If you have filed an insurance claim after an accident, it is important to understand what you are allowed to use the payout funds for.
In some cases, a person might choose to use their insurance money on something other than their vehicle. In an effort to avoid committing insurance fraud, continue reading to learn more about your rights after an accident and what you are entitled to do with insurance funds.
Accidents are mentally and physically taxing and not all of them are created equal. Some accidents create major internal and external damage, while others will do little external damage, but major internal damage. Some accidents can make the vehicle unsafe to operate while others only cause cosmetic damage. In this situation, insurance companies will likely pay out money to fix the vehicle. Some people will immediately fix the cosmetics, but others might want to use the money for other vehicle needs or toward other aspects of their lives.
Can I Keep the Insurance Money?
The legalities surrounding insurance payout sometimes fall in a gray area. Many people wonder, “Is it legal to keep the money that the insurance company gives you and use it for something other than to fix your vehicle?” The answer is yes and no; it all comes down to who owns the title.
If you are the full owner of the vehicle and your insurance company does not specifically have a policy stating that the money must be used on the damages, that money is free for you to use at your own discretion.
On the other hand, if the car is under a loan with a loan provider or on a lease, the money must be used to fix whatever is broken on the vehicle. Sometimes the insurance company will send the money directly to the autobody shop instead of to you personally. If you decide to hold onto the money when you are not supposed to, this is considered fraud.
Can I Keep My Car After a Total Loss?
In the case of major accidents, your vehicle might be considered a total loss. This means that the cost to fix your vehicle is more than the worth of the car. Sometimes cars are still functional after a total loss and their owner might want to keep the car and the total loss payout. In this case, the insurance company usually takes possession of the vehicle before they will send out the payment.
Denied Car Insurance Claims
Even if you have a legitimate insurance claim following an accident, your insurance company may deny your claim. If this happens, it is important to appeal the claim to make sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is Here for You
If you have been in an accident and want to know more about your rights concerning insurance claims, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is here to help. Our team has spent over 25 years assisting Utah citizens after traffic collisions and would love to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
We have offices in Saratoga Springs, West Jordan, and Provo, Utah. Reach out to receive your free case evaluation today.