Question

Can I be compensated for repairs prior to a car being totaled?

Paid expenses during the time that my car was in the Toyota dealership to get repaired, but insurance says we just cover 30 days car rental and the vehicle was eventually totaled. So repairs are useless. My car was in the repair shop for more than three months (about 100 days). Insurance paid 15k to fix it, but couldn't. After all the waiting, insurance declared it a total loss. I paid the following expenses when the car was in the shop:
  • 2 months extra for car rental (insurance paid for 30 days): $1500
  • 3 months of car payment's interest: $450
  • 3 months for insurance: $550
Since I was paying my insurance and insurance spent 3 months on repairing the car and it cost me 2500, and I lost my car, can I claim these expenses? If my car was declared total loss at the beginning, then I did not need to pay for these expenses.

Jan 20, 2019 Plano, TX

Answer
Ava Lynch

Jan 20, 2019

So the answer, as you might expect, is a bit complicated. If the insurance company initially set up you up with a rental and it took them 3 months to declare the vehicle a total loss, the insurance company may be responsible for covering the additional 2 months worth of rental charges. If you initially got a rental vehicle yourself before the claims process started, then the additional rental charges would likely be on you. As for the car payments, any additional payments made by you would reduce the amount you owe on the loan. This goes towards the balance of the amount owed on the vehicle and nothing to do with the insurance company's payout for the vehicle. As for the monthly premium payments, you are required to have an active policy since you are still driving. Regardless of the status of the claim, you still need insurance to drive the rental. Long story, short: it may be possible to have the 2 additional months of rental charges covered by the insurance company, but the monthly insurance and car payments are still required by you.

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