Even if the insurance policy says one name, the totaled vehicle payment always goes to the person listed on the title.
After an insurance company declares a vehicle from an accident a total loss, it is time to make the payment. During this process the insurance company is essentially buying the car from you and if you are not on the title, you can’t sell the car. This also means that if you are not on the title, the insurance company will not send the totaled vehicle payment to you.
If your lienholder (the company you make your car payment to) is on the title, the insurance company will send the totaled vehicle payment to them. The lienholder then uses the check towards whatever you still owe them and will then send you what is left.
In the case of a married couple, if only one spouse is on the title, that is who the check is made out to, even if both spouses are on the insurance policy. This is why it is so very important to get the correct name on the title of a vehicle after you sell it or go through a divorce. You don’t want someone else to get the money you are entitled to from a totaled vehicle payment.
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