can I get help with settling a claim amount?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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can I get help with settling a claim amount?

My car was stolen and recovered and is
considered a total loss. Insurance finally replied
and then offered me about 1,300 for my car.
They also asked for receipts and I found all
receipts totaling 2,600 for things I bought for
my car. They denied all receipts after I showed
them and after they calculated themselves.
They are offering me way less than what my
car is worth. And the minimum they said when I
got the full coverage was 2,500. If anything
happened to it. Can you help me with the
settlement? It’s been over 4 months and I have
been using my family members car to get to
work wihich is a gas eater.

Asked on July 26, 2017 under Insurance Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue isn't what they "said" when you bought the policy; it's what does the written policy, which is a contract, say. If the policy guarantees you $2,500, they have to provide you that much; if they won't, you could sue them (e.g. in small claims court) to get the amount they contracted to pay.
But if there is no guaranteed minimum in the policy, they owe you what the car's fair market value (or blue book value) was at the time it was totalled, given its make, mileage, model, year, condition. It does not not matter what you put into the car; all that matters is what it was then worth. If you are being offered what it was worth (more or less; it's not an exact science), that's all you are entitled to; if being offered less than that, you could again sue to get the fair market value.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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