How to enter insurance claims?

Roland Roberts roland at
Fri Jun 30 09:07:51 EDT 2006

>>>>> "Beth" == Beth Leonard <beth at> writes:

    Beth> On Thu, Jun 29, 2006 at 10:25:04PM -0400, Roland Roberts wrote:

    >> We recently filed a claim with our auto insurance company and
    >> received a payment.  Now I'm trying to figure out how to enter
    >> than item.
    >> Since the money is going straight into the car repairs, I thought
    >> of just entering it as a "reimbursement" for automobile repairs,
    >> but I'm not sure where the other half of the transaction should
    >> come from.  How do others enter this sort of thing?

    Beth> When you say "straight into car repairs" do you mean that they
    Beth> paid the shop directly?  Or that the amount they gave you
    Beth> equals the amount you paid the repair shop?  For case 1, you
    Beth> almost don't need to bother recording anything in gnucash
    Beth> because "real money" never touched your bank account, although
    Beth> if you want your "expenses: car repairs" account to reflect
    Beth> the dollars spent on fixing your car, you can transfer the
    Beth> money:

In my case, it was a check to me, then into car repairs.

    Beth> From: Income:Insurance payments
    Beth> To: Expenses:car repairs.

    Beth> For case 2, where you paid the shop and the insurance company
    Beth> reimbursed you, you make two transactions:
    Beth> From: Assets:Bank Account (or Liabilities:Credit Card, etc.)
    Beth> To: Expenses:Car Repairs

    Beth> From: Income:Insurance payments
    Beth> To:   Assets:Bank Account

The biggest item here is that I probably need a new income category for
the insurance payment.  


Thanks for the long, careful explanation of how I can account of it.
With small items, I often do record them as reimbursements which offset
the original expense, but that never seemed quite right.


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Roland B. Roberts, PhD                             RL Enterprises
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