Step 3: Property Damage Claim Resolved
Q: WHAT IF I DON’T AGREE WITH THE AMOUNT BEING OFFERED FOR THE DAMAGES TO MY VEHICLE FROM A CAR ACCIDENT?
A: Your vehicle may be inspected by an agent for an insurance company. They will determine the damage caused to your vehicle and it’s contents. The at fault party is only responsible to pay the fair market value of your vehicle, which may be less than what you owe. After the inspection, the insurance company will make you an offer on the property damage to your vehicle. If you don’t agree with the value they are offering you, you may ask them for the comparables they used in reaching their opinion of value. You are free to submit your own evidence of your vehicle’s value, such as an appraisal from a local car dealership or research from Kelly Blue Book or NADA. Ultimately, if you and the adjuster are not able to agree on the value, then a court may determine the value of the vehicle.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CAR LOAN IS MORE THAN WHAT THEY ARE OFFERING ME FOR THE CAR?
A: If you owe more than they offer for your property damage, and you have GAP coverage on your vehicle loan, then that will cover the difference between the fair market value of your vehicle and what you owe. If you don’t have GAP coverage, you may be forced to come up with the remainder of money owed to the lender or roll over the negative equity into your next vehicle.
Q: HOW DO I GET A RENTAL VEHICLE AFTER SOMEONE HITS ME UNTIL I CAN FIX MY CAR OR GET A NEW ONE?
A: After the accident, you may speak with the at fault driver’s insurance company to arrange for your rental vehicle. If you have rental car coverage, then you may also set up a rental car through your own insurance policy.
Q: WHO PAYS FOR DAMAGE TO THE VEHICLE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
A: Insurance will pay for the property damage, so long as the at fault driver has insurance. If your vehicle is damaged by someone else’s negligence, then you may have a property damage claim. You may submit a property damage claim under their insurance to secure a rental vehicle until your vehicle can be inspected and compensation for repair or replacement of your vehicle is arranged.
Q: WHAT IF THE AT FAULT DRIVER HAS NO INSURANCE OR NOT ENOUGH COVERAGE?
A: It is bad enough to be injured when it’s someone else’s fault, but to find out that they also have little or no car insurance can be overwhelming. It is not likely that if the at fault driver has failed to carry even minimum car insurance, that they will have a lot of assets to cover your damages. However, there are some ways you may still be able to recover some compensation. Check your own car insurance policy. Does your policy have any medical payments coverage? This would help to cover some of your medical bills. Does your car insurance have Uninsured Motorist Coverage (for cases where the at fault driver fails to have auto insurance) or Underinsured Motorist Coverage (for cases that the at fault driver has some coverage but not enough to fully compensate you for your injuries). These types of coverage will help to take care of the cost of damages in lieu of the at fault driver’s inability to do so.