Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 23, 2012

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Insurance Question from Columbus, OH

Asked on 02/23/2012

How can I get money to pay towards another vehicle? While driving under an overpass I drove over a patch of ice and slipped off the highway and totaled my car. My insurance company claimed I was at fault although I was not cited by the officer who took the accident report. My vehicle was totaled out by my insurance company and they gave me an offer lower than the amount left on the loan. Gap insurance will cover the difference. Although the car will be totally paid off it puts me in a bad situation because I am not currently working but was working when I initially took out the loan on the car. They have not offered me anything to help me.

Answer given on February 23, 2012

Auto insurance will pay the actual cash value of your car when involved in a total accident. The gap insurance pays off the remainder of the loan, but the insurance company has no obligation to pay anything further to you for the damages to the car. You should talk to your lender to see if they will work with you for a replacement car. Since you have been a customer, and presuming your payments have always been on time, they may be willing to offer you a loan for a less expensive car.If that does not work you should go to a used car dealer. They often have availability of loans for those who don’t have a current job. The interest rate is usually higher, but you may be able to find an acceptable car at an affordable price. If you get a job you can work on getting another car using the replacement car as the down payment for the new car.


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