If my car was totaled just after having had repairs made to it, amI also allowed compensation to cover the repair costs?

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If my car was totaled just after having had repairs made to it, amI also allowed compensation to cover the repair costs?

My son had an accident with a car I own.The other party’s insurance company accepted 100% fault for the accident. The estimate for our car is $4,500; they offered $3,100 to total the car. This would be fine except that I just put $1900 into the car 2 weeks ago. Can I also, under IN law, force the insurance company to pay the $3 ,100 plus the $1,900 I just put into the car?

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, the cost of recent repairs is not taken into acccount when determining what the insurer must pay. When a car is totalled, the insurer's obligation is to pay the then-current value of the car (sometimes called it's blue book value), taking into account make, model, year, mileage, and condition (e.g. had it been damaged previously). "Upgrades" to the car--a better stereo; hands free cellular or built in GPS; an aftermarket turbocharger or more expensive/higher quality wheels--can increase it's value over what would otherwise be its base value, and, if they are proven, should be taken into account. But repairs and maintenance do not increase the value or what the insurer must pay.


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