Paying Storage Fees on a Totaled Car after a Wreck

After you’ve been in a car accident, there’s a good chance your vehicle suffered some serious damage. In many cases, the insurance company will classify your car as a “total loss.”If your car is totaled, it means it would cost more to repair it than it would to replace it. When this happens, the insurance company will pay you the “fair market value” for your car (and keep your car in exchange).

Paying the Storage Facility in a Total Loss Case

A cost that you need to be aware of is the vehicle storage fee. According to the Vehicle Storage Facility Act, the storage yard that has been holding your car still must be paid even in total loss cases. Since insurance adjusters tend to delay payments, your storage bill can get pretty huge. By law, vehicle storage facilities in Texas are allowed to charge:

  • A notification fee
  • An impoundment fee
  • A daily storage fee
  • Any fee that is required to be submitted to a government or law enforcement agency
  • Any fee that is required by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation

You shouldn’t have to pay this expense out of your pocket, especially if the insurance adjuster was dragging their feet. They should be responsible for the storage facility bill they let rack up while you were waiting for your claim to settle.

Texas Occupation Code section 2303.156(b) states that “An insurance company that pays a claim of total loss on a vehicle in a vehicle storage facility is liable to the operator of the facility for any money owed to the operator in relation to delivery of the vehicle or to storage of the vehicle in the facility regardless of whether an amount was accrued before the insurance company paid the claim.”

In other words, the insurance company can be held responsible for your storage fees.

For more information on pursuing a property damage claim related to your Tarrant County car accident, you can request a free copy of my Texas Property Damage Guide.

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Want to learn more about auto insurance in Texas, and what you really need to be fully covered? I wrote a free guide for Texas drivers to help them make the right choices – and to prevent costly mistakes – when choosing an auto insurance policy.

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