without Nav. It had 83,xxx miles on the clock and brought Significantly more than their valuation. You commonly find them in Roundel priced from $7000-$20,000 depending on miles, condition and options.
    As Marshall said above, with good photo documentation, it might be possible to establish a higher market value for the car (depending on the state in which you reside). It might end in disappointment but maybe it's worth a try.
    Good luck.
    • Member


    Post Count: 178
    Likes Received:18
    I had a similar issue with an Acura that was a total loss after it was stolen. I supplied the adjuster with about a half dozen comparable cars advertised for sale in my area and he went back and revised the settlement up to the average value of the comparable cars that I had supplied him with.

Share This Page