How much does insurance have to pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How much does insurance have to pay?

My vehicle was totaled and it had about $15,000 worth of upgrades on it. The insurance company is saying they will not pay for any aftermarket parts. What should I do?

Asked on May 2, 2019 under Accident Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Are you talking about your own insurance or the other drivers, if it was a multi-car accident? If your own insurer, they don't have to pay for aftermarket upgrades unless you disclosed the upgrades and their cost to the insurer, and then paid an enhanced premium based on that. You paid for a policy for a certain make, model, and year of car, which is valued at a certain amount; the amount you were charged (premium) for that policy is based on the value of the car. Therefore, you only paid for insurance covering the base or typical value of that car, and did not pay an extra amount to cover an enhanced value. You only get the coverage you pay for; so if you did not disclose (and pay for) an extra $15,000 of upgrades, the insurer doesn't have to pay for it. This is the same principal that your renter's or homeowner's insurance will only pay for the typical contents of a home and will not pay for expensive jewlery or artwork in the apartment or home unless the person discloses it and pays for a "rider" upgrading the coverage.
If the other person's insurer and that driver was at fault in the accident, they have to pay for the full value of your car so long as you can prove that value (e.g. with receipts, etc.). Of course, there will be depreciation, so what cost you $15,000 to install is no longer worth $15,000, but whatever the value is, they have to pay. If they are offering you a settlement that you feel is too low, you can reject it and sue their driver for the full, provable 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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