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Keeping a Salvaged Car

by E Harper
(Elk Grove, Ca)

If the insurance company declares my car as a total loss do I have the right to settle and keep my car?

Or can I buy the salvaged car back from them?

If the car accident is not my fault and I am dealing with the other driver's insurance company what are my rights as far as getting them to fix my car if I don't agree that my car was a total loss?


Hello E Harper,

You have an option to keep or give them the salvage. If you decided to keep it, they will deduct the value of the salvage from your settlement.

If the insurance company decides that the car is a total loss, you have a very difficult standard to show that they must fix your car. Most lawyers will not take this case for its complexity and the fact that there is not money to recover.

The insurance company owes you for reasonable and necessary compensation. If they can show that the value to fix the car exceeds its value (a total loss), they can show that it would be unnecessary an (or even unreasonable) to fix your car. It's very likely that they prevail in such argument.

For more about reasonable and necessary, please see:

Good Luck,
Auto Insurance Claim Advice

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