Why is the insurance co trying to tell me what to do with my property, when we do not agree?

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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: Dec 20, 2017

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Insurance Question from Ellijay, GA

Asked on 12/20/2017

Why is the insurance co trying to tell me what to do with my property, when we do not agree? Hit/run accident, driver located jailed, Insurance totaled my truck, it is not totaled, all we want is for the insurance co to pay for fixing my truck, they say cost to much, how can you put a price on a truck that has never let you down for over 10 years(dependable) have you bought a new car lately that is reliable?

Answer given on December 23, 2017

In automobile insurance, the insurance company will pay to repair the vehicle if it is less than the “actual cash value” of the vehicle.  If the repairs exceed that amount, then the insurance company will declare the vehicle a total loss and pay that amount, less any deductible.

The actual cash value is determined by local costs for the same or similar vehicle. Often the value is determined by the Kelley Blue Book or a similar book.  You can argue the amount, but must prove it by other sources such as local ads, appraisal of the vehicle or internet ads in your area. 

You can see if you can buy the salvage value of the vehicle, repair it and then insure it. You need to be sure the insurance company will continue to cover the vehicle for collision coverage if it is a salvaged vehicle. If they will, the value of the vehicle will be reduced since it is a salvage, but sometimes the insurance company will not insure a salvaged vehicle.

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