Does insurance typically offer depreciated value for replacing damaged wheel?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 31, 2013

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Insurance Question from Indian Creek, IA

Asked on 10/31/2013

Does insurance typically offer depreciated value for replacing damaged wheel? An auto repair business damaged my wheel when fixing a tire. Their insurance said to get a replacement quote from another shop and they would send an "independent" adjuster to evaluate and provide a depreciated adjustment since car is 4 yrs old. The shop informed me the adjuster suggested 5% depreciation off quote. Their insurance instead offered me 1/5 replacement value since they found something "similar" used on Ebay or said I could relinquish my wheel and they would give 60% of replacement value (10% deprec./yr). Is this typical or should I expect full value? I'm considering small claims.

Answer given on November 09, 2013

In auto insurance, the settlements offered on the car and parts that are attached to the car are often depreciated. Auto insurance is on an actual cash value basis, which does not include full replacement cost.Your insurance company has the right to depreciate the wheel since it is not new and has been in use for four years. However, if you can prove the similar item they are basing their figures on is not in the same condition as your wheel you can try to get a higher settlement. Also, if the wheel was not damaged previously, you can try for a lower depreciation amount per year.If you were to file the claim with your insurance company they would probably make a similar offer, but then your deductible would apply to any settlement offer. So the offer from the other insurance company is higher than you would get any other way.

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