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Home » What Is Replacement Cost vs. Cash Value in Auto Insurance? 
March 21, 2024

What Is Replacement Cost vs. Cash Value in Auto Insurance? 

red ferrari 458 italia with auto insurance on road during daytime

When you purchase comprehensive and collision auto insurance, the insurer agrees to help replace your vehicle if it’s a total loss after a covered accident or incident.

The insurance payout for your car depends on numerous factors, including whether you have replacement cost (RC) insurance or actual cash value (ACV) insurance.

Replacement Cost in Auto Insurance

Replacement cost refers to the amount it would take to replace your damaged or stolen vehicle with a similar one without deducting for depreciation.

This coverage aims to put you in a position similar to where you were before the loss, allowing you to purchase a new vehicle of the same make and model—or a similar one.

Policies offering replacement cost coverage may have higher premiums since they provide more coverage if your car is a total loss.

Cash Value in Auto Insurance

Cash value is the amount your insurer would pay after your vehicle is damaged beyond repair or stolen. It’s calculated based on the replacement cost minus depreciation. The key here is that depreciation—a decrease in value over time due to wear and tear—is considered.

Cash value considers the age and mileage of your vehicle, reducing the amount paid out over time. Most standard auto insurance policies offer ACV coverage.

Gap Insurance and Total Loss

Gap insurance becomes relevant when your car is declared a total loss. If you owe more on your auto loan than the insurance payout based on cash value, gap insurance may help cover the difference between your standard policy payout and the remaining balance on your loan or lease.

Without this coverage, you may be personally liable to pay off the remaining balance of your loan or lease.

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Understanding the differences between replacement cost and cash value is essential when selecting auto insurance coverage. Whether you’re looking for a policy that offers the newer cost of your car or one that accounts for depreciation, knowing these terms helps you make informed decisions about your auto insurance needs.

As vehicles age, their value diminishes. At some point, it may no longer make sense to maintain full coverage car insurance. Your agent can help determine which coverages are appropriate for your situation.

Contact Miller Insurance Agency in Beaumont, Texas, to explore your options and get full coverage car insurance at favorable rates.

This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.

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