When your car has been determined a total loss due to the extent of damages it sustained in an accident they evaluate the vehicle to determine its actual cash value (ACV). A vehicle is normally totaled out by an insurer when the repairs, storage, etc is found to be between 51 and 80 percent of the vehicle's worth.
To determine the ACV insurance companies may use the NADA guide, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, etc which consumers have historically used to determine the value of their vehicle but insurance carriers also now use computer software. CCC is short for CCC Information Services which is based in Chicago and provides auto damage software. They specially have a program that calculates the value of totaled vehicles. Approximately 80 percent of all auto insurers use CCC's total-loss valuation program to calculate a vehicle's total-loss value.
Other insurance companies may use similar software available from companies such as ADP Claims Solutions and Mitchell.
CCC establishes vehicle valuations by physically inspecting vehicles for sale at local dealers in your area as well as researching local newspapers and automobile publications. All of this information is stored in the CCC database. This database allows CCC to continuously track the local market value of various vehicles.
CCC Field Inventory Representatives regularly inspect vehicles at nationwide auto dealers while maintaining vehicle advertisements published in newspapers and other local publications. The ultimate goal of CCC's database is to identify vehicles in your area that are comparable to the one that was declared a total loss. These comparable vehicles are known as comps, and their information is loaded into software that is licensed by insurance companies. An insurer that uses the program then issues a check for the totaled car's ACV.
CCC states that its software's values take into consideration all aspects affecting the value of a vehicle, including its age, mileage, options, and condition. The company states that since its founding in 1980, their total loss program has valued over 20 million vehicles for insurance companies, banks, and governmental agencies.
So insurance companies purchase third party computer systems (like CCC) to help them estimate costs in automotive claims and collision repairs. CCC and other third party companies supply insurers with software and databases that helps the insurance provider determine the ACV of a vehicle based upon this automated claims process.