Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
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There are several different methods by which an insurance company may calculate the amount it will pay you for a loss. Payment based on the replacement cost of damaged property is usually the most favorable figure from your point of view. This is because it compensates you for the actual cost of replacing property.
In the auto insurance industry, however, they use what is known as ACV or actual cash value which is also known as market value. It is the standard that auto insurance companies use when reimbursing for losses. It represents the dollar amount you could expect to receive for the item if you sold it in the marketplace.
So the issue here for you is whether the insurance company is paying you for the value of the car based on the new engine that you recently put in. One way to determine that is to go to a car dealer that takes in used cars and pay them to put a trade-in and retail value on your car after a through inspection. Some dealers may be willing to do that for $100 fee. Otherwise you would have to hire an expert in the car valuation industry to do that. Because to the time and costs associated with hiring such an expert and then calling him to court to testify as to the true value of the car, most people in your shoes just accept whatever the insurance company offers.
If you so not want to do this and you feel there is a substantial difference between what your car is worth and what they are willing to pay ACV, then your option is to sue the driver that rear-ended you in small claims court and call the expert witness to testify for the difference.