Can a Body Shop ask for more money if insurance doesn’t pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a Body Shop ask for more money if insurance doesn’t pay?

I have had my car repaired in California and the repair shop only charged me the deductible. I told them that I should be paying more since the insurance gave me a portion of the money. They said that everything else was covered and gave me the invoice and I paid. I told them I didn’t want a surprise bill and they said I would not get one. I am sure that there will be a balance left unpaid but will the company be able to ask for more payment after I have paid the invoice?

Asked on December 16, 2017 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If they give you a final invoice and you pay it, then if it is clear that the invoice is meant to be the final, full amount you are required to pay, they cannot after the fact decide to charge you more: they will be bound to the amount they proposed and you agreed to. 
If there is damage found after the invoice and you have them repair it, that would be different--the invoice only covers work done up to its date.

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