Legal Question in Insurance Law in California

auto insurance


Basically my insurance is paying 24,000 for my car repair. My car new had a cost of 40,000, now on kbb is at 28,500. What is the law? can I make my insurance give me a new car? the damage is now 84% of the current value.

I have the car on lease and was planning to buy the car after the lease period ends, but now I don't want that car, so the insurance will make me loose the 20,000 dollars that I would have paid at the end of the lease. Do I have a case or not?

Asked on 4/23/08, 5:28 pm

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1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: auto insurance

You should check the language of your policy. The insurance company most likely has the right to decide whether to repair the car or deem it totaled. Even if it chooses not to repair the car you will get only the car's fair market value. You can't make the insurer buy you a new car.

Keep in mind that you didn't have a new car at the time of the accident. You had a used car, even though you were the only one who had used it. The insurance policy is designed to restore you to the position you were in before the accident, not to put you into a better position. At most you are entitled to enough money to buy an equivalent used car. Giving you a comparable new car (or enough money to buy one) would leave you better off than you were before the accident. The insurance company might have been willing to sell you a policy that would have bought you a new car, but it surely would have charged you higher premiums.

I don't understand why you think you are going to lose the money you would have spent to buy the car when your lease ends. If you don't want the car you won't pay for it, and the money will never leave your checking account.

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Answered on 4/23/08, 9:36 pm

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