One of the biggest headaches associated with being involved in a car accident is getting the damages to your vehicle repaired: the entire process can be difficult.
When you’re involved in an auto accident that is not your fault, you have two options. You can either make a claim for repairs under the collision portion of your own auto policy or run the claim through the property damage coverage of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, here are some things to consider when making your decision.
Making a Claim on Your Own Policy
In most situations, the driver of the vehicle not at fault in a collision will not want to make a claim to repair property damages through their own policy. The common reasons being the policyholder does not want to pay their deductible and does not want to face the possibly of a rate hike from making a claim. These are valid concerns, however, in some situations it may be better to go ahead and make the claim through your own insurance. For instance, when the at fault driver causes damage to more than just your vehicle in a collision it is usually quicker to go ahead and run the property damage claim through your own policy. In that type of situation, it will usually take the at fault driver’s insurance company an extended period to determine the extent of all the property damage caused which will often lead to extended delays in getting repairs started on your vehicle. Insurance companies almost always want to know what the extent of property damage is for all affected parties before approving repairs for any singular party. On the bright side, your own insurance company will then seek the money it pays to fix your vehicle from the insurance company of the at-fault driver, including your deductible. After recouping your deductible, your insurance company will then reimburse you that money, unfortunately, that process can sometimes take several months to occur.
Making a Claim on the At-Fault Driver’s Policy
If you are involved in an auto wreck caused by someone else and your vehicle is the only one that sustains damage, its usually best to make the claim for vehicle property damage through the at-fault party’s insurance. Typically, once the claim gets reported and the insurance company determines the insured to be at fault, an insurance adjuster will call and advise you to take the vehicle to one of their “approved” facilities. Please keep in mind, you are under no obligation to take your vehicle to the requested facility. You get to make the decision the about who repairs your vehicle. Most times this is the preferable method to getting property damage resolved because it avoids paying the deductible and eliminates the possibility of a rate hike.
Also note that for a vehicle to be legally operated on Florida roadways it must carry at least $10,000.00 in property damage coverage. On the other hand, there is no requirement for vehicles to have collision coverage. If you are involved in an auto accident that is not your fault and do not have collision coverage on your policy, your only choice is to make the damage claim through the at-fault party’s insurance.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Tallahassee, FL
If you have any questions about the handling your property damage claim after a Florida auto accident, call the Tallahassee personal injury attorneys at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro today at 850-601-1111 for your free consultation.