If another person’s insurance company cuts me a check for their customer hitting my car, do I have to use all of the money for repairs?

Someone hit my car when I was in the gym. She filed a claim with her
own insurance. The insurance company provided me with an estimate and
cut me a check for that amount. The mechanic I go to can do the work
for cheaper. Am I allowed to keep the difference from the insurance

Asked on May 2, 2016 under Accident Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Under the circumstances you describe, yes--you did not defraud the insurer by lying about the cost to repair (or how or where you would repair the car); rather, they voluntarily cut you a check with no strings attached for what they think is the proper amount. Since they voluntarily chose to give the check directly to you without imposing any limitations on your use of it in a settlement agreement, the money is yours.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.