How will a claim and potential lawsuit go for a vehicle which is only booked on Nada at $17k high retail, but would cost $25k - $35k or more to find a replacement in average condition/poor condition? How would I prepare to fight this should I need to make a claim? What are the insurance company's obligations?

I contacted my insurance company for peace of mind and got none. They claim a total loss on this vehicle would be $15k-$17k at most regardless of how difficult it is to find. They may budge a little with things like aftermarket upgrades.

I have contacted Nada about the inaccuracy of their data. They will continue to misrepresent value because "most people do not find this specific engine type material when buying this vehicle" - True most do not. But there are enough which do, that the vehicle will sell for double what Nada's price is. There are only a dozen of these vehicles for sale in the country right now, all over $25k and for more miles than mine. Nada has slowly increased their price over the last 2 years, but is still off by half of what real replacement cost is.

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    In theory the insurance company should be willing to cover the entire replacement cost of the vehicle for a higher premium. Might be hard to find the right person who could authorize that though. – JohnFx Dec 10 '15 at 21:41
  • A bit of an update. A real life event just proved this is a bad theory. One of my family members has the exact same vehicles. (We both bought them around the same time). He just got totaled out at $10.5k for a $25k vehicle 100% due to Nada guides having bad information. After a month of arguing the insurance company, they will not budge. Just for clarity sake: The vehicle is a 2002 Ford Excursion with a 7.3 T-Diesel. Priced at $11k clean retail, not available within 1000 miles for less than $22k - completely stock and more miles. Considering driving without insurance... what a waste. – maplemale Feb 4 '16 at 17:53
  • The REAL answer to this question is: Expect to dispute any claims. And likely a lawsuit when / if it comes up. While answers below are interesting for collectable cars, there are many vehicles (mine included) that are grossly under estimated (by 200% or more) which are NOT collectable cars by any definition. Depending on your insurance company, you end up disputing. If it's someone else's insurance company, you likely end up suing and you will absolutely win. – maplemale Jan 28 at 20:18

You will have to find an insurance company that will treat the car as a collectible. Those aftermarket and specialty items that make your car so valuable are not well represented by a system that treats the car as a commodity.

The insurance company will then require an appraisal that doesn't use NADA. Expect that your policy may be higher than you are used to. This will be to pay for the appraisal and to cover the increased value of the collectible.

  • There are two main insurance companies like this: Hagerty and Grundy. There are two factors which rule out these types of insurance companies: 1. Age of the vehicle 2. How much you drive it In all cases where classic insurance is offered, I am disqualified for those reasons. – maplemale Dec 28 '15 at 16:29

Just a note. Try getting collectors insurance. My wife's car has a NADA value of 6-7K. I have it under a collector's policy covered for 15K. The cost is half of what the original policy cost, for twice the coverage. I had to supply pictures and the original papaerwork (we bought it new with 19 miles, of which about 15 we put on it during the test drive). Also, state inspections helped verify the car is driven < 2K miles a year.

  • What provider? Was this Hagerty or Grundy? – maplemale Jan 26 '17 at 16:44
  • Haggerty. I found them easy to deal with. 20 year old car with less than 2000 miles a year driven. – Gunterkdr Jan 27 '17 at 18:58
  • Haggerty does not see my car as an eligible classic. Even if they did, I'd be ruled out because I drive it 30k a year. – maplemale Jan 27 '17 at 19:01

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