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Q

I bought a new car. Four days later I was hit by a UPS truck while it was parked at work. It is a hybrid with alot of complicated electronics, and batteries. Can I demand that their insurance replace my car with a new unwrecked car?


A

I am sorry to hear about the damage to your new vehicle. I suggest that you contact your claims adjuster, if you haven't already, and explain your situation in detail. Also, you may consider speaking to the claims department supervisor. Ultimately, the insurance company has the final decision in how they choose to repair or replace your vehicle.

As you probably know, as soon as you leave the car dealership lot your vehicle depreciates. So even if they completely total your vehicle you will not get the full amount of what you paid for your vehicle.

If your car is only damaged than the insurance company will fix it, even with complicated electronics on hybrids there are mechanics specialized in repairing damage from accidents on hybrids. If the vehicle is too badly damaged or the cost of repairs it near the value of the vehicle the insurance company will find it to be a total loss. If it is a total loss you can discuss with them a replacement vehicle instead of a cash settlement though normally an insurer will want to pay you our actual cash value and then you will need to find your own replacement vehicle using this money. If you have a loan on the car than the settlement money would go to them.

You may ask if a substitution of collateral would be allowed if the car is totaled out. Substitution of collateral in basic terms means that in a total loss situation you are able to substitute the car that was the collateral for the loan with a different car. So instead of the lien holder getting the actual cash value for the vehicle and you needing to pay off the balance of the loan and find another car, instead you use the ACV settlement check to get another vehicle and your existing loan and terms remain the same. Some lenders allow this while others do not.

To be able to get a substitution in collateral all parties must agree to the substitution of the new vehicle for the wrecked one. So the insurance company, the lien holder (bank or lending agency), the dealer selling you the new replacement car and you agree to this new situation.

If you are unable to get the substitution of collateral and your vehicle is a total loss it may end up that you have to pay off the car above the ACV amount since even at 4 days old a vehicle has depreciated. If you owe more than the worth of a car there is a type of insurance that could help you if you purchased when you bought your car. It is called GAP insurance and it can provide valuable protection during the early years of your car's life. If a loss occurs (theft, total loss in a collision, etc.), GAP insurance will pay the difference between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.


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1 Responses to "I bought a new car. Four days later I was hit by a UPS truck while it was parked at work. It is a hybrid with alot of complicated electronics, and batteries. Can I demand that their insurance replace my car with a new unwrecked car?"
  1. Anonymous

    It answered my questions.

      Reply»