If my car caught on fire do to a recall can I collect money from both insurance company and car company car company is obligated to pay for car burning down and that’s what I pay 400.00 a moth for full covdrage

The recall on my 04 Pontiac Grand Prix
was for a head gasket leaking oil on
exhaust and catching on fire well my
car caught on fire because of this and
now wondering if I can collect from
insurance and car company

Asked on May 27, 2016 under Accident Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can collect from both, but only up to the then-current value of the car (its blue book value, at the time of the fire), plus any other reasonable, direct out of pocket costs you incurred (e.g. towing; renting a replacement vehicle while buying or leasng another car). It does matter what the car is worth to you--your personal valuation is irrelevant legally. All that matters--all the law would require your insurer and/or the manufacturer to pay--is the value of the destroyed property and your other economic costs or losses. 
The law also doesn't let you "double dip": no matter how many pay, you still can only get the same total amount of money. So, if the car was worth, say, $5,000 at the time, you can get $5k from the insurer, or $5k from the manufacturer, or $2.5k from each, or $4k from one and $1k from the other, etc.

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