You finally got your insurance check after your wreck…. Now what?
Yippee! Awesome! YAHOO!! Terrific! Good news!!
You finally received the insurance check after you wrecked your car, now you can finally go on that well deserved vacation correct? Not so fast lil buck a roo. There could be stipulations to the check. I am sorry to bring the bad news but keep reading to find out what you need to know.
Here are your options-
- If you own your vehicle and do not have a bank payment or lease payment-
If you own your vehicle with no bank payment or lease payment you have more options. If you carry collision insurance you should have the choice to have the insurance pay you. Check with your insurance agent and see if there is a clause that requires you to repair the car or that requires the payment to go directly to the Body Shop to ensure the vehicle is repaired. This also depends on the state in which you live. Some states will allow the payment to go directly to you and allow you to make the decision on getting the vehicle repaired.
However, if you decide NOT to repair your vehicle and keep the money (take that awesome vacation and there are no consequences!) NOT SO FAST…. There could be consequences to not repairing the vehicle. Here they are….
A. If you have an accident in the future the insurance will deduct pre- existing damage from the prior wreck.
B. Although you may not care if you drive around in a dented vehicle, when you decide to sell/trade the vehicle it will bring less money.
C. Properly repairing the vehicle will guarantee its safety. Sometimes there is hidden damage. It may give you peace of mind to repair it and know you are driving a safer reliable vehicle.
2. If you have a bank or lease payment-
Usually the payment will be made out to you and the lien holder and you will need to get a co- signature. Next, you will need to pay the repair shop. Experts tell us that if the check is made out to both parties it is impossible to just keep the money. The lender or lease company will want the vehicle repaired. This way they protect their investment. If you are asking “What happens if I just cash the check and keep the money”? The answer is it's called fraud. Besides, your loan/lease agreement requires that you maintain your vehicle in good working order which means getting it fixed properly.
So, the bottom line is that you should at least get your vehicle checked for underlying damage to make sure it is roadworthy.