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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had a "run in" (pardon the pun) with insurance companies refusing to pay diminished value on a classic car because they are more than ten years old? This attitude is ridiculous especially when it comes to their explanation of refusal. The agent had the nerve to tell me that diminished value is not paid because the new paint will "increase" the value of the car. That is not really true with newer cars much less a car with orginal paint that has survived decades. I know I could always contact my state insurance comissioner and an attorney but I would prefer the path of least resistance. Any advice or anecdotes?
 

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Have you insured your car as a classic, with an appraisal, for its actual value? Or are you buying regular coverage, which only guarantees the book value for an average car of that vintage and model? If the latter, you're at their mercy.
 

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Just a story that's burned into my memory, last weekend on the way home from a ride in the country, we came upon a beautiful pre war Rolls Royce freshly rear ended by a Tempo, spun around and laying in the ditch with their belongings from the leather trunk scattered about. It was sad.

Blue lights were in my mirror so we cleared the scene to let them work.
 

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Have you insured your car as a classic, with an appraisal, for its actual value? Or are you buying regular coverage, which only guarantees the book value for an average car of that vintage and model? If the latter, you're at their mercy.
No, I was the one struck so I am not the insured in this case. The offender's insurance is the one paying or should I say not paying for my car's classic status.
 

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If you have coverage for the classic car status yourself, your insurance company can (and should) fight the other company to pay to that level. When you buy coverage, they are your advocate against the other company.
 
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One thing I have used sucsessfully multiple times is the statement" Show me a direct replacement for my car at the price you offered" Example: Wife was in an acceident with our New Yorker and they offered $2000. They had gone on line and averaged similar age Chryslers. None of which had the Mark Cross edition features. We finally found one for $6500 and they had to raise their offer to one that made them repair it.
They are required to match the "real" value of your vehicle on a replacement basis. My neighbor had a Daimler Hemi powered car (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daimler_SP250) that the insurance company had to go to the other side of the U.S. to find a replacement. Just do not take that first offer. Do your own research.
 

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You need to find an appraiser who will back your numbers up. A before value may be harder to establish now but you need a before and after repairs valuation by an expert.
 

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You need to find an appraiser who will back your numbers up. A before value may be harder to establish now but you need a before and after repairs valuation by an expert.
Apriasers can be hundreds of dollars (correct me if I'm wrong) which can be a bit of a gamble if you are not planning to take it to court. Also, what happens if they invoke the condition of the vehicle? Can I compare my 80 percent restoration, or number 4 car, to a 95 percent or, number 2 car?
Can the cost of repairs reach a point that they would "total" the car out and buy it rather than paying me for it? I just canot seem to find a definitive basis on which to base the laws regarding insurance. Are they torts?
 

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You may need to spend money to recover money. It's a cost which would be recoverable from the other party. The condition of the vehicle is very relevant in the valuation so comparing a #4 car to a #2 car won't hold up in court or in an argument before any insurance company. An insurance company will generally total a car when the repairs exceed 75% of the value of the car. At that time, you can settle for the fair market value of the car and be done or settle for fair market value minus the scrap value of the car and keep it.

But all of that is meaningless if you can't prove what the fair market value of your car is.
 

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You still didn't answer the question: did you just have regular coverage, or were you paying extra for the actual collector's value of the car? And did you have an appraisal done in the last year or two? From your comment it sounds like you didn't. Appraisers can cost anywhere from $75 to $200, but are worth it if you have a classic car.

NADA has a portion of their website where you can look up the value of some classic cars. Printing that out can help in your argument for the car's value. I do this every few months to track the value of my car.

Antique coverage can be cheap, if you are willing to limit yourself to driving to shows and repair shops. In MA, they quoted me $160 per year on a car worth $4,500. The regular coverage (no restrictions) is $450 per year.
 

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You still didn't answer the question: did you just have regular coverage, or were you paying extra for the actual collector's value of the car? And did you have an appraisal done in the last year or two? From your comment it sounds like you didn't. Appraisers can cost anywhere from $75 to $200, but are worth it if you have a classic car.

NADA has a portion of their website where you can look up the value of some classic cars. Printing that out can help in your argument for the car's value. I do this every few months to track the value of my car.

Antique coverage can be cheap, if you are willing to limit yourself to driving to shows and repair shops. In MA, they quoted me $160 per year on a car worth $4,500. The regular coverage (no restrictions) is $450 per year.
I was the one hit. It is not my insurance company that I'm dealing with so I'm dealing with the insurance company of the offending party.
 

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The point is if you have coverage your insurance company should help. Back in February my 1999 Dakota R/T was totaled when someone hit me. My insurance company established the value of the truck as a somewhat limited production vehicle in a rare color. We established a value and they paid the value of the truck minus my deductible almost immediately. Eventually after a lot of delays and procrastination the other insurance company finally accepted liability and paid a month or so later. They reimbursed my insurance company and then paid me the amount of my deductible. I would have been out of luck while the other company screwed around if not for my own insurance.
 

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I was the one hit. It is not my insurance company that I'm dealing with so I'm dealing with the insurance company of the offending party.
You're still ducking the question. If you have the coverage, your insurance company will intervene. If not, you are on your own. That's how it works. When my wife's car was hit last year, and the other party was 100% at fault, but we did not have collision coverage, our agent told us we'd have to pursue it ourselves. If we had collision coverage, she said, they'd spend the time fighting the other insurance company and chasing the other driver.

You asked for advice. If you don't want to provide the necessary info, that's fine. The advice will just be less useful.
 

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You're still ducking the question. If you have the coverage, your insurance company will intervene. If not, you are on your own. That's how it works. When my wife's car was hit last year, and the other party was 100% at fault, but we did not have collision coverage, our agent told us we'd have to pursue it ourselves. If we had collision coverage, she said, they'd spend the time fighting the other insurance company and chasing the other driver.

You asked for advice. If you don't want to provide the necessary info, that's fine. The advice will just be less useful.
I have full coverage but I do not want to pay the deductible and have a similar experience with the adjuster. Bottom line is can they legally state there is no diminished value available due to the age of the car. That certainly sounds like a policy rather than based on law but I do not know where I would find the information to help back my claim.
 

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The issue is what you will do, you won't find the answer floating around on line.
It is up to YOU to prove the value of the car before the accident and what the value is after the repairs. If a reputable appraiser is able to establish your car was worth more with original paint (in the condition in which is was in) than repainted you may be able to recover diminished value. If the appraiser doesn't believe the car is worth less repainted then you don't stand much of a chance recovering diminished value. You need to be able to prove your loss. Then expect to be reimmbursed for those losses and the cost of a reasonable appraisal expense.

I would still pursue this my insurance company. Yes that settlement will be minus your deductible. But they are usually more open to negotiating with you. The once your insurance pays you, they go after the other insruance compnay. Once the other company settles you should be reimbursed your deductible.
 
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