Property Damage 101

Below you will find the basics for what to expect when you’ve been in an accident and have to handle your property damage.

 

Do I have to allow the insurance company to move my vehicle?

  • YES.  You as a vehicle owner have a duty to mitigate damages & allowing the insurance company to move it to their storage facility will eliminate paying storage fees.  If you do not allow them to move it you can be responsible for the storage fees.

What happens when the insurance company deems my vehicle repairable & I think it is a total loss?

  • The insurance company makes the determination based on the vehicle repairs totaling over 75% of the fair market value then the vehicle will not worth repairing & will deem it a total loss.

Can I make the insurance company repair my vehicle instead of it being a total loss?

  • NO.  If the insurance company has determined the vehicle is a total loss they will ONLY pay the fair market value

What is the insurance company determines it is total loss & I want it repaired?

  • You can NOT make the insurance company repair the vehicle.  You can keep the vehicle & pay the salvage value.  The insurance company will still pay the fair market value but subtract for the salvage price of the vehicle.

Do I have to keep my vehicle?

  • NO.  The insurance company can take possession of the vehicle & they will pay you the fair market value.

What if the insurance company does not pay me what my vehicle is worth?

  • The insurance company ONLY has to pay the fair market value NOT what you think the value is or what you could replace the vehicle for.  Fair market value is determined by the value of a vehicle similar to your vehicle in the surrounding areas & what those are selling for.  The insurance company will then take an average of those to determine the fair market value.

Doesn’t the insurance company have to replace my vehicle or pay me the amount to replace my vehicle?

  • NO.  The insurance company based on North Carolina law only has to pay the fair market value.

What if the insurance company does not pay all that I owe on the vehicle loan & I am stuck paying for a vehicle that I no longer have?

  • Unfortunately sometimes this does happen.  If this does happen & you do not have GAP coverage there is nothing you can do.  If you have GAP coverage on the loan it will pay the remaining amount of the loan that was not covered by the fair market value.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A FREE CONSULTATION TODAY IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT

 

Written by Corene Justice, Case Manager, Hickory Office, Campbell & Associates, Attorneys at Law