Can I force my insurer to fix a motorcycleinstead of receiving their low-ball money offer?

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Can I force my insurer to fix a motorcycleinstead of receiving their low-ball money offer?

My son’s motorcycle was damaged in a parking lot (someone backed into it and it dropped to the ground). The insurance company invalidate the repair as $2,900 thus rendering it a total loss. They offered to pay the blue book value of $805, without accounting for the salvage depreciation even though the bike now has a salvaged title. However this motorcycle is valued as $1,800 – $2,000 in real life, plus all the fees and taxes that bring the cost to over $2,000. Since the insurance company does not budge on the compensation. Can I sue and force them to fix the motorcycle to a

Asked on July 5, 2011 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The answer is that if you believe that an insurer is not paying you the full value of your claim or your property, you can sue them to try to force them to pay more. Like any or all lawsuits, success, however, is not a given--you will have to prove in court (if they don't settle earlier) that the actual value as of the date the motorcycle was declared a loss was $1,800+ (note: you can't recover for fees and taxes--only for the actual value of the bike itself). It may or may not be worth doing this: for example, you'd likely have to handle the lawsuit yourself, inasumch as hiring a lawyer to try to get an extra $1,000 or so is likely a break even proposition at best, and very possibly would represent a net loss to you.


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