How much does insurance have to pay?

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How much does insurance have to pay?

My vehicle was totaled and it had about $15,000 worth of upgrades on it. The insurance company is saying they will not pay for any aftermarket parts. What should I do?

Asked on May 2, 2019 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Are you talking about your own insurance or the other drivers, if it was a multi-car accident? If your own insurer, they don't have to pay for aftermarket upgrades unless you disclosed the upgrades and their cost to the insurer, and then paid an enhanced premium based on that. You paid for a policy for a certain make, model, and year of car, which is valued at a certain amount; the amount you were charged (premium) for that policy is based on the value of the car. Therefore, you only paid for insurance covering the base or typical value of that car, and did not pay an extra amount to cover an enhanced value. You only get the coverage you pay for; so if you did not disclose (and pay for) an extra $15,000 of upgrades, the insurer doesn't have to pay for it. This is the same principal that your renter's or homeowner's insurance will only pay for the typical contents of a home and will not pay for expensive jewlery or artwork in the apartment or home unless the person discloses it and pays for a "rider" upgrading the coverage.
If the other person's insurer and that driver was at fault in the accident, they have to pay for the full value of your car so long as you can prove that value (e.g. with receipts, etc.). Of course, there will be depreciation, so what cost you $15,000 to install is no longer worth $15,000, but whatever the value is, they have to pay. If they are offering you a settlement that you feel is too low, you can reject it and sue their driver for the full, provable value.


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