Insurance Claims/Auto Theft

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Insurance Claims/Auto Theft

My truck was recently stolen, it has been found and at a total loss. The insurance agent got ahold of me and told me that basically for the value of my truck which was in great shape before it was stolen is roughly 5400 after my 1000 deductiable.
I had reached out to my car sales mean who has been working with me for about a year, and they told me that was a low value price and sent me the updated Kelly blue book value. How can I appeal a insurance claim? I owe on my truck and as NO ONE informed me about GAP insurance, I am now left with a 4000 truck payment 270 a month for a truck I don’t have anymore

Asked on October 5, 2017 under Accident Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you have already accepted the money, you can't do anything: accepting it means you accepted and agreed to their number. If you have not accepted it yet, you could sue your insurer for breach of contract: that is, for violating their contractual obligation (an insurance policy is a contract) to pay you the fair market value. If you could prove in court that they are not paying you the fair market value, you could get a court judgment (order) requiring them to pay you that fair market value. However, lawsuits take time (including time away from work, since court cases are only heard M-F, 9am to 4pm, as a general matter) and cost money to pursue; if you're talking about only getting another few hundred dollars, even a little more than a thousand, at most, it is very unlikely to be worthwhile to go to the cost and trouble of suing. Note that you'd need someone who has experience or expertise in valuing trucks like this--like a salesman for used trucks, or an insurance adjustor--to testify in court as to the value (under court evidence rules, you can't just show the court the Kelly blue book; you need live testimony from someone with experience or credentials), and unless such a person was a friend or otherwise did it for free for you, you'd have to pay them for their time, which cost would eat into any extra amount you hope to get from the insurer (you have to pay this cost yourself; you can't get it back from the other side). And if you were to hire an attorney to help you, you'd have to foot that cost, too.

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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