When is it O.K. to call body shop to release my totaled car to at fault persons insurance company.

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When is it O.K. to call body shop to release my totaled car to at fault persons insurance company.

My fiance was hit by a drunk driver. It has been over a week now and the drunk drivers insurance is picking up the liability and swears she is going to pay for more than half of the ACV (thank goodness we have the GAP insurance) but she wants us to call the body shop where is car is sitting and charging the insurance daily fee’s to call the body shop to release the car, so it can be moved to a shop that will not be charging the insurance comp. Nothing has been paid or signed at this time nor any actually figure amounts noted, so should we call the body shop just yet? and if not “when”?

Asked on May 14, 2009 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I would not release the car to the insurance company until I get a check for the damage or the ACV.  If you release it to them now, then they have both the money and the car!  If they don't want to incur the charges of storing the car, they can ask you to have it moved to a different shop. Tell them you will only have it towed at their expense, and get them to agree to be billed directly for the towing.  Once you get a check in your hand, then they can have the salvaged vehicle.  And just a question, why is she agreeing to pay for "more than half the ACV"?  You should be paid the full ACV if their driver was 100% at fault for the accident.  Perhaps you mean more than half the loan amount, because that's where gap insurance comes into play.  Just wondering.


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