Complaint | Type of Insurance | Auto | Claim Amount
Your Insurance Company Paid Less Than You Expected
The Department of Insurance does not have authority to determine the cost to repair your vehicle or to determine the value of your vehicle. We can ensure that an insurance company has taken appropriate steps to investigate what happened, and has an appropriate basis for determining the amount to pay on a claim. Ask the insurance company to provide you information to support the amount it has approved for your claim. If you believe the insurance company did not investigate what happened or does not have a basis for the amount it is paying on your claim, file a complaint with us.
The Other Party's Insurance Company Paid Less Than You Expected
If another person was determined to be at fault and their insurer offered to pay less than you believe it should pay to repair or replace your vehicle, you can consider filing a claim with your own insurance company if your policy provides for collision coverage. Your insurance company would then be required to determine the amount to pay on your claim (based on what your policy provides) and the insurance company could "subrogate" the claim, meaning it could attempt to recover the amount it pays on your claim from the other driver's insurance company. Before filing a claim with your insurance company, you should consider your claim history with your insurance company because an insurance company can cancel or non-renew an insurance policy under some circumstances.
An insurance company is required to obtain evidence that damage existed before the event (crash, etc.) that led to your insurance claim in order to deny a claim or reduce a claim payment due to a preexisting condition. If you have evidence that damage was not preexisting (such as an evaluation performed by a ASE-certified repair shop), you should provide it to the insurance company. If the insurer continues to argue that damage or condition was preexisting, you may wish to consider whether to seek legal counsel. The Department of Insurance does not have the authority or expertise to determine whether a vehicle's damage or condition was preexisting.
Some insurance policies specifically include or specifically exclude compensation for a reduction in your vehicle's value as a result of damage it sustained from an event (crash, etc.) covered under your insurance policy. You should check your insurance policy to determine whether it contains a policy provision or policy exclusion that pertains to diminished value. Arizona law generally requires an insurance company to restore a vehicle to its condition preceding the event, but it does not require an insurance company to provide compensation for any reduction to the vehicle's value for having been damaged and repaired.|
Total Loss/Salvage Title
An insurance company can determine that the cost to repair your vehicle is greater than the value of your vehicle, and may decide to essentially purchase your vehicle for its value rather than paying to repair it. Most insurance companies will allow you to keep the salvaged vehicle in exchange for receiving less money on your claim. The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicles Division (ADOT-MVD) will issue a Salvage Certificate of Title for your vehicle. Information about salvaged vehicles and salvage titles is available on the ADOT-MVD Vehicle inspection and Salvage Vehciles web page.