One of the questions that we often get asked after a person is involved in a motor vehicle crash is: “who is going to pay for the damage to my vehicle.” Most of the time that’s going to involve insurance and so it’s important to get an idea and an understanding about how the insurance works in the state of Florida.
If you’ve watched one of our other videos describing Florida’s no-fault insurance you’ll understand that every driver in the state of Florida is required to have certain minimum insurance and one piece of that involves carrying property damage insurance your car or your motorcycle or your truck are considered property. And while that is a coverage required under the no-fault scheme, the no-fault law, it is actually based on fault. So if the crash is not your fault the property damage insurance of the other driver is where you would look to get the damage to your vehicle paid.
Now understand that in Florida currently you are only required to have $10,000 of property damage insurance. People can have more but they’re not required to have more. And if the damage to your vehicle, for example if it’s a new vehicle, it could be and if it’s totaled the damages could exceed $10,000.00.
The alternative to a claim against the other drivers property damage insurance would be to look to your own insurance coverage. If you have a loan on your vehicle usually the lenders will require you to carry on your own insurance policy a coverage that is called collision. Collision coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle regardless of whose fault it is. So if somebody else is at fault, if your damages to your vehicle are more than $10,000.00 and the other at fault party only has ten thousand dollars of property damage insurance, you can always submit for those repairs or reimbursement to your own insurance company under your collision coverage. Collision coverages oftentimes do carry a deductible and you’ll have to factor that in when you consider that option.
What exists with your collision coverage but not under a property damage claim is that you could even be the one at fault yourself in causing the crash and your automobile insurance company will pay for the repairs or the replacement of your vehicle under your collision coverage. So collision coverage on your policy does not matter who is at fault in causing the crash or the damage to your vehicle. Property damage coverage, which you also will be required to have on your vehicle, is a fault-based coverage and it will only pay from the person who is at fault for causing the crash.
I hope that helps clear up how the damages to your vehicle are paid. If you have more questions or want to learn more about automobile insurance or other legal topics be sure to visit our educational videos.