When And Why Would An Insurance Adjuster Use This Phrase “Actual Cash Value”?

Adjusters use that phrase if a claimant’s vehicle is almost a total loss, due to the extent of its damages. An adjuster sends a specific message, when using that phrase. The adjuster’s statement indicates that the cost for repairs could exceed the vehicle’s actual cash value.

When would an adjuster care about how estimates of a vehicle’s repair costs compared with the value of that same set of wheels?

That could be an adjuster’s concern, if a policyholder were making a 1st party claim under his or her own collision or comprehensive coverage. If a claimant had submitted a 3rd party claim with another insurance, then the adjuster in the company to which the claim had been submitted could express an interest in a comparison of the repair costs and the vehicle’s value.

What determines the actual cash value for a car, truck, van or SUV?

That value reflects the findings obtained by an examination of the sale price for the same, or for a similar vehicle. Any similar vehicles would be the same make and model, meaning that the same company had manufactured each of them, and had done so during the same year.

When might a claimant feel compelled to ask an insurance adjuster about the actual cash value for that same claimant’s damaged vehicle?

Injury lawyer in Niles understands that claimants usually feel compelled to obtain details on their own vehicle’s actual cash value when the insurance company has declared that the claimant’s damaged vehicle is a total loss. Planning ahead, a claimant might be able to challenge the insurance company’s declaration.

If a car, truck or van owner has invested in accessories for that same set-of-wheels, then the same owner should take pictures of the accessorized vehicle. Those pictures could be used to show the insurance company that the owner’s vehicle possessed something that was not found on similar vehicles.

The proven presence of such accessories would force a re-evaluation of the vehicle’s value. If that re-evaluation were to show that the estimated repair costs did not exceed that newly assessed value, then the insurance company could not make a strong argument in favor of calling the claimant’s vehicle a total loss.

Ideally, the vehicle’s owner would have made a point of noting, on the back of each picture, the date when that particular photograph had been taken. That would add an element of veracity to the evidence of the pictured vehicle’s true value. Faced with such evidence, an insurance company might find it difficult to argue, convincingly, that a claimant’s vehicle should be declared a total loss. Hence, another analysis of the accessorized vehicle could weaken the insurance company’s argument, and help to keep one vehicle from the salvage yard.

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