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Keeping The Cash From Your Insurance Payout

You’ve gotten into an accident, that wasn’t your fault, in a car that you no longer really enjoy driving, and have filed a claim with your insurance company. The big question is always whether you want to actually fix the car you don’t want to drive anymore, or should you take that insurance money and put it towards a car you do want. Possibly other bills have come up that are more urgent than your ability to drive a car around, and the money your receiving as a payout could be utilized to take off some other important items. There are a number of reasons that a chunk of cash in your bank account can suddenly be the most useful thing in the world.

It’s important that you understand the confines of your insurance agreement before you make any decision in regards to the monetary payout.

Can I Keep Claim Money Instead Of Making Repairs?

As long as you fully own your vehicle there shouldn’t be an issue with you keeping your insurance payout. The insured individual needs to make sure they can pay the deductible, then your insurance company will assess the damages, and lastly, they’ll send you a check. At that point, it’s assumed that the insured is using the payout to repair their car.

It works out at times that you, the owner of the damaged vehicle, happen to have a friend that will do the repairs inexpensively in comparison to the assessment you received. Or perhaps you think you can do the repairs yourself with the help of a YouTube video, and save yourself some money.

Occasionally, drivers find that the damage done to their vehicle is superficial enough that they can continue to drive it safely. This is another way to pocket the check issued to you from the insurance company, but remember, the insurance company won’t issue you another one if it breaks down for a reason similar to the previous damages, and it’s noticeable that you didn’t get it repaired.

Should You Pocket The Car Insurance Payout?

If you’ve read this far, then you already know that you’re capable of keeping your insurance payout, but whether you should is entirely up to you, and your current situation.

Truthfully, if your car has suffered extreme damages and needs a lot of repairs, then it’s probably a good idea to get it fixed right away. If you wait and decide to try and drive while it’s in an unsafe condition, then it could put you in a dangerous position on the road for yourself, and others. The chunk of money can be very appealing, but a vehicle that might put you in the hospital isn’t.

The world can be a fairly unstable place at times, and many people go through a state of economic hardship at some point in their life. If this is one of those times, and your vehicle is damaged badly enough for the insurance company to want to just cash out your car, then maybe keeping the money is a good idea. You’ll have to discern the right move for yourself, and your current economic situation. Maybe it’s time to start carpooling and leaving less of a carbon footprint while getting to catch up on your bills. 

You Can’t Keep The Money And Your Vehicle If Your Car Is Totaled

It would be nice if everyone was able to have their cake and eat it too, but that’s rarely the case. When insurance companies are involved, that’s pretty much never the case. If the insurance assessor deems your car to be totaled beyond repair, then they’ll want to write you a check and collect the remains of your car. It’s something to keep in mind if your car has received a certain level of damage, and you have thoughts about still keeping it. Once you report your vehicle to your insurance company, it’s going to be up to their assessors to define the level of damage it received, and whether they’ll want to take the car from you.

To round out this piece, and tie up the information in a pretty bow for everyone out there, here are the key points to remember:

  • If you don’t completely own your vehicle, are still making payments, etc., then you most likely won’t get to keep your check for repairs.
  • If the check is made out to your leaser, an auto-body shop, or an auto repair place, then you won’t be able to keep the money for yourself.

It’s not a moral quandary whether you should keep the repair check for yourself, so don’t let anyone try to take you down that road. If the money is better suited to handle some other bills or extras, that you need to be taken care of, then do what you see fit with it. At the end of the day, it was your car that was damaged, and you are the only one that should decide what to do about that.

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