Vehicle damages are a common effect of road accidents. But, in West Palm Beach, Florida, drivers can opt for collision coverage to cover repair and replacement costs. Additionally, a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer can provide legal advice on how to recover financially by seeking compensation.
Unlike other motor insurance policies, collision coverage is optional for drivers. However, it can be beneficial for victims of auto accidents. To help car owners understand this policy better, this article discusses it in detail and its differences from other well-known car insurance policies.
West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Explains Collision Coverage in Auto Insurance
Collision coverage refers to a type of automobile insurance policy. A car driver usually picks up insurance to insure a vehicle in the possibility of accidents. The driver receives money from this policy if their car collides with another vehicle in an accident or an object such as an electrical pole, fence, or tree.
If you own your car outright or you’ve paid it off, collision insurance is an optional policy when selecting car insurance. However, if you’re leasing or still financing your car, opting for this policy is usually a non-negotiable requirement of the lender or leasing company.
How Collision Coverage Works
In West Palm Beach, Florida, auto drivers must hold a form of automobile insurance coverage before using the roads. Auto insurance, such as personal injury protection (PIP), helps cover bodily harm and liability for damaged property.
However, collision coverage is not a mandatory policy. Also, similar to other insurance policies, collision coverage has a deductible.
This is the money the victim is required to pay for before the insurance company helps. Before picking out this coverage, there’s the option of choosing an individual deductible.
Depending on the insurance provider, there are several choices of deductible amounts. For a lower deductible, the payable premium will be costlier. On the other hand, if a driver chooses a higher deductible amount, the sum payable is less. When choosing a deductible amount, the value of the owner’s car is essential.
Note that collision coverage has a limit. This limit implies the maximum amount of money the policy will pay toward a covered claim. The calculation of the coverage limit is the actual cash value of the vehicle minus the potential depreciation.
A driver may not be able to replace an old vehicle with a newer make and model. This process will require the individual to pay some of their own money. The driver is responsible for paying the deductible amount when filing a collision claim.
The insurer covers the remaining cost of repairs up to the market value of the vehicle. For example, when the collision policy has a $500 deductible, and car repairs cost $1,500, a driver pays $t00 out-of-pocket, and the insurer picks up the additional $1,000.
What Events Does Collision Insurance Cover?
As a car owner, having collision coverage can be helpful because accidents usually occur at unexpected times. Also, the costs of auto repair or replacement can be expensive.
However, collision insurance helps pay to repair or replace a vehicle when any one of the following happens:
- The policy owner’s car hit or got hit by another vehicle
- Colliding with standing or motionless object, e.g., trees, fences, guard rails, mailbox, road signs, or light poles
- Car damage from running over a pothole
- A single-car accident where a car rolls or falls over into trenches or ditches
It’s important to note that collision insurance differs from comprehensive insurance and other types of car insurance policies.
Events Not Covered by Collision Coverage
Collision coverage covers repair and replacement costs for the owner’s vehicle only, not for other cars or drivers involved in the accident. It also doesn’t include instances where the driver’s car suffers damage, but there’s no identifiable cause.
Other instances where the insurance doesn’t apply are:
- Car damage caused by an accident with a pedestrian or an animal
- Accidents where the causes are either natural disasters, theft, weather conditions, or fire
- Bodily injury for anyone involved, whether in the driver’s car or other vehicles.
Facts About Collision Coverage
The following are facts to note about collision coverage:
- Unless a driver buys an extra policy that pays for original manufacturer parts, repairs will be done with used or aftermarket parts
- Collision claims are usually dependent on whether a driver hit a standing object or car or a falling object
- Collision coverage covers damages when a driver slides on ice and collides with a standing object
- Car owners can save on insurance premiums by selecting a policy with a deductible of $500 or higher
Why Opt for Collision Coverage?
Obtaining collision coverage for a vehicle is beneficial in the following ways:
- It is deductible whether the policy owner is at fault or not
- It helps cover the partial costs of car repairs or replacement to reduce the financial burden
- Allows a car owner to start car repairs while the accident is an ongoing investigation
- Protects driver and owner’s interests in the case of a leased or financed vehicle
Collision Coverage Vs. Other Types of Insurance
Collision coverage is one of the “Big 5” policy options for auto insurance. The others are:
- Comprehensive coverage
- Liability insurance
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
- Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage
Collision Coverage Vs. Comprehensive Insurance
Despite the name, comprehensive insurance does not cover all types of accidents. Instead, it applies to damage from all other events than collisions.
For instance, collision coverage covers repairs when a driver hits a light pole. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage applies when the light pole falls on the vehicle.
Also, a comprehensive policy for a vehicle does not include collision coverage. Therefore, a driver would have to add collision coverage as a separate insurance policy on a car.
Generally, comprehensive insurance is less costly than collision coverage and covers a broader range of damages from:
- Theft of entire car or parts
- Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions
- Hitting an animal
Other Types of Insurance
Liability insurance applies when a driver collides with another vehicle and causes injuries and damages to others. State laws define limits, but drivers can purchase higher limits.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers medical expenses when a driver and passengers in the vehicle sustain injuries. However, individuals involved must undergo medical care within two weeks of the accident for PIP benefits.
UM/UIM coverage applies when a driver collides with another car whose driver has no insurance policy or it’s insufficient to compensate for injuries or damages. A UM policy pays the difference between the other driver’s available insurance and the actual damages of the policyholder. This differential payment is only up to the limits that the policyholder purchases.
Ultimately, it is recommended for drivers to seek legal counsel after an accident. A car accident attorney at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers can help determine the limits of an auto insurance policy in West Palm Beach, Florida and help you seek compensation (by appointment only).
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer After Your Auto Accident
Car accidents can have a high impact on personal finances. Thankfully, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party with the help of our legal team at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers.
Our attorneys are familiar with auto insurance and can advise on properly insuring vehicles against future events. Call (561) 800-8000 to speak with an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer today.