My wife had a minor accident in our Saab 9000 earlier this year and when the assessor came around to have a look at the car, we got to talking. I covered the results of that chat in a post about Sum Insured vs Agreed Value insurance at that time.
So cut a long story short…you policy might have “sum insured” written on it somewhere, but if it’s a policy based on market value, then that sum insured figure is most likely going to be a maximum value and NOT necessarily the amount you’ll get paid if the car’s written off.
In the event of a writeoff, it seems to be the case that the insurance company can calculate a market value, which could well be lower that the sum insured figure on your policy document. If you’ve ever looked up your car’s market value at Redbook (Australian) or an equivalent service in your own country, then you’ll know that they typically provide a range of values for a vehicle based on age, mileage and condition.
Care to guess which end of the range your insurer is likely to use?
This issue has come up again because one of our TS mates has an insurance company trying to shaft him on the value of his car.
You should all recall Tim S’s story, told here recently. Tim lost control of his pristine 2002 Viggen recently and ended up intimately acquianted with a guard rail.
Tim was shattered enough after the incident knowing that his car would probably be a goner forever. Now he’s got a low-balling insurance company to deal with. Tim tells me that a Viggen in equivalent condition to his 2002 model would cost somewhere between US$10K and $13K to purchase.
The insurers have offered him $7.5K.
I imagine he will now have to take some steps to justify the condition of the car and the amount he believes he should receive for it. I’m not sure how he’s going to be able to do that, but I hope he finds a way because this was truly one of the cleanest Viggens around.
Again – the lesson to be learned here is that if you’ve got a valuable Saab, especially one that’s a limited edition like a Viggen, you should go for an agreed value insurance policy.
When I bought my Viggen a few years ago, it was simply a matter of taking it to the insurer’s office so that they could sight the vehicle. I proposed an insurance figure and upon seeing the car, they agreed. The value was written in as an agreed value and it was the amount I got paid after the accident.
It didn’t cost me any more and though it didn’t bring my car back from the dead, at least I knew the amount I was entitled to and could plan around that.
Check your policies, people.