How can I get replacement not book value for a vehicle that was a total loss?

My husband and I lost our work van recently in an accident where the other driver was at fault. We need this vehicle for our business. Their settlement offer is based on book value, not replacement value. I can’t replace this vehicle for what they have offered, and I don’t have thousands of dollars to spare. We would be driving our vehicle until it was dead, if not for this. What can I do?

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Accident Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you probably do not have any recourse. While you should double check what your policy says, every policy I've seen states that the insurer will pay the cost to repair or the book value of vehicle, whichever is lower. Even if the book value, in the case of totalling a vehicle, does not make the insured whole, because it costs more than that to replace the vehicle, the insurer is only obligated to pay as per its policy. So unless the policy stated they would pay replacement cost, they are most likely, if the van were totalled, only required to pay the book value.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.