When drivers are involved in car accident, chances are that the vehicle will experience some degree of damage from the collision. Many drivers involved in a car accident find themselves asking who will pay for the damage to their vehicle. This is especially true in cases where another driver is at fault for the accident. This question does not have a cookie-cutter answer, as it depends on several factors. The primary factors for consideration are who is responsible for the accident and which types of insurance coverage each driver has or does not have.
Property Damage Liability
Property damage liability (PDL) is the primary component that allows non-fault drivers to receive reimbursement for car damage. Property damage liability is in place to cover drivers for damage they may cause to another individual’s property, such as cars, fences, and houses. In Florida, drivers are required to have a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability. When the at-fault driver’s insurance company agrees that its insured driver was responsible for the accident, the victim will receive compensation for vehicle damage.
Even though property damage liability is legally required, a number of drivers continue to drive uninsured. In some cases, the at-fault driver does not have insurance, or his or her insurance company refuses to admit that their insured driver was at fault. In this case, non-fault drivers may need to rely on their own collision coverage if they have this type of insurance. Drivers who go through their own collision coverage will need to pay a set deductible, after which the cost of the repair is typically covered by the insurance provider.
At-fault Collision Coverage
Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state. This means that when applicable, a driver’s own auto insurance will cover his or her damages even if that driver was responsible for the accident. Drivers should keep in mind that this is only the case when they have purchased their own collision coverage insurance. When at-fault drivers do not have collision coverage, they must typically pay out-of-pocket for the car damage costs.
In cases where both parties have the appropriate insurance coverage, the non-fault driver may have the ability to choose how the car damage will be paid for. There are advantages and disadvantages to going through your own collision coverage versus the at-fault driver’s insurance. Using the other driver’s insurance allows the non-fault driver to avoid paying the personal collision coverage deductible. However, going through one’s own collision coverage has benefits such as rights to cost-effective and quick dispute resolution. When going through the at-fault driver’s insurance, the non-fault driver may
face prolonged resolution times and a generally more-involved process.