Storage and teardown owed Brett Bammer asked 2 years ago
Storage and teardown owed


This is a California Claim…I’m a claimant that was rear-ended. I only carry liability on my policy so my insurance isn’t helping me. My car has been deemed a total loss. The other party’s insurance company made me a settlement offer, but they haven’t included the charges due at the body shop. The shop says they are owed teardown and storage charges. They also told the shop that these charges are between me and the shop. Shouldn’t the insurance company be paying these charges before I pick up my car? ( I am retaining salvage and not fixing the car.)

Is this legal? Can they stick me with these charges?


1 Answers
Demian Oksenendler Demian Oksenendler Expert answered 2 years ago

Hi Brett,

Generally speaking if you went to a trial against the other driver and were successful, you would be able to hold them (and by extension, their insurance company) responsible for all of the charges associated with your loss, including things like teardown and loss of use of your car. If you had had your own coverage beyond liability, then your insurer would have likely been obligated to cover some (if not all) of these losses, too.

Unfortunately your relationship to the other driver’s insurance company is different. That company does not have a contract with you, and under California law does not owe you any duty of good faith or fair dealing. This means that they are free to negotiate a settlement with you pretty much however it wants. If you and the other driver’s insurer cannot agree on a settlement, your only real option to compel the insurer to pay you more is to sue the other driver and win. Alternatively, sometimes body shops are willing to negotiate some of their charges in situations like this. You might try explaining the situation to them and seeing if they would be willing to give you a discount because of the insurer’s stubbornness.

Hope that helps.