This is a simplified/fictionalized event to help me understand the law/my rights. If jurisdiction matters, I am in New Zealand.

I have a vehicle which has sentimental value to me in excess of its insured/book value. My car is rear ended and the other party is at fault. The value of repairs is a about the value of the vehicle. The other parties insurer - who I am dealing with directly - wants to pay the book value of the vehicle (and take possession of the vehicle and write it off).
I expect that writing the vehicle off is advantageous to the insurer as they will be able to recoup some small part of the value by selling the car as a write off.

Am I entitled to get the vehicle repaired and require the other party/their insurer to pay the costs of the repair or can the insurer force me to accept market value and take my vehicle? What law/type of law covers this kind of issue? (I suspect this is tort law but have not been able to find any concrete information on this)

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    I can't answer for New Zealand, but this has happened to me a couple times and in each case I have been given the option to accept full value and surrender the car, or accept full value minus the salvage value and keep the car. Not sure if this is a right under any law, but the insurance companies have always been willing to do this. Commented May 8 at 20:41
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    How do you know that the vehicle will drive the same after its repairs, which, if you get to keep the vehicle, you will have to pay for? Sigh, draw a line, and move on. It's an inanimate object. Commented May 8 at 20:54
  • @WeatherVane We have consumer protection laws in NZ - we would expect it to be repaired to an acceptable standard. Again, I've simplified/fictionalized the question to help extract the relevant law/rights - my actual problem is a lot more nuanced (and this is not even my car). I fully agree with your philosophy and I've already encouraged the injured party to "move on".
    – davidgo
    Commented May 8 at 21:29
  • There may be a subtle misalignment which can't be adequately repaired. That has nothing to do with consumer protection. The insurance company has decreed that replacement is the only viable option. Commented May 8 at 23:16
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    @WeatherVane How does this line of questioning advance the discussion? As I understand it, OP is asking about the law governing a hypothetical transaction. Misdirecting the conversation to the mechanical implications of the collision doesn't illuminate anything that anyone is here to talk about.
    – bdb484
    Commented May 9 at 2:19


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