WHO SHOULD PAY FOR YOUR CAR REPAIRS AFTER AN ACCIDENT?

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RLDProperty Damage resulting from an auto accident can be confusing and who should pay for the damages is even more confusing.

By: Renee Dial, Esquire

Property Damage to your vehicle should be covered by the at fault party’s insurance.  However, all too often the person does not have insurance or minimal property damage insurance after an auto accident.

Under Florida law motorist are only required to carry a minimal of $10,000 in property damage insurance but technically are not required to carry any bodily injury insurance to cover you if you are injured in an auto accident.  Florida law requires PIP coverage in the amount of $10,000 as well as the previously mentioned property damage insurance.

“According to Florida law, if you own a motor vehicle with four or more wheels you must carry $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and a minimum of $10,000 of property damage liability insurance. You may have a deductible of up to $2,000 for PIP coverage and $500 for Property Damage Liability.” Florida Bar Consumer Information.

If your vehicle damage is from an auto accident the first question comes to mind is whether you should go through your insurance company to pay for the property damage or the at fault party’s insurance.  There is no hard fast rule here.  The factors most often considered are whether you have comp and collision insurance that will cover your vehicle, how large is your deductible, and whether the at fault party has coverage.

Most carriers have a policy of waiving your deductible if the other party is at fault.  The reason for this is that they are planning on seeking subrogation from the at fault party’s insurance carrier.  Subrogation is a fancy way of saying that they are going to be reimbursed from the other insurance company.  If you are in a rush going through your insurance company is typically the fastest way to get your property damage claim paid for.

How a property damage claim is calculated is a bit tricky.  I will discuss that a little more in depth next week.

Here are links to some of the major insurance companies’ claim departments.

Geico: https://www.geico.com/claims/

State Farm: https://www.statefarm.com/claims

USAA: https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/auto_insurance_claims_online_landing?akredirect=true

Progressive: https://www.progressive.com/claims/

These are all reasons to call and have questions answered by an attorney that understands bicycle accidentsautomobile and motorcycle accidents in MelbournePalm BayPatrick Air Force BaseCocoa, and the beaches. If you have any questions regarding insurance coverage and auto or motorcycle accidents please do not hesitate to contact Renee L. Dial or another DKN Legal attorney at (321) 329-5449 ext 1 or press 4 for new clients.

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