If my car was repaired by the insurance company but the bill ended was than 51% of value (which is the threshold for totaling a vehicle), can I make them total it now that the threshold has been met?

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If my car was repaired by the insurance company but the bill ended was than 51% of value (which is the threshold for totaling a vehicle), can I make them total it now that the threshold has been met?

Asked on January 14, 2016 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't force them to total the car. Legally, an insurer is never required to total a vehicle; they could repair it even if it's nearly destroyed. The reason they don't is that it's not economically or reasonable to pay more to fix something than that thing is not, so the law doesn't require them to repair that which can be totalled more cheaply--but if they choose to pay to repair something when they could have totalled it, they may. Also, you write that the car has been repaired: the law would never require a perfectly good, already-been-fixed car to be totalled, because that would require double expenditures by the insurer (first pay to fix; then to total), which they are not required to do.


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