Is a voicemail from an insurance company legally binding?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is a voicemail from an insurance company legally binding?

My husband was working for Lyft when he got in an accident. He had his driver
app open but no passenger in the car. Through Travelers insurance we paid extra
for rideshare and new car replacement. Travelers left a voicemail saying that
they went ahead and paid off our loan and were depositing 7243.00 into our
account because that was the extra left for the value of our car. We never
received the money and now they are saying that they made a mistake and Lyft
will be primary on our insurance and they will have 0 liability. Lyft has a
high deductible and will not honor the new car replacement policy. So instead
of having our loan paid off and extra money in our bank account, we are going
to get 0 dollars and end up being upside down on our loan. Any advice is
appreciated and also they did give my husband a ticket but he is pleading not
guilty and has not had a trial yet.I just don’t understand how an insurance
company can take back their payment and not honor what they said. My email is

Asked on October 18, 2018 under Accident Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They can do this because what they said did not form a contract, and the law only enforces promises that are part of contracts. To create a contract, you must have promised them something in return for their promise of payment; but instead, there was only a one-way promise (them to you), not a two-way promise (each of you to the other). A one-way, or unilateral, promise, may be reneged upon or dishonored at will; for example, if in a fit of generosity, you offered to pay for a friend to come along on your vacation, you could later rethink that, decide not to, and your friend couldn't force you to take them on vacation. Siimilarly here, the insurer may rethink or go back on its promise.

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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