Can an insurance company force me to pay a down payment on money I owe for an accident that was my fault?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an insurance company force me to pay a down payment on money I owe for an accident that was my fault?

I was in a car accident
that I was ticketed
for. It was only a 20
mph or lower accident.
It was my fault and
they say it cost 5200
to fix. I’m willing to
make payments but the
insurance company says
that I have to make a
down payment and a
minimum of 200 a month
until paid off. Can
they do that?

Asked on June 17, 2017 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you owe money for damage you caused--which you evidently do--you owe it immediately; there is no right to pay it over time, or for the at-fault party to decide how much he/she will pay monthly. Any payment plan or agreement for payment over time is voluntary on the part of *both* parties; i.e. the insurer has to agree to it as well as you. If they don't agree to what you propose, or you don't agree to what they propose, and so the two of you cannot come to an agreement, they have the right to sue you for all the money immediately. Therefore, they can insist on a down payment and set a minimum payment; if you don't agree to that, they can sue you. While the lawsuit will take a few months, once it is done, you will owe all the money immediately, and may owe more money, too--e.g. court costs and possibly legal/collections costs.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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