Moved to proper forum.
There are a few things you can do.
1) In the future, look into coverage for custom parts & equipment on your vehicle. This can be added on to your insurance to cover things like new upholstery, stereo equipment, custom wheels, etc.
2) Ask your adjuster to find an Imark in similar condition for that money. Tell them that if they can, you will buy it. See what happens.
3) Finding completed listings for sold Imarks will help, just make sure they are as recent as possible.
I really like the comments about telling the insurance company to find a car for sale that is the same make and model in the same condition. I have heard the same comment except instructing the insurance company to buy and deliver the same model in the same condition, which apparently ended all of the arguments in the old days. But they seem to have rewritten the laws in their favor so that doesn't work any more.
Your best hope of finding a value is used car listings and auction listings. The diesel I-Marks have been selling on internet auction for $3,000+. That is one of the most popular high fuel economy cars since gasoline got so expensive.
You should have retained all receipts for repairs and enhancements to the car. Your insurance company will brush this aside as things that you wanted to do to your nearly worthless car that did not enhance the marketable value of the vehicle, and they will also say that your policy is for the Blue Book value. If you wanted enhanced value for the collectible nature or customization, you should have bought additional insurance for that, which they do not offer for your make and model which they have deemed to have no collectible value, or they do not offer antique/exotic car policies.
You should go into the situation accepting that the auto insurance industry is set up to screw you out of your policy payment and they never intend to pay you back for any claims. You buy a policy and pay however many hundred plus dollars a year to cover the vehicle. That amount does not go down, but the amount they are willing to pay for repair or replacement of that vehicle decreases every single year. After a few years, you are paying them twice as much to cover the car as they will pay for the insurable value of the vehicle. And they are more than happy to keep collecting all that money in perpetuity.
In order to facilitate this system, your insurance company has probably already obtained two independent value estimates for your vehicle. That means that they called two body shops on their call list and asked the company owner to assign a value to the vehicle. The body shop company owner will reach over to the bookshelf, pick up their copy of the Blue Book, read the number written next to the name of your car, and collect $50 from the insurance company for their consultation fee.
If you actually want to try to get any of that money back from the insurance company, you would have had to have filed an injury claim with the accident, look at the laws for your state, and go for the pain and suffering claim which should be 1 1/2 times the amount of the medical bills. Then apply the pain and suffering payment to the repair or replacement of the vehicle.
How pathetic is that, in order to get what you paid for, you have to cheat.
Alternately, you can refuse to accept any payment from the insurance company and begin filing complaints with your state's insurance commission that they have not made payment on your claim.
Or, you can rebuild and restore the vehicle and then take it to a professional automotive appraiser. Take the appraisal to the insurance company and fight it out. An appraisal from someone who has actually seen the vehicle will trump any and all telephone consultations described above.
Above all, do not sign your title over to the insurance company and do not accept a salvage title. Your insurance company wants that car off the road, because if they have to pay any claims for it, it ruins their profits. And they can't legally require a salvage title, only the state can do that and only if the vehicle is repaired and then offered for sale to someone else. If you keep it forever, no one can require a salvage title, period.
Wow, sounds like someone has had a bad experience with their insurance. Take out an additional rider on your policy to cover the equity you have in the vehicle, or find a company that will. Dosen't have to be on a collector car policy - you should be able to add the additional coverage to your regular policy. Simple as that.
Also, you're proposing an insurance fraud scam, which is highly illegal and a really, really stupid idea.
I haven't found an honest or fair regular insurance company for a regular coverage policy on a car older than ten years. I have been with three of the largest insurance companies in the US (State Farm, Miller's, and Liberty Mutual) and ended each customer relationship with them trying to total out a car over the cost of replacing and and painting a plastic bumper cover.Originally Posted by Camshaft
I have yet to successfully receive a quote for a collectible car policy for a 10+ year old Japanese car.
Hagerty flatly refused to consider any Japanese made car for antique, classic, or collectible insurance.
It took five years to get Grundy to the point that they would even admit that a right hand drive, race edition, limited production, Japanese car, "might" qualify for collector insurance.
I have been badgering AAA for over 2 1/2 years to even issue a quote on the same vehicle and a 40+ year old RHD car.
State Farm now says they offer antique policies, but the car may have to have antique plates to qualify. And I already left them as an unhappy customer once.
The rest can not get past the fact that the VIN is not 17 digits long and their computer system will not go past that step to calculate a quote. The standard response is "We will cover your regular US market beater car, but not the RHD cars, and the show cars will be Blue Book value only".
And you are ignoring that auto insurance itself is a scam. If it weren't a scam, we would not hear from so many unhappy people who are asking how they can convince their insurance company that their car is worth more than the lint in their pocket, when their insurance company wants to total it out.
There is no law that specifies what a pain and suffering settlement should be used for. Our state law sets the amount at 1 1/2 times the amount of the medical bills, regardless of the actual amount of pain and suffering incurred. And our state has a booming industry of doctors who are anxious to treat people after they are involved in an auto accident.
The law provided for the insurance company to take money from the automobile owner, and the law provided for the automobile owner to collect only for medical and pain and suffering. Nothing more illegal or more morally wrong than what the insurance company is doing, which is charging money for a policy that they never intend to pay on.