Aftermarket parts

One of the unique aspects of my loss claim was that custom equipment permanently installed on the vehicle was covered by my insurance policy.  I contacted the insurance company policy department and confirmed that the accessories I had installed, from the snub mount back to the 3.5″ exhaust were included in the coverage and that they were valued at replacement cost.  This was one of the greatest sticking points when it came to my policy paying out  since the policy terms said Actual Cash Value and the insurance company was really paying Market Value.  The actual cash value of components I had installed on the car exceeded the market value of the car, even accounting for depreciation.  I knew this was going to be an issue but fortunately I had just about every receipt I’d ever received for an aftermarket part dating back to the time that I had acquired the car in 2000.  Of course the insurance company wanted to see these receipts as proof and so I faxed them 40 pages of individual invoices for the major components I had installed on the car.

After a couple of days I was notified that they would need to send an appraiser back out to inspect the car.  I deduced that with the loss payout having increased with the addition of the aftermarket parts that they needed to reconsider if the car was going to be a total loss.  I was well into the process of taking parts off the car so that I could get the motor out and this made the damage to the frame more apparent.  The second appraiser came out and looked at the car and told me that even though the payout amount the insurance company would provide to me had gone up, so would the damage estimate, and the car would in all likelihood still be declared a total loss.


Damaged S4 engine
Better hurry up with that appraisal.

A day later I heard from the insurance company informing me that the car was still being declared a total loss and now the payout amount was $14,063 and the salvage buyback price was $1280.  The person I spoke with said I would get actual cash value (their terminology for market value) for the aftermarket parts, not replacement cost, which contradicted what the policy specialist had told me.  This would not be the last time that I found the policy side of the insurance company saying something that differed from what the claims side said.

Next: Market Valuation Report Concerns