Collision Coverage Mistakes:
Does your insurance cover your car's damage?
Who is going to fix my car?
This is one of the most basic questions you will face after a car accident. For many people, their car is the most valuable thing they own. Making sure it is protected is crucial or you could risk losing it through no fault of your own. Collision coverage pays for the damage to your car from an accident. This is part one of our five part series on the mistakes we have seen people make with their car insurance.
This is what we’ve seen in our more than a decade in practice representing people who have been in car accidents.
Someone hits your car. You call us and we get your file setup. Then you ask us who will pay to fix your car. We ask if you have collision coverage on your car insurance policy. If you do not, the question then is whether the other driver will admit fault. This other driver can potentially give any excuse for why they were not at fault. The other insurance company can then use that excuse as a justification not to pay to fix your car. This other driver's insurance doesn’t have you as a customer. They don’t care if your car gets fixed or not.
What are your options? You will have to go through a lengthy process to try to prove that the accident was not your fault. In the meantime, your car is out of service locked up in a tow lot accruing storage fees. You don’t have your car. Your car is racking up fees. And there is no guarantee that the other insurance will ever own up to the responsibility and pay to fix your car.
Even worse, what if the other driver has no insurance?
New Hampshire, our neighbor to the north, does not require car insurance on their vehicles. Even if you’re not at fault, if you don’t have collision coverage you can lose your car if the driver who hits you has no insurance to pay for your damages.
Can you get to work without a car?
Can you get to a doctor to get treatment for your injuries?
Can you afford to repair or even replace your car out of your own pocket?
If you have collision coverage on your vehicle, the process can be so much easier for you. Your car insurance arranges to have your car fixed. They then go after the other insurance to get reimbursed. In the meantime, you’ve got your car back and are back on the road.
Not having collision coverage can take away your car in a moment through no fault of your own. Make sure you understand what it means if you choose not to purchase collision coverage for your vehicle.
An Example of Collision Coverage on a Coverage Selection Sheet
The image below is a copy of one of atty. Segal's old car insurance coverage selection sheets. These show the different types of coverage on his auto policy. For purposes of this demonstration, the collision coverage provisions are circled.
Part 7 is the comprehensive Collision coverage. This sheet says "Yes" that there is Collision coverage on this policy.
Part 8 is Limited Collision coverage. If you have limited collision coverage, your insurance will only cover your car damage if you are 50% or less at fault for a collision. This policy does not have limited collision coverage because these damages are included in the comprehensive Collision coverage.
The Collision Deductible section indicates how much you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance will cover any damage. This can be waived if another vehicle hits you and your insurance determines they are at fault. If the accident is your fault, your insurance will still pay for your vehicle damage and only require you to cover that deductible amount.
What can you do to make sure you have the collision coverage you want?
You can request a copy of your Coverage Selection Sheet from your car insurance company at any time. If you have an account online, you can likely download a copy straight from your insurance company's website.
If you want to change any of the terms of your auto policy, such as adding collision coverage or changing your deductible, call your insurance company to get pricing options and/or shop around with other insurance companies as soon as possible. The auto policy that applies to your accident will be whatever policy was active at the time of the collision, so make sure you are protected before getting into an accident.
What should you do if you have been involved in a car accident?
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, the best thing you can do is speak with a legal expert as soon as possible to make sure you are taking the right steps towards making a full physical and economic recovery.
We have been working for more than a decade to make sure people injured in car accidents get the best recovery possible.
The time to file your claim is limited, so reach out to us today for your Free Consultation.
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