Legal Question in Insurance Law in Pennsylvania

PA Automobile Insurance Law

Dear sir or madam,

My wife was in an auto accident. She was not at fault. Our vehicle is still drivable, but has damage to the rear. It is a 1995 Chrysler Town and Country, loaded with every available option and in good condition (well maintained, everything works, good tires, lots of new parts, etc). The Insurance Company (Nationwide) representing the at-fault driver sent an agent to our house. He inspected the vehicle, and gave an estimate of $2,500 for repairs. However, the claim also states that the vehicle is only valued at $2,500 and therefore will be ''totalled''. The paperwork claimed to compare the vehicle to similar vehicles. However, Kelley Blue Book and NADA values are significantly higher. We have not yet accepted this settlement offer. The agent wants us to take the check and allow him to tow away the vehicle.

We have been looking to buy a replacement vehicle of similar vintage with similar features (AWD, Towing Package, Extended Wheelbase, etc) and can't find anything less than $5,000. Friends have advised us that Nationwide is legally obligated to replace the vehicle with one of similar value/mileage/features/wear. Is that true?

What other recourse do we have? Or are we ''stuck'' accepting?

Asked on 3/14/07, 8:55 am

1 Answer from Attorneys


Re: PA Automobile Insurance Law

the company is to pay the cost of repair, including any new items added to the vehicle such as new tires, brakes etc. They only have to pay up to the value of the vehicle. You can offer to take the money less the salvage value and keep the car. This is why people who are injured in these accidents sue for property damage as well as personal injuries.

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Answered on 3/14/07, 8:58 am

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