Do Wisconsin auto inurance statutes require a company to determine that a vehicle damaged from a wind storm to classify the vehicle to be totalled if the repair costs are 100 of the retail value or 70

Our ten year old vehicle was crushed by a tree. We had purchased the vehicle from a dealer 7 years ago for 10,000. Kelly Blue Book states the vehicle value is 6200. The insurance company sent a check for the cost of the estimate to repair at 5470 and they insist the retail value is 11,500 which is absolutely not possible.

Asked on July 13, 2017 under Insurance Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no statutory rule for when a vehicle is totalled or not: it is up to the insurer. An insurer could chose to pay for $10,000 in repairs to a $5,000 car, or to total a $10,000 car and give you a check for that amount when the repair cost is only $1,000, for example--it would be exceedingly odd if they did either of those things, but they may. The typical practice is to total it when the repair cost exceeds the then-current value; that means that even if you are correct, if the car's value then was $6,200 and the repairs cost $5,470, there is nothing exceptional about them paying for the repairs, rather than totalling the vehicle.

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