One thing, however, R/H, is that my old car was properly valued and I was able to buy a newer, bigger car with a lower mileage to replace it. But I pay extra for this to my insurers (MAAF) and still do (they have a "premium value" option), and it was they who settled the bill, and paid me an additional amount for the contents which were destroyed (1.2k as the thing was full of camping equipment, plus my Nikon and a few lenses got smashed). I assume that they will claim back from the other party's insurance but at least I had a hassle free payment from them. They've also been brilliant in acting on my behalf with the lorry driver's lot and I've had reasonable interim payments from them every few months after both insurers' medics have done their assessments. To my mind at least, it's only when you have an accident that you realise whether an insurer is good or not - it's not all about being cheap - as our o/p is discovering.
Years ago my neighbours had a drunk drive his car into their garden where the wife's father's 12 year old Saab was parked. He had had the car from new and had looked after it really well, sparing no expense keeping it in tip top condition. He got about £800 for the thing and was devastated as, although it was a reasonable auction price for a similar car, nothing he could have bought to replace it could have been guaranteed to have been so well looked after. I suspect that the RHD element is only part of the problem. As R/H says, we are rather inclined to over-value our cars. A French motoring magazine which I get from time to time lists the 3 year depreciation values on all the cars on the market and these are always a minimum of 40%, even here where second hand values are pretty high.
I know how you feel though, Lotmontel, I still miss my little car and she saved my life!
"I couldn't sleep very well last night. Some noisy b*ggers going around in automobiles kept me awake." Ken Miles