What to do if my insurer is still repairing my car even though repairs will cost more than it’s worth?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What to do if my insurer is still repairing my car even though repairs will cost more than it’s worth?

My father was recently driving my car and over compensated and hit a guard rail. The passenger side had major damaged done to the car. I went through my insurance and had it towed to their auto body shop on Jan 1. They told me it was repairable and it should be 12 -14 days. Now I’m being told I won’t have my car until the 31st. The damages that the insurance are covering are over what Kelly Blue Book says that my car is worth and $1,000 less than what I owe on my load still. My insurance is also not covering my rental car that is costing $1,000 due to leasing it for so long nor the tires or the windshield. All which were due to the accident. The insurance company still considers it repairable. I’ve had major problems even before the accident and now I’m very concerned that I’m going to have even more out of pocket costs after the fact.

Asked on January 25, 2018 under Accident Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) The insurer is allowed to spend more on repairs than a car is worth--it's unusual and unwise, but legal. There is no requirement that they "total" the car and pay you its value rather than repair it.
2) The insurer has to pay whatever the policy says it does--no more and no less. So if the policy states they must cover the rental, they have to; if it states they have to pay for all damages, including tires and windscreen, they must pay for those, too. If they won't pay all amounts due under the policy, you could sue them for "breach of contract" to enfroce their policy obligations.

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