Do I have to accept an insurance company’s estimate payout?

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Do I have to accept an insurance company’s estimate payout?

I got an estimate to repair my car when it was rear-ended. However, the person’s insurance sent me to their claims adjuster who wrote an estimate for far less than the original after I told them that I was going to trade the car as is so the check was to be sent to me. Do I have to accept their estimate or can I submit the one that I got from another body shop? The original shop was also one of the company’s authorized body shops.

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can submit your estimate, but it does not mean they will accept it.  Whether it's physical repairs to a car or medical bills, there is usually an disagreement between plaintiffs and defendants in any car wreck case.  You will probably have to haggle with them a little bit.  They may compromise and come up on theirs a little bit.  If you want the full amount of the higher estimate, you may have to file a suit.  You may also want to talk to your insurance company.  Many will help with the negotiating process because they don't want to pay on the claim.  Depending on your coverage, they may or may not provide legal support.  If you have to hire your own attorney, you may want to consider the compromise amount to avoid the extra expense of an attorney.


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