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How do you find the replacement cost value for an item made for only a few years in the 1940s by an obscure manufacturer and with little-to-no sales history? Our claims adjuster faced such a challenge when the insured reported the theft of a Ranger Scooter manufactured by the Mead Cycle Company in Chicago, IL. The insured claimed a value of $3,000 to $4,000 for the stolen scooter, but initial research turned up no like kind and quality comparable data for determining the replacement value, requiring the expertise of contents claims specialists.      

Case Background 

While our adjuster attended to other priorities, contents claims specialists researched the pedigree and types of scooters dating back to the 1930s when scooters were gaining popularity as a low cost, fuel-efficient mode of transportation. The major brands of the day were Cushman, Salsbury and Moto Scoot. Mead Cycle Company was a major producer of bicycles in the first half of the 20th century. Mead wished to capitalize on the brand recognition of their “Ranger” bicycle. In an agreement with Moto Scoot, their scooters were branded as “Mead Rangers.” Through old advertisements, periodicals, and historical documents, the contents specialists determined that the Mead Ranger Scooter was marketed for only a few years in the late 30’s until the Second World War. The actual specifications of the “Ranger” were determined, but there was little-to-no sales history of the item in question. 

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