Car totaled but title in friends name.

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Hi i was in an accident car was totalled. Other drivers ins assumbed full responsibility. The title is in my girlfriends name. Will ins still give me the money for my car or will this present a problem?”

Asked May 10, 2017

1 Answer


This answer depends on several factors. The most important factor is who the insurance company has listed on the insurance policy as the owner of the totaled vehicle (assuming that the vehicle is properly insured). You have not indicated whether or not you are the vehicle’s insurance policy holder. This is how the process would work in a general sense:

In West Virginia, you’d have the right to file for compensation. West Virginia is a “fault” state, which means the owner of the damaged vehicle is entitled to file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In this case, since the other driver’s insurance company accepted responsibility, the insured party of the totaled vehicle is entitled to compensation for damages.

In the case of a totaled vehicle, the damages for the claim equal to the value of the vehicle before the accident. The cash value is going to depend on what the insurance adjuster determines is the vehicle’s total worth, minus any deductible. If your girlfriend is the insurance policy holder, and she was not involved in the accident, then deductibles come into play.

If there are any liens on the the title (car loans, title loans, etc), the insurance company pays the lien holders in what they are owed. If the vehicle value does not equal what lien holders are owed, those parties receive the entire payment. The title holder (your girlfriend) may still be liable to these creditors for the rest of that that money. If any money remains after liens and deductibles, that money goes to the vehicle owner.

If you are the insurance policy holder, but the title is in your girlfriend’s name, then in all likelihood the insurance adjuster will have to make the final decision about who gets a payment. If the insurance policy states that your girlfriend is the lien holder, and if any money remains, the check most likely will go to her. Additionally, if you or anybody else in the totaled vehicle sustained any injuries, you may have to file a claim with or own, or your girlfriend’s insurance company for compensation.

Answered May 10, 2017 by CenterStone

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