General Question

rockinrobin's avatar

If someone hits my vehicle and that person's insurance company writes me a check and I keep the money rather than get my vehicle repaired, is that insurance fraud?

Asked by rockinrobin (7points) June 24th, 2009

The insurance company didn’t total my truck but issued a me a check that, in my opinion, is for about what the truck is worth considering the oil leak and the rust damage to the frame. I am considering just pocketing the check and junking the truck. I was paid essentially what it was worth, I have another vehicle, and keeping it costs me in insurance payments.

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17 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Their obligation is to give you a check if your claim is a valid one. Whether or not you decide to actually fix your car with it is totally up to you.

Tink's avatar

I don’t think so a Roter Rooter truck once did that to my mom and she used the money on a new cellphone and they didn’t find out.

YARNLADY's avatar

If they required you to purchase or repair, they wouldn’t have written the check to you. You are under no obligation to use it for the car.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

However, if you’re hit again in the same spot, the second claim will only be for new damage or it might not pay at all.

Randy's avatar

In my most recent car wreck, I bent 3 of 4 rims and I found a set of after market rims that were cheaper and that I liked better. I told my insurance company about them and they wrote me a check for 4 new factory rims and paid the rest of the money to the autobody shop for the other damages. I was told that it was my money and I could do what I wanted with it.

dalepetrie's avatar

No, there is no obligation on your part at all. I’d say if you think you could get the truck fixed for what they paid you or less then it’s up to you where to have it fixed or even IF to have it fixed. A lot of times people will ask the insurance companies after they get the estimate if the company will just write the check to them and they’ll take care of it themselves…I’ve known many people who’ve done it, no worries.

tekn0lust's avatar

From my experience it depends upon the insurance company. Some of the big ones will have you take the car to the shop of your choice, get a quote and then they will pay the shop directly. This happened to us recently. This is usually better for the insurance company one, because they can prenegotiate costs and two they will generally avoid over paying the claim.

I have had the other way happen too. I once got a $500 check to have a quarter sized dent taken out of a bumper. I was baffled, and got the repair done good as new for $30.

But also beware like Pandora points out that your insurance company will know about the damage and can reject a claim if something else happens and you cannot show proof that you had it repaired.

One last thing, if you car has a lien on it(which it doesn’t sound like in your case), the lender may require that you get it repaired. You can still do so at reduced cost by doing it yourself, etc. and keep the extra.

St.George's avatar

No obligation. They’re paying you for the damage done by their client to your car.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

It is your money. Spend it anyway you like.

Xtacy's avatar

Most definitely yes. Their insurance company is no more than renting out their money. If you don’t use it for what you are given it for, you will also probably go to Hell. Sorry.

Bagardbilla's avatar

Their obligation is to “make you whole”...
How you feel to best accomplish that is up to you. Be in a Bar, a “hiking trip” you know… ;)

Lupin's avatar

No. Supposedly your car’s resale value has been reduced by that amount.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

Keep the car. If the junker bill becomes law it will be worth 4500$. With the insurance money you should do well.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

They will make the repair shop co-payees on the check if they want you to fix the car. Otherwise, it’s your money. It will vary from state to state, but as a rule, if someone else holds the title to the car, and the insurance company does not total it, you may be under some obligation to get it fixed. A lien holder might get pissed if you take a check for damages, then default on the note.

miranda77's avatar

How much money could I recieve if I need surgery? From a car accident, This accident wasn’t my fault. And could I change my attorney?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@miranda77 , you can always change attorneys. In cases like yours, most work on contingent fees, i.e., they’ll take a share of the pot, typically a third, if they win. A tip: use your local Bar Association’s referral service rather than the Yellow Pages.

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