Insurance companies can pay you for the loss of your vehicle in a couple of ways. One of the most common is the “actual cash value.” This is the preferred method for most insurance companies, so it’s pretty standard. It is the dollar amount that you would have received if you sold your vehicle in the open market just before your car accident occurred. Generally, the actual cash value is only considered if your car is classified as a total loss after the crash—i.e., “totaled.”
What factors are considered when determining the actual cash value of a car?
There’s a lot of information that an insurance company will consider before deciding how much your car is worth. They use that information to determine how much they will offer as part of your car accident settlement. These factors often include thing like:
- The mileage of the vehicle
- The make and model of the car
- The general appearance and condition of the vehicle
- How well the car runs or if it has any defects
Technically, the actual cash value is the replacement cost of your car minus any depreciation that the vehicle has experienced due to its age or condition.
Which insurance company makes this type of valuation?
In some cases, your own insurance company may also need to determine the value of the damage done to your vehicle. This is particularly true if you have collision coverage. But, your insurance company may be more likely to use the actual cost of the repairs to your car or the replacement value of your vehicle. Your insurance company may be more likely to give you a higher quote for your car just because you’re their customer, but that isn’t always the case.
When another driver is at fault, that other driver’s insurance company should usually reimburse your insurance carrier for those expenses, too.
How does Blue Book value affect the actual cash value of a car?
You may have heard that you can get vehicle resale values from the Kelley Blue Book. Although this reference is very helpful, it’s not conclusive when it comes to determining the actual cash value of a car under Georgia law.
In some cases, your car may actually be worth much more than the Blue Book indicates.
You may need to give the insurance company additional information about your car that may include:
- Maintenance records
- Receipts for vehicle upgrades or improvements
- General upgrade history, including custom additions
- The type of miles driven on a regular basis (city or highway)
Getting the right information to the insurance company can significantly increase the actual cash value of your vehicle. We can help with this process. John Foy & Associates offers a free consultation to walk you through your options when you think the value of your vehicle should be much higher than what the insurance company is telling you. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.