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Car Accident FAQ’s

Car AccidentsHOW LONG DO I HAVE TO REPORT A CAR ACCIDENT?

Car accidents should be reported as soon as possible. Most insurance companies require that claims are made within a specified window of time after the accident, however these limits vary. If you are unsure of your policy requirements, contact your insurance agent.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT TO DO FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT

PENNSYLVANIA CAR INSURANCE AND YOUR RIGHT TO RECOVER FOR INJURY

To be fully covered for a car accident in Pennsylvania, you need more than the mandatory Pennsylvania Car Insurance coverage required by law.  In addition to the mandatory Pennsylvania Car Insurance, you need to choose the optional full tort, the optional Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, and the optional Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PENNSYLVANIA CAR INSURANCE LAWS

 

HOW DO I HANDLE A CAR ACCIDENT PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIM?

If you were involved in a car accident and you were not hurt but you have a property damage claim, you may have property damage insurance under your own policy, or the person who hit you may have property damage insurance.  In that situation, you can submit your claims to your insurance company or the at-fault person’s insurance company, and the insurance company may pay your claim. If there is no insurance coverage, then you will have to file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO HANDLE YOUR OWN SMALL CLAIM

WHAT IS CONSIDERED PROPERTY DAMAGE IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

Property damage covered by insurance companies is the difference between what your car was worth immediately before the accident and what it is worth immediately after the accident. You are also entitled to recover for the loss of use of your vehicle.

Property damage is determined by the cost of repairing the vehicle or the fair market value of the vehicle if it is determined to be totaled. Fair market value is usually determined by its Blue Book value.

The insurance company will decide whether the car will be repaired or totaled bast upon the repair estimates. If repair estimates total more than 75% of your car’s Blue Book value, they will probably total your car. Today, estimates are usually done by the insurance adjuster. If the insurance company decides to repair the vehicle, you can arrange the work to be done at the repair shop of your choice. If the repair shop finds additional damage not identified in the original estimate, the repair shop will contact the adjuster for additional payment. The insurance company may require the use of after-market parts if they are of equal quality to the manufacturer parts.

The loss of the use of your vehicle is usually determined by the cost of renting a reasonable replacement, but the insurance company is not required to arrange a rental car for you. In that case, if you rent one yourself, you are entitled to recover that cost. Even if you don’t rent a car, you are still entitled to be compensated for loss of use.

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