What can I do if an insurance company’s offer is not sufficient to replace my totalled vehicle?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can I do if an insurance company’s offer is not sufficient to replace my totalled vehicle?

Through research, insurance company’s offer is not sufficient to replace my vehicle with a comparable vehicle based on options, mechanical/body condition and mileage.

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Is this your insurer (e.g. your own collision coverage) or another party's insurer (e.g. the liabiltity insurance of a driver who hit your car)?

Your collision coverage: check what the policy says--the insurer has to pay as per the policy's terms. If the policy obligates them to replace your vehicle with a comparable one, that's what they'd have to do, and if they don't, you could sue your own insurer to enforce its obligations. However, most policies only obligate  the insurer to pay the then-current value  (the "blue book" value) of the car at the time it was totalled. This is almost always less than the cost to replace wiith something comparable; however, since that's all the insurer is legally (contractually; the policy is a contract) required to pay, that's all you can get. If they're not even offered the then-current value of your car, you could again sue to force them to at least pay its value.

Other driver's liability: the other driver, if at fault, would have to pay the then-current value, not replacement value, though would also potentially be responsible for other direct, out-of-pocket costs (e.g. towing; renting a replacement until you can buy a new car; etc.). If the insurer has made you a settlement offer and you are not satisfied with it, you could sue the other driver. To prevail, you'd have to prove he/she was at fault, show that you were not at fault, too, and also prove your losses or costs.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption