What to do if my car is a total loss?

UPDATED: Feb 26, 2013

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What to do if my car is a total loss?

The insurance company says they will pay a certain value for car. However they feel the body shop is charging too much for storage fees and tear down work. Insurance company says they will take the diffence that they feel is fair out of the initial settle offer of totaled vehicle. How can they do this?

Asked on February 26, 2013 under Accident Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An insurer is only required to pay the reasonable (or typically, fair, or average cost) of services like those you describe--they are not required to absorb unreasonble, atypical, or too-high costs. If you feel they are wrong and these costs are reasonable, you could sue them under the policy to force them to pay the full amount; it is questionable whether doing so is cost effective for you.

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