So you got into an accident and there's a big dent on your car's front fender. You're waiting to receive a check from your insurance company. You think you can live with the damage. Can you simply spend the money rather than use it to pay for repairs? Some drivers choose to forgo repairs because they have other financial priorities, or because they are unable to pay the deductible on their collision or comprehensive claim. (See " What if I can't pay my deductible?") Whether you can simply cash the settlement check depends on many things, such as who holds the title to your car, where you live and which insurance company you use. The check you're so eagerly awaiting may not be written out to you alone. And taking the money without fixing the car might spell trouble down the road.