FAQs On Motor Vehicle Damage
When your vehicle is damaged in a vehicular accident, you will want to have
it repaired and on the road again as quickly as possible.
Who decides where it is repaired?
You can decide where your vehicle is repaired. The insurance company decides
how much will be paid for the repairs, and it may not be the same amount as
the repair shop estimate.
Will the repair shop charge me for storage?
The insurance company of the person who caused the accident will pay towing
and storage costs, according to what is reasonable in your area. If the vehicle
is declared a total loss, the insurance company will pay to have it moved to
a salvage or wrecking yard. If you do not allow the company to move your vehicle,
you will be liable for any storage or towing fees.
Who decides if my vehicle is repairable or "totalled"?
The insurance company who is liable for payment can decide that your vehicle
is not worth repairing. If the cost of the labor and parts exceeds the market
value of your vehicle, the company can declare it a "total loss" and pay you
the market value. Market value is determined by the fair market value of similar
vehicles in your area, or from an independent source such as the Kelley Blue
Book. If you want to keep the vehicle after it has been declared a total loss,
you will have to pay the salvage value to the insurance company.
Who pays the bank loan if my vehicle is financed?
You are still liable for any loans on the vehicle. If the fair market value
of your vehicle is less than the outstanding loan, you are still required to
pay the entire amount of the loan.
Do I get a rental vehicle while my vehicle is being repaired?
You can always get a rental vehicle if you are willing to pay for it. If you
want the insurance company to pay for it, while your vehicle is being repaired
or replaced, then payment depends on several factors. If you caused the accident,
check to see if your own insurance coverage includes rental vehicles. Many policies
do not include rental vehicles unless it is specifically stated. If the other
driver caused the accident, then you can expect the liable person's insurance
company to pay the costs of providing you with a rental vehicle. The vehicle
will be a substitute for your own vehicle, that is, a vehicle of similar quality.
Be sure to check with your own insurance company about insurance coverage on
the rental vehicle.
I just paid for my license plates. Do I have to pay for new ones?
The insurance company should pay the prorated amount of any registration fees
that are unused, as well as transfer fees for the new registrations.