Do we have to accept the offer to fix our truck after a fire?

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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: Jan 28, 2013

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Insurance Question from Royal, TN

Asked on 01/28/2013

Do we have to accept the offer to fix our truck after a fire? We have a 1999 Ford F150. It was subject to recall for catching on fire. We have had the truck for 2 years and didn't know about the recall. It caught on fire in our driveway one afternoon. The adjuster valued the truck at $5600. The damage is $2600. Do we have to accept the truck being fixed. I am not comfortable with my wife or son ever driving the truck again once fixed. Do we have to accept it getting fixed or can we take the totalled value of the truck?

Answer given on January 28, 2013

If your truck was damaged due to a fire, and you have comprehensive insurance coverage on it, the insurance company will review the damage to the truck and determine if it can be repaired. In your case, the damage is well under the actual cash value of the truck, so the insurance company will pay to repair the truck. Since the value is so much greater than the damage, the insurance company will not be willing to adjust the settlement. You cannot force the insurance company to make the truck a total loss.Since the truck was under recall for possible fires, the repair place will be sure that the recall issue is addressed while repairing the truck. Confirm this with them. If they do not seem willing to make sure of the recall issue, get the truck repaired elsewhere.After the truck is repaired you can, of course, sell or trade the truck in and get another vehicle.

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