I encounter this problem over and over again. A client calls me complaining that their insurance company won’t cover all or part of repairs needed for a vehicle. This is usually the result of lack of collision or Gap insurance. Being a South Florida/Miami accident attorney I always recommend that my clients purchase these types of coverage. Many people in South Florida tend to buy the cheapest insurance in order to save money. So they omit buying things like UM insurance, Collision and Gap. Let me explain in a little more detail what Collision and Gap insurance entail.
Collision insurance covers damages to your own vehicle. It may come as a surprise that this insurance coverage is not required by the State of Florida. The State only requires that you buy bodily injury and personal injury protection insurance. So what happens if you are involved in accident and you have no collision coverage? There are three possible scenarios
A. You are involved in accident in which you are not at fault and have no collision insurance. In this scenario you have will have to rely solely on the coverage or insurance that the person causing the accident has. This may be a difficult situation because the insurance company owned by the person who caused the accident may be unresponsive or slow. This means that you could find yourself without mobility for various days. If you have your own collision insurance, then your insurance company will most likely respond rapidly and then seek reimbursement from the person causing the accident. In any case, if you have collision insurance and the person causing the accident has insurance, then you can determine the best course of action.
B. You are involved in an accident in which you are at fault and have no collision insurance. In this scenario you can’t make a claim against the insurance of the other vehicle because you are at fault. Thus, you have no one to claim against for damages to your vehicle and will most likely have to pay out of pocket.
C. You are involved in an accident in which you are not at fault and you have no collision insurance and also the other driver has no insurance at all. In this case there is no coverage for damages to your vehicle. You will most likely have to go after the other driver personally by filing a lawsuit or settling out of Court.
To avoid any of the above Scenarios simply buy collision insurance. This is easy to forget when buying a new car. It is probably easier to forge to buy Gap insurance.
So what does Gap insurance do? It simply covers the Gap between the value of the car at the time of the accident and the value of the car before you drove of the lot. For example, let us assume that a car is worth $30,000 before it is driven of the lot. Two years later this car is totaled in an accident. This car is worth $20,000 at the time of the accident and owner still owes about $10,000 to the bank. Ok, but we don’t turn this into an SAT question. In essence the owner here is left owing money to the bank and as a result has less money to buy a new car. Therefore, to avoid this situation it wise to buy Gap insurance.
So the moral of this blog is to buy collision and gap insurance in order to avoid major headaches after an accident. After all, driving in South Florida, Broward, and Miami is a hazardous activity.
If you have any question about any of the information here please do not hesitate to contact us. Miami collision and accident lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you. We can be reached at 305.764.9907 or 1.888.413.8353.