The notion is that the damaged party and the insurance company has yet to come to an agreement on the amount.
perhaps it's not wise for me to put myself in the middle but there are right and wrong statements from both sides of the argument. I don't come here to argue but to further my understanding and I try to listen to everyone as often they'll say something right and something not so right. and so I'm generally grateful for all replies.
for example, the reason the insurance is allowed to deduct the salvage value (even before adding sales taxes they are meant to reimburse you for) is not that the insurance can do anything they want, but it's very simply because the CA code Section 2695.8 specifically states that they can do so, by law. If you read it, it says plainly how they can deduct the salvage value.
on the other hand it's true that to argue against their valuation you have to provide ad evidence, as the same Section 2695.8 even tells you what specific information you need to have to consider the ad legitimate (for example, VIN is listed).
by the way, I wrote a very nice letter to the insurance citing Section 2695 and provided the ads proving a higher valuation. the claim adjuster keeps refusing to reply in writing but only does so by phone, has not answered to any request for any rental coverage (even after accepting full liability), and has provided exactly zero reasons why they want to ignore my ads that are much closer in mileage. they only offer $20 for the DMV fees even though registering a new car surely costs more than that. even if their valuation is correct, at the very least they should cover the correct fees or acknowledge that they will cover excess fees once you pay. so I'm suggesting filing a complaint to the dept. of insurance.
I would just sue the other driver in small claims (it worked for me years ago as the insurance settled before going to court, but only after I filed it online), but maybe the CA state can knock some sense into this claim adjuster.
in passing I would also add that while they have no direct legal obligation towards you (apart CA code Section 2695) in the sense that you don't have a contract with them, they DO have a contract with the other driver to cover their liability. so to plainly refuse is illegal because of the contract they have with the other driver. of course, often the other driver does not want to be involved at all, and the insurance usually does not really refuse anything, they just try to lowball you hoping you give up.