What to do if an insurance settlement doesn’t cover the amount of your outstanding car loan?

UPDATED: Apr 26, 2011

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UPDATED: Apr 26, 2011Fact Checked

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What to do if an insurance settlement doesn’t cover the amount of your outstanding car loan?

I was in car accident. When my 2011 SUV was being fixed it caught on fire. It is a total loss. I’m working with a bodyshop’s insurance company and they will give me enough to cover what I paid for it. Should they also cover payments I made so far on my vehicle and the payments I am still making on it? I still have to pay my car note even though I do not have it anymore.

Asked on April 26, 2011 under Accident Law, Georgia


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You most certainly should contact an attorney and get this settled so that the body shop pays off your car note. Bottom line, through no negligence of your own, through only the negligence of the body shop your car caught on fire. Or there was an internal glitch with the car and a recall may be needed. Your attorney who specializes in such cases can look at all the evidence and sue all the parties involved, the insurance company, the body shop, your insurance company, and possibly the motor vehicle manufacturer and anyone else in the stream of commerce. Bottom line, in this situation while yes the cost of replacement may indeed be the usual course but you still have a note, so really you have not been made whole.

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