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Do I have to repair the car?

Discussion in 'Automobile & Car Insurance' started by insight2late, May 8, 2020.

  1. insight2late

    insight2late Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    My car went into the ditch and hit a sign post damaging the passenger side front and rear seats. I'm supposed to take it to a "covered" body shop for an estimate. The doors will have to be replaced and I have a $500 deductible which I can't afford
    Their estimate will be a lot higher than my solution of buying 2 doors from the junkyard and putting them in. But the Insurance company will insist paying the "covered body shop". I want that check. Is there a particular law I could use to force them to give me the check?
    The car is on a collateralized loan. Am I obligated to bring the car up to it's original "appearance" or can I do my own thing?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Your loan almost definitely requires that you maintain the vehicle, including repairing damage.
     
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  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You aren't entitled to the check, and there is no check if there are no repairs.
     
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  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    To be clear, this is because of the lien on the vehicle (actually, because of the contractual requirements associated with that lien). If the OP owned the vehicle outright, then it would be different. He'd be entitled to the money and wouldn't have to repair the car.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That's where your problem is. Your insurance company cannot compel you to use a "covered" body shop. You can take the car to a body shop of your choice. You can instruct the body shop to estimate using used parts. You can even repair the car yourself.

    The insurance company also cannot insist on paying the body shop. But it is likely to issue the check to you and your lender if your lender is listed on your policy as a loss payee. Unfortunately, then you will have to deal with the lender because your loan contract (read it) specifies how claims payments are to be handled. You will have to endorse the check over to the lender and the lender will want to make sure the car is properly repaired before it releases the money.

    There is one way to avoid all that. Buy your doors from the junk yard, install them, pay for it yourself. If the cost is less than your $500 deductible then you have no claim and no reason to get the lender involved.

    If it costs you more than $500, you can submit the receipts to your insurance and, after deducting the $500, they are likely to issue the check for the balance in your name only if it's just a few hundred dollars.

    What isn't going to happen is you get an estimate for a thousand or two, get the junk yard doors and keep the rest of the money. Nope, not gonna happen that way.
     
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  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    True. But at the next renewal the insurance company would have no obligation to renew coverage on an unrepaired car. The non-renewal would result in the OP paying more for insurance with the next insurance company, if he could get damage coverage at all.
     
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  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Correct you are, sir.

    To paraphrase the Ronnie Milsap song, "There's no getting your way with an insurance company".

     
  8. insight2late

    insight2late Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you all for the advice. A few years ago I had "hail damage" to my house" and it only broke in a couple places so I didn't replace it and I was able to get a $2000+ check for that and so I was loathe to fix the car.hoping to gain that money back also. I had a horrific fight with my separated husband who makes 3x as much I do. I get $1,375 for the month on social security. . He cosigned on the loan and checks in with a different insurance company to find out everything you all just told me. Thank you for your impartial true advice.
    I didn't ask him to check into it but he just barrels ahead to get the info but many times he tells me things that aren't true just so I'll do it. I thought "what did it matter if it were fixed or not if we made the payments?" Maybe a couple of you could help me raise the $500 I need. I'm a Christian, the real kind, i'm a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I go to a gospel preaching church and I have never ever asked anyone for help. Eye on forever at g mail com is where you can Pay pal me. I'm not lying about my need and I can send you a picture of the damaged car. Somehow I turned the wrong way into on-coming freeway traffic so I took the ditch. Why do they put so many signs in the ditch? I hit one to avoid a head on collision. And if the donated amount goes over $500, I will send the extra back. Boy I'm sure this sounds like a con job and my husband--we're separated won't help me out at all
    I do appreciate your advice. My husband and I are separated for 17 years. We don't believe it's biblical to divorce. I come from a family where honesty was an absolute must and he lied big-time to me the first month of our marriage. So I couldn't trust him anymore and I left him. I can't believe he would lie to me. I guess his parents whipped the crap out of him if he did something wrong and so he learned to lie. Well, that's no excuse.. To me that broke the vows.
    Thanks for listening. Susan.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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  10. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    I've never seen an insurer know or care if repairs were done. What they WON'T do is pay out on unrepaired damage from a previous accident (whether they paid it or not).
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The insurer doesn't care, but the lien holder will ;)
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    And every insurance payment I've seen has required the lien holder to sign off on it (when one exists).
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    Right, I wasn't arguing with that. I was talking about AJ's comment that they wouldn't renew the policy with damage to the vehicle.
     
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  14. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I hate it when cars do that.

    I assume that what you really meant is that you lost control of your care and you drove it into the ditch. Right?

    I'm not really sure what you're talking about. You are, of course, free to repair your car in whatever way you see fit (subject to the terms of your loan agreement). If you want to do that by buying junk, that's up to you. However, your insurance company isn't obligated to do anything more than what your policy says. If you have a $500 deductible and are able to acquire the junk parts for less than that amount, that's great. But you'll not be entitled to anything from your insurer because the cost of repairs won't exceed your deductible.

    Read your loan contract and tell us.
     

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