what happens when insurance property damage coverage is less than totalled motorcycle value?

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2009

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what happens when insurance property damage coverage is less than totalled motorcycle value?

I was hit by a car and their insurance coverage only had a property damage of $5000. The motorcycle will be totalled, and the estimated loss is around $8000, they only want to give me the $5000. can they take the bike and only give me the $5000? also if i wanted to keep my bike even after being totalled can they force me to pay them a salvage fee?

Asked on July 6, 2009 under Accident Law, California


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them in small claims court for either the balance of the property damage that is not covered by the insurance if they won't pay you for it on their own, or almost the whole amount--the limit in small claims court is $7500.  Then, if you keep the salvage, they can counter sue you for the value of the salvage.  Try to work it out with them if you can, but suing in small claims court is the easiest way to go. 

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