Is it illegal to pocket leftover insurance money?

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Is it illegal to pocket leftover insurance money?

We were in an accident. Their insurance cut is a check for $3,600. We had a quote for body work for $2,000. Took the car to be repaired and when called to pick it up they said we owed 3600 because that’s what insurance paid us. They then said it was illegal for us to pocket the money. First, is it legal for us to pocket the extra? And is it OK for them to change the estimate without consulting with us first? Am I able to pay the original amount and still pick up my car legally?

Asked on June 27, 2016 under Insurance Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No...it is not illegal. It is your money to spend.  If you wanted to keep the funds and not repair the car, you could have.  You received an estimate.  The insurance company approved that estimate.  You just did a good job of negotiating of better price and you won't be penalized for good negotiating.  The shop just wants a few extra dollars out of you.


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