Legal Question in Insurance Law in Florida

Hi,

I bought a used Honda for 15k about 2 months ago and 2 weeks ago I was in an accident which was not really my fault but I was given fault. I put 5k down and financed 10k. The insurance company is telling me that the repairs are 10k and therefore it would be better to list is as a total loss. Problem is they are only offering me 12k for the car, minus the 1k deductible (so 11k), even though they inspected the car a few weeks ago when I got insurance on it and know that it is in excellent condition. Kelly Blue Book is saying the car in excellent condition is worth 15k. They are claiming they only need to pay out the loan amount. Is this even legal for them to do? Arenít they supposed to pay out what the car is worth at the time of the accident when itís deemed a total loss? I know they are trying to screw me over; I just wanted to confirm if Iím right so I know how far to take this in case I need to threaten them with a lawsuit. I know itís not a lot of money but being that I just started college, I canít afford to lose any money on this.

Thank you!

Asked on 6/05/13, 4:58 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary
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Which is insurance company are you dealing with? Your insurance? The other driver's insurance? It matters. Are you dealing with credit insurance or actual property damage coverage? Property damage insurance should pay you the value of the car at the time of the accident. It likely had diminished in value from the date of purchase to accident so not likely going to be 15K. It may be closer than they say, but may not be worth litigating it as it will cost you more money UNLESS it is your insurance then you have a potential attorney's fee claim. Seek some legal help with all the paperwork. The bottom line is you may consider taking something in between the 15K and 12K offer and be done with it.

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Answered on 6/06/13, 2:05 am

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