Can atotal loss settlement offer be rescinded after it has been accepted?

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Can atotal loss settlement offer be rescinded after it has been accepted?

I was made a settlement offer on the phone yesterday for $10,150. I accepted the offer and scanned and emailed them a copy of the title and my drivers license. The adjuster called me this morning and basically said, “Sorry, we made a mistake and now your offer is $6,050.” Can they do this? I have already entered into a written agreement to purchase a car based on the offer I accepted yesterday.

Asked on June 16, 2011 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

Richard Weaver / The Weaver Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

We would have to examine whether there was a true contract between you and the insurance company. You may also have other remedies or claims, but I would like to talk to you about it.

Feel free to call to discuss.

 

R.D. Weaver

Attorney At Law

Phone: 866-605-6226

Direct Phone: 713-572-4900

www.WeaverLawyers.com

 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may have good grounds to fight for the larger sum:

1) If there was a firm offer and you unequivocally evidenced acceptance, that would constitute an agreement which is enforceable. Whether this is the case depends on the exact circumstances (e.g. what was said by whom; were there any caveats or reservations; etc.), but from what you write, it may be the case there was an accepted offer. Once accepted, both parties are bound to it.

2) Even without an agreement being formed, if you reasonably relied on the representation as to what you would receive, it *may* be the case that you could hold the insurer liable under the theory of promissory estoppel--sometimes, if party A reasonably relies on a promise made by party B, party B is "estopped" from later denying that promise. This is a "shakier" or less certain ground that the one described above, but you may be able to at least make the argument.


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