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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 112661
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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My car was insured for collision in Colorado, where I live.

Customer Question

My car was insured for collision in Colorado, where I live. Its a 2000 Explorer in good condition.My car was hit by a driver from Texas and a ticket was issued. The damage to the two driver's side doors was estimated at $2900 to fix.I contacted both insurance companies for compensation. Shortly after the event, the Texas insurance company sent $1300.The car runs fine, only the doors are dented and in need of repair.After many months of speaking to my own insurance company for collision coverage, where I openly explained that my goal was to get enough to pay only for the doors, and that I had made a claim with the Texas insurance company, my insurance company wrote me a letter saying that my claim was still open, and that upon receipt of a "salvage title" they would pay the net amount of $1600.Thinking that this was exactly my goal, I obtained a salvage title for my car, and was then promptly compensated the $1600 by my insurance company.Now I have a letter saying that I owe my insurance company payback of $1600, since the law does not allow me to collect twice for the same damage.My question is, now that I followed the written instructions of my insurance company to "total" my car which runs fine, am I not actually collecting for two separate claims - the Texas company paid me a portion of the door damages, and my company paid me for the salvage of my car?Thank you for your advice.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Actually, if the Texas driver was at fault, then you needed to finish your claim with them. If the estimate on the door damage was $2900, then you should not have accepted the $1300. Once you took the $1300 from the Texas insurer, that claim is considered paid and your insurer is correct that to let them pay for totaling your car because of this same accident would legally be considered paying you twice on same claim because it came from the same accident.
It appears that you just mistakenly handled this matter and that has caused you to be in this situation, because the Texas insurer was liable for the whole $2900 and if they did not pay that then you had the right to sue the Texas insurer in small claims court for the damages. Your alternative was to make the claim only to your insurer and then they would have paid the whole claim minus your deductible and they could go after the Texas insurer if they wanted to, but once you took payment from the Texas insurer, that claim from that accident was over.
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