Stolen / Recovered car

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 23, 2013

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Insurance Question from Needham, MA

Asked on 05/23/2013

Stolen / Recovered car Car stolen 43 days ago. After 30 days I signed title over to ins. Co. & sent in along w keys and bill of sale. They had not cut a settlement check for me yet. Car was found yesterday in another state in bad shape. I say car is theirs since they have my title. They say car is mine. Whose is it?

Answer given on May 27, 2013

When a are is stolen, and you have comprehensive coverage on the car, the insurance company usually waits for 30 days before offering a settlement. Since you had signed the title over to the insurance company it would seem that the company had accepted the total value of the car. However, if they are balking, then you may need to proceed with the claim as a recovered vehicle.You indicate the car is in bad shape. It is possible it will be considered a total loss and you would still get the actual cash value of the car, which would be the same amount offered by the insurance company.Have the insurance company inspect the car where it was found and see if they agree that it is a total. If they do not agree it is a total, then you need to have them repair the car and have it returned to you. That is a part of their expenses. They may then agree to a total loss and will let the issue resolve itself.

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