If my insurance company determines my vehicle a total loss, but the ACV is less than I owe, can I file a third party claim to pay the difference?

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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: Jul 28, 2014

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Insurance Question from Hiram, GA

Asked on 07/28/2014

If my insurance company determines my vehicle a total loss, but the ACV is less than I owe, can I file a third party claim to pay the difference? In this case the other driver was at fault in the accident.

Answer given on July 29, 2014

If your car was a total loss in an accident you can work through your own insurance company or the insurance company of the responsible driver. Either way, the insurance companies will determine the current actual cash value of your car. This is based on various sources such as the Kelly Blue Book, the Gold Book and local sales of a similar car. Even if you owe more that the actual cash value of the car, the ACV is all you will receive from the insurance company. By settling through your insurance company, it does not give you the right to go back to the other insurance company for additional money. However, your insurance company is including the deductible in your settlement. If they get full reimbursement from the other insurance company when they subrogate against them, you will get your deductible reimbursed.You can try to get the insurance company to increase the offer on your car. You can do this by providing them with other sources that show the value of your car is higher than offered. If you are successful, you will get the additional amount you were able to prove as the increased value of your car.

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