Florida Motor Vehicle Damage – Salvage or Repair?

Florida insurance adjusters often argue that vehicles sustaining damage costing in excess of 80% of fair market value (or replacement cost) to repair, must be declared a total loss. The argument is made with such conviction that most people, including many attorneys, believe it is true. It is not true. It is an urban myth.

The truth is that insurance companies must pay for repairs costing up to 100% of fair market value. (Florida Statute 319.30(3)(a)2.)

For many owners, repairing makes more sense than replacing. This is especially true for owners who owe little or no money on their vehicle.

Replacement usually requires owners to lay out more money than they receive as fair market value from the insurance companies. The main reason why is because insurance companies use databases that understate fair market value. Thus, the carriers try to pay less than the actual replacement cost.

This issue often arises in the context of motor vehicle crashes involving serious personal injuries. When our law firm is hired by injured vehicle owners to recover personal injury damages, we also handle the property damage part of the case. We have had excellent success negotiating fair and reasonable terms for our clients on repair and replacement.

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Contact us at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your legal rights.

Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.