Quite.......However, what has always been important to me with such vehicles is (sorry, as already said) ‘Agreed Value’ cover, so I know what the payout will be in the event of a total loss, which can equal - minor wing damage for example.
Of course, some of these cars may have been bought when prices were on their knees, so - so what? However, some cars may having been bought on the basis of good money having been paid for good examples, making ‘agreed value‘ essential to safeguard the asset.
As is plain from the number of threads on various motoring forums where owners are whinging about the derisory value that the insurer has placed on the old/classic car that they have spent thousands of pounds on. Even with the recent firming of values of MG Rover era cars, the actual value is unlikley to be as much as many forum members will value what they have put into their cars, and equally as unlikely to allow them to buy a comparable replacement which has had the same amount of time, effort and money put into it as their written off one has had, and is therefore unable to be considered as potentially reliable.
And, as you have already suggested, a good many (if not most) insurance companies nowadays have exclusive salvage agreements with one of the big salvage disposal companies (such as Copart or IAA), and they will not allow the insured to buy back/retain any vehicle subject to a claim which they have declared a total loss/write-off.