Who gets total loss overage in CA?

My leased Alfa Giulia was totalled last month.

Lease was over in February '22, buyout was ~$22k.

My insurance company (Travelers) determined the car is worth ~$32.

Unfortunately just found out today that they are giving the leasing company (Ally) the whole amount (minus tax). I was hoping I’d get the overage.

Is this legal in California (where I live and where the car is registered)?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Ps This thread discusses my question but with no clear answer - Totaled loss Leased BMW cars

What does your lease contract say?

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This is because there seem to be no clear answer. There are different outcomes for different people, as per forum posts.

Let me clarify my question - has anybody in California dealt with this? Does state law stipulate who gets the overage, or does it depend on what your contract says?

Fwiw, my contract seems to suggest they get to keep the overage, which is infuriating.

There have been plenty of reports of people having the overage sent to them from the lessor in cases where the contract says they get the overage. If your contract says you get it, then call up the bank and ask them when they’ll be sending it.

Most lessors will keep the difference since they own vehicle. You are simply renting it from them.

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Many lessors do, many lessors do not. The lease contract usually stipulates which is the case.

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You mind sharing the section that references that?

‘If the money we get from your insurance is more than the Unamortized Capitalized Cost, we will not give you any excess.’

They define the UCC as ‘the base monthly payment times the number of payments not yet due, minus any unearned rent charge figured by the Acturial Method based on the number of monthly periods between early end and scheduled end, plus residual value.’

Actuarial Method and Residual Value are defined in other sections of the lease.

Not sure I understand what UCC is.

What’s happened is they want the full market value of the car rather than the buyout amount plus remaining payments (only three).

UCC is your current buyout price, less any purchase taxes or fees.

What they’re saying there is if the insurance payout exceeds your buy out, they’re keeping the extra.

That’s how I read it, unfortunately.

It says ‘if’ they get more than the UCC. But was my insurance company legally required to give them all the money?

You’d probably need to start by looking at your insurance policy there

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As @EC99 has previously stated, there is a lot of boilerplate language in contracts that gets used over and over again, without someone properly checking whether it’s allowed by the law in your state or not.

If you’re sufficiently invested (due to either the amount of money at stake and/or due to the principle), talk to a lawyer about whether this is allowed in your state.

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Yes, good advice. We’re talking ~$10,000 so will seek legal counsel.

PLEASE report back! Good luck!


Definitely do let us know. Not that there’s a big risk of total loss in general, but things like this did help me to decide to payoff my wife’s Tiguan even though I still have 8 months left on the lease.

Will report back for sure.


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