Is it legal for an insurance company to refuse to pay a tow bill or pick up a vehicle that they saidwas covered?

UPDATED: Feb 22, 2012

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Is it legal for an insurance company to refuse to pay a tow bill or pick up a vehicle that they saidwas covered?

We are in Virginia and we towed in a vehicle that was in an accident. The vehicle and insurance is from New York. The insurance company originally told me the car was covered and they were waiting on paper work. I was given a name to talk to and he would call me back. After almost 8 months of being told the vehicle was covered and to hold on to it, I was informed that the insurance company would not pay the tow bill, any storage, or would not come get the car off my lot. Is this legal? What are my options?

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

What you have written about is a typical insurance coverage issue where the carrier thought the vehicle was covered under an insurance policy and after further considerations, the carrier changed its position.

What you have written about is not really a question of what was said was legal or not legal. Ultimately the owner of the vehicle that you towed and stored is responsible for your fees based upon what you have written. Your options are to bill the owner of the car you towed and stored and if the bill is not paid, you might be able to auction off the car under your state's mechanic's lien laws.

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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