Insurance heads up

David Glubrecht daveglu at
Sun Dec 15 20:10:08 EST 2002

It is
unlikely that the insurance company will completely ignore such
documentation, and invite a day in small claims court, or worse...

Very well written statement by Roger.

I would briefly reword a few major points, add a few and possibly clairify.

As others have said, Insurance is a contract with terms spelled out in your
As a previous adjuster who drove my 200+ mile 4kq for the job, it was always
known that full coverage (collision coverage that would fix my car) was
unjustifiable as I would need to total my car every few years to be money
The Maxda owner partially recognizes this when he said that he planned on
driving it to 300k.  This is acknowledgement that the car could not be sold
for near what was spent (not invested) on it.
  No matter what has been rebuilt on a typical car over 200k, it wont be
worth much.  Having a nice well cared for car over 200k, you dread someone
hitting you because you should know that the ACV is much less that what it
is worth to you, but the law is that they pay ACV.  How could they ever come
up with a figure on what it is worth to you???
I have seen many situations that are frustrating including.
I have seen the ACV below the deductable.
Thousands of dollars spent on customizations that add nothing to ACV.
Enough people owe more on their cars than ACV that you can buy GAP
insurance, for the gap between what it is worth and what you owe on it.

For ACV we started with NADA (which is unreasonably high here) and adjusted
for dealer quotes.  We contacted used car dealers as they are the ones
actually specializing in selling older cars, again these prices are likely
high as I would never buy from a used car lot!

The process that many companies use for disputes is,
Ins CO gets ACV, if not accepted, insured gets ACV, if still no agreement
can be made, the two get an arbritrator.
I have never got that far.
  The BEST demonstration of ACV is a similiar car for sale (comparable), but
this is not always available.  It usually also needs to be in the local
What I tell people that want to argue the ACV of their car is to find as
many comparables as possible and take the ads to the adjuster.
Receipts for work are usually not considered worth much other than showing
it is in good operating condition.
In general I would argue that if you where considering selling the car you
are better off as you usually couldn't sell the car for what you got paid by
an insurance co., but many of us wouldn't sell their car as we know that it
is worth more to us than it could be sold for and these people get hurt.
Motor rebuilds are most common area of concern.  Repairs are necessary to
keep the car on the road. What would it be worth with a bad motor????  If
the motor is worth so much to you buy the car back for the ~$50 and put it
in another car.  As any Audi owner knows, a car is a complex system of MANY
subsystems and many parts.  Most all of these age and wear, rebuilding the
motor does not restore the car.  In almost all cases it is still an old car
with many miles.
    All in all this should be a heads up as you should understand the
contract that you have entered into.  I always have more sympathy for the
not-at-fault driver but that won't get you a new car.
Perhaps a stated value policy is the answer here but I have very little
knowledge about these.
All of this is USA related as I have no knowlegde of how other countries
handle insurance.
The biggest lesson I can offer and one that I learned later than most is
perspective.  You could have a kid with a disabilitating disease, it
happens. I have had neighborhood kids burn my garage. There was no property
insurance on the garage at that time.  The kids were to young to prosecute
and the law did nothing.  Several cars, boat, motorcycle and snowmobile
along with MANY audi parts were destroyed and my first car.  The vehicles
were uninsured as they were in stoarge.  The kids parents were renting and
had no insurance either. I can sue, but it would cost me too much to try to
get blood out of a turnip, I am still tempted to squeeze the turnip just to
see it squeezed.  I ended being out ~$60,000.00 by no fault of my own.  My
insurance did offer to pay for the parts up to the policy limit of $8,000.
Worst of all, the fire inspector got to see me at my worst and he is on the
interview board for a job I want.

David Glubrecht
  Still driving cars worth more to me than could ever be sold for.

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