Classic Car Valuation has prices for my 1987 Acura.

But the prices are insensitive to ZIP code - it doesn’t bother me, but the adjuster objects.

What is the best way I can argue that the variation to ZIP code is immaterial as we are not talking about $10 or $50 price difference!

My disagreement with the adjuster is anywhere from $900 to $2,400.

He used an outsider service that said its worth $2,100. NADA states $3k. With some vale added activities, I feel the price could be higher than $3k (4 brand new tires @ $500, hopefully makes it $3,500).

What are some best words to tell/write to him to take the NADA guide value?


Sorry but I don’t think you are going to get any credit for 4 new tires, or recent brake jobs etc. on your car. While the car is old, I’m not sure it qualifies as a true classic as yet. Perhaps in a few more years.

Different sites do not agree on the value of the same car. You can argue your case with the adjuster, but his job is to save the insurer money. If you aren’t happy with the amount you can insure elsewhere.

To get the value out of the tires get them off the car and sell them privately or use them on another car.

The only real time I think you can effectively argue with an insurance adjuster about the value of your car is if you got hit and someone else’s insurance policy is paying.

After all, even if your car is “worth” 3 grand or whatever, but the insurance company thinks it’s worth $900, then you’ve been paying rates based on a vehicle that’s worth $900 and there’s no reason why they should have to pay you any more. If you felt their valuation was too low, or that there were factors that should have lead to a higher value, you should have brought that up with them before so they could have adjusted your rates accordingly.

Also, classic car? 87 Acura? I agree it’s a nice car and all but lets not get carried away…

  1. My goal is fixing the car - it is easy to fix it.
  2. Valuation is an issue since they use it weigh against repair cost
  3. The Ins company told me that they consider tires & tranny but not other tuning/maintaining
  4. They could cut the cost (short term) but is it at the expense of loosing the customer? I insured this car with them for 10yrs - I paid as high as $800 for a yr.

Right now I am wondering what is the best way to diffuse the argument of ZIP code insensitivity.

I did bring it up;
The car was never insured for a value - it was left wide open - they said if there is a claim, then they will do the research to find the value at that time!

This is what happened.

If you don’t agree with the amount your insurance company offers to pay for your car, you can always get a lawyer. While that will cost you money, when the insurance company sees the time it will cost them to fight your lawyer, it quickly becomes cheaper to offer you more money.

As others have noted, your adjuster’s job definition is to give you as little money as possible. They care less that you’ve been a good customer for the past 8 years.

Classic car? I agree that a well-kept Integra might be desirable to certain people, but to others it’s just a well-used car. I seriously doubt your insurance company views this car as a classic, and unless you had it insured as such it’s just a 22 year old car.

Kelly Blue Book doesn’t go back past 1989, but they list the value of a 1989 Integra is around $1,200 in “good” condition. I have to assume an ''87 would be lower.

If you’ve made modifications to the car you have to understand they don’t add to the “value” as determined by insurance companies or car valuation serviced. The value of a modified car is decided between the seller and the buyer. If someone is willing to pay more than “book price” for a given car, great, but that doesn’t mean the book value is incorrect. Sentimental value doesn’t translate very well into dollars and cents.

In which zip code is a 1987 Integra worth two or three times KBB value?

If someone offered me $2,100 for a wrecked car that was twenty-two years old, I’d take it.

Kelly Blue Book doesn’t go back past 1989, but they list the value of a 1989 Integra is around $1,200 in “good” condition. I have to assume an ''87 would be lower.

Well, most of the serious expenses happened during the last 2/3 yrs: Tranny, Engine mount, CV boot/axle. Perhaps there is a reason NADA shows $3k.

In which zip code is a 1987 Integra worth two or three times KBB value?
You may have mis-interpreted me
KBB doesn’t even have 1987 listed at all.
NADA shows $3k one price, nationwide.

Is this your insurance or the other guy’s?

Let’s not look at your car for a moment. How much would you need right now to buy another same make model and year?

Tell the adjuster you are going to speak to the state insurance commissioner. Then follow thru if you still disagree.

My ins - theft recovery.

I found only one car listed for $2991, however a manual tranny - $41 more than NADA.

I’ll admit I’m not an insurance agent and there’s plenty in the insurance industry that doesn’t always make much sense so I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but I don’t see how this could be possible. Knowing the amount that will have to be paid off in the event of a total loss seems like a crucial piece of information to know for underwriting a theft policy, if not the crucial piece of information.

If it costs the same to insure an '87 Acura as any other car, maybe Jay Leno should insure some of his priceless cars through your company!

Punching 87 Acura into my local craigslist, I find two Legends at $1500 and one at $600 (with some issues), and Integras at $1000, $650, $600, and $500. The high ends on both models are at dealers. I think you are getting the deal of the century getting 2,100 out of it!

(As often is the case on craigslist, the $500 one looks like the best of the bunch-- if I were in the market for a car I’d be all over it!)

A 1987 WHAT?? With how many miles?? You want WHAT??? HAHAHAHEEEHAeeeeeoooo

Take the check and say Thank You Very Much…

Try searching Craigslist (used to search everything in your region), look at only cars in similar condition. You at least get the asking price. Then look at Ebay Motors completed listings, counting only vehicles that actually sold. (Or at least appear to have actually sold).

NADA tends to be pretty good, and KBB doesn’t suck as much as they used to (but even though they attempt to account for regional differences, they’re still terrible at it), but there’s no substitute for seeing what people are actually paying and what people are actually asking. Oh, and there’s also

And no, having new tires won’t help. If you were car shopping, and the tires had no tread left on them, you’d be asking to knock the cost of new tires off.

Looking at Ebay, country wide, no Integras exceed $3000 until you get to '94s. If you can get $3000 for yours, take it. No Integra '90 or older exceeded $1525. Those price guides are extremely approximate.

The buzz words in this sort of negotiation are “good faith”. Tell the adjuster he’s not dealing in “good faith” and that you want either 1. to speak with his supervisor, or 2. his full name and work address so you may file a complaint with you state insurance or consumer protection agency against both him and the insurance company.

But what’s the basis? $3000 for a 22 year old car is an amazingly high amount, based on what real cars of that age and model are selling for.

I believe you’ve misunderstood the situation and perhaps even misled by your agent but now you know better. Trusting someone to figure out the valuation after the fact is going to end up exactly like it did. You have two different approaches; standard valuation and agreed on valuation. If you do not have an agreed upon valuation, it is left to the industry standards for establishing value at the time of loss. That is the type of policy you have/had. Agreed upon value is always established at the time the policy is written and verbiage to that effect will be right in the policy. There is a big difference in premiums between them. For example, I have a '71 Chevelle that blue book is worth maybe $1500. However, it is actually worth $20k+ and that is how it is insured. The insurance company sends someone out to establish valuation and take pictures etc. If that didn’t happen, you’re not going to get actual value and all the amenities you added are not going to be factored in. Never, ever, trust some schmoe telling you, “don’t worry, we’ll figure that out when the time comes”. Get it in writing because over time, people making the verbal deals leave the company, the story changes over time and/or sales people are not exactly known for their honesty when closing a sale.

I agree with your premise that zip code should make a difference in the valuation. Of course, they charged you for theft coverage based on zip code (risk) but turning that argument against them is probably futile. Read your policy, it should detail the methods used to establish valuation and this is the binding contract you have with them. Likely, they did their homework and their contract terminology has their butt covered pretty darn good in this respect.

I went through this in 1998, when the second car back failed to stop on I-35 low in Austin. I had an older 8 or 9 pass. Parisienne, had just put $1500 in the motor, a complete rebuild. They tried to tell me this was routine maintenance, which is false. Plugs and points are routine maintenance; $1500 rebuild is not.

It was set up and rebuilt so I could drive it across the country, in fact I was doing that, and they told me they were giving me the prices which I discovered was asked for old heaps on the used car lots, bald tires; engines that blew smoke, bad suspensions and brakes, worn out batteries. You would have had to repair them to drive them to the store.

But, that is how they are allowed to do it. They make the rules, we don’t.

I did tell them the truth. If I did not get one cent for a complete motor rebuild, I was going to sue, and they came up $300. Of course, they were sweating my wife’s broken back as well.

No, you will not get your $500 you paid for new tires back. That is now how it works. If you had that car with bad tires, and wanted to sell it, you could not get another $500 by putting $500 of new tires on it. Maybe another $100, or maybe no extra, just sell it period with new tires, and not sell it with bad tires.

Based on what you are saying, if you can get $2500, better grab it. Life is not always just, and insurance companies aren’t either.

Another tip, you could see if your state allows arbitration, and find out how much that will cost, but if you do you are screwed if you lose.

That outside service can testify in court, and your reading of NADA probably doesn’t count much in court. Can you get your own appraisal, and how much does that cost?