My Write Off

Depreciation and Total Loss Claims: How Deductions Impact Your Vehicle’s Value

Steven Carvalho

Steven Carvalho

Steven, with over 20 years in the industry, has expertise in claims, estimating, extrication, repair, and appraising. He founded "MyWriteOff" to help clients obtain fair insurance settlements for total loss vehicles.

Understanding how depreciation affects your vehicle’s value is crucial for a fair settlement when dealing with a total loss claim. In this context, depreciation refers to insurance companies’ deductions based on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, and recent work. This article will explore how depreciation deductions impact total loss claims and what you can do to ensure a fair valuation.

The Role of Depreciation Deductions:

Depreciation deductions play a significant role in determining your vehicle’s value during a total loss claim. Insurance companies assess various factors, such as the vehicle’s condition, mileage, and recent work, to calculate the Actual Cash Value (ACV). The ACV represents the market value of your vehicle at the time of the loss, taking into account depreciation deductions.

Critical Factors Affecting Depreciation Deductions:

Vehicle condition: Insurance companies will scrutinize your vehicle’s physical and mechanical condition, including any damage, wear and tear, or defects, to determine depreciation deductions.

Mileage: Higher mileage typically results in more significant depreciation deductions, indicating greater wear and tear on the vehicle.

Recent work and receipts: Insurance companies may examine receipts for recent repairs or upgrades to determine if they affect the vehicle’s value. They will then consider whether the work done adds value to the vehicle compared to comparable vehicles without the same work completed.

How to Ensure a Fair Valuation:

To ensure a fair valuation in a total loss claim, consider the following steps:

Document your vehicle’s condition: Take photographs and keep detailed records of your vehicle’s physical and mechanical condition to justify a lower depreciation deduction.

Maintain accurate records: Keep thorough records of all maintenance, repairs, and upgrades performed on your vehicle, including receipts and invoices. This documentation will help demonstrate the value added by any recent work completed.

Seek a professional valuation: Obtain an unbiased, accurate assessment of your vehicle’s value from a professional vehicle valuation company like My Write Off.

Be prepared to negotiate: If you believe the insurance company’s offer is too low, present your documentation, photographs, and professional valuation report to negotiate a fair settlement.


Depreciation deductions are critical in determining your vehicle’s value during a total loss claim. By understanding how these deductions impact your vehicle’s value and taking proactive steps to ensure a fair valuation, you can protect your financial interests and receive the compensation you deserve.

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