I’m about to shop around for some auto insurance, and realized I don’t even know what is generally covered under same. I understand the difference between your “full coverage”, your “liability”, and what have you, but what generally happens if your vehicle is damaged but the other party cannot be identified? This would come up, for example, if your car was damaged while parked, or in the case of a hit-and-run fenderbender situation. Would it simply be treated as any other damage presumed caused by the insured? Would your insurance company reimburse you on any amount above the deductable? Would it differ depending on where it occured (public roads, private property, etc)?
You have to be covered for those things under your policy. As for hit&run I had one of those in California recently, the cops said they wouldn’t do a report unless it was more than $750.00
Talk to you insurance agent. Insurance is not cheap by any means so get your monies worth in info
Damage caused to your car while parked would be covered by comprehensive (now known as “other than collision”) coverage. That’s the same coverage that covers theft, damage by weather, damage from striking an animal, etc. Yes, you’d be reimbursed above the cost of the deductible but I’m not sure what you mean by “any amount.” Any amount up to the market value of your car (which you’ll proably have to dicker with the company over)…yes.
The coverage wouldn’t differ depending on whether the vehicle is parked on public or private property. If you did something really stupid like purposely parking it teetering on the edge of a cliff or something similar, you might have a problem though.
You didn’t ask but whether you incur a surcharge for filing a comprehensive claim after having a parked car struck by another vehicle may be affected by whether it was legally parked. Surcharge rules differ from company to company. If the vehicle was legally parked or you were not at fault in a hit and run situation, you probably won’t be surcharged.
Comprehensive and Collision are not required coverages unless there’s a lien on your vehicle, in which case the lienholder will probably require you to carry those coverages.
Coverages required by law in most or all states are:
Bodily Injury Liabilty - Pays for injuries you cause
Property Damage Liabilty - Pays for property damage you cause
Medical Paments (only required in some states and some of those states will let you sign a release and not carry it) - Pays for injuries to people in your vehicle
Uninsured Motorist Liability - Pays you for injuries caused to people in your vehicle by uninsured drivers
Underinsured Motorist Liability (may not be required in all states and back when I was working with stuff like this, some states would let you sign a release) - If someone in your vehicle is injured by someone with Bodily Injury coverage but not enough of it, it pays the difference between what their insurance paid and what your Underinsured Motorist Limit is.
Note: I’m not completely clear on when Medical Payments or Bodily Injury apply to people in your vehicle. I’m sure some nice lawyer, claims adjuster or underwriter will be along soon to straighten that out.
I previewed but didn’t catch this. Remove the word “you” in that sentence. Obviously you aren’t going to be paid for injuries to other people in your vehicle.
I mean…the injured people will be paid. You collect on your injuries and they collect on theirs. Sheesh.
Sorry to disagree about the comprehensive coverage, but damage to a parked car is covered under the collision portion of you coverage, the other than collision part is correct, but having your car hit while parked is in fact a collision. At least in Oklahoma
You’re absoltuely right. Thank you for correcting that.
Good catch Mr. Peabody.
As has been mentioned, different states require different coverage, but ALL require BI & PD:
Bodily Injury (BI) Liability usual minimum is $25k per person, $50k per accident (if you cause injury to multiple people). I think these limits are unacceptable, but it all depends on your own pucker factor. Remember, if you run someone over and you are sued for, say, $100k, this is the portion of a lawsuit your insurance company can pay. You get to pay everything else.
I’d suggest 50/100 as a minimum and 250/500 if you have a life. Depending on what state you live in, your passengers, even your family members, may be ably to collect BI claims against you if you’re the driver and cause the accident.
Property Damage (PD) Liability usual minimum is $25k, but some states, like Louisiana require as little as $15k. To decide how much you need, take a look at the cars you share the road with. Yes, most are between the $200 - $6,000 range, but it’s certainly not unusual to see cars well over $25k. And remember, your PD limit covers ALL cars you damage. If you’re running around with $25k limits and you smack a 99 Accord in the rear and push it into a Lexus…you insurance company can only pay $25k. You get the rest. I’d suggest $50K as a minimum id not $100k. In my experience, there’s not a whole lotta difference in cost between $25k & $100k.
Comprehensive covers glass damage, missiles, animal hits, hail, fires, theft, vandalism, wind-driven sand damage…pretty much anything “Other than Collision.” There are some exceptions like wear & tear. You choose your deductible (how much of a loss YOU want to pay before the insurance company picks up the rest)
Collision Just what it sounds like. You run your car into something, grocery cart rolls into your car, you hit a pothole, you park your car on a riverbank & it collapses and your car falls 30 feet into a ravine…and if you’r car is parked out in front of your house and some nimrod gives you the old hit & run (see Uninsured motorist). Again, you have to deal with the deductible. If someone else hits you, but their insurance company isn’t giving you the love you deserve, you DO have the right to file a claim under collision (and pay your deductible). Once the claim is settled, your company will then subrogate (hand the bill to) the other company & get your deductible back for you.
Emergency Road Service pays for all/part of towing expenses (for ANY reason other than impound), usually pays for locksmith service:rolleyes: 1 hr of roadside labor (for Bubba to come out & install your new alternator when it strands you just outside of Thermopolis, WY), & some other goodies. This is DIRT CHEAP. GET IT.
Rental Reimbursement pays all/some of the cost of a rental car while your car is not usable because of a claim covered under Comprehensive or Collision. If the other guy’s insurance is handling your car, they OWE you a comparable rental car.
Un(der) Insured BI works differently in different states. USUALLY it pays YOUR damages if the other guy has no/insufficient BI liability coverage.
Un(der)insured PD see above. Some states don’t let you carry this if you have Collision coverage.
Medical payments/PIP VERRRRRY different from state to state. Pays for MEDICAL expenses to you & your passengers (and sometimes even pedestrians you run over!), often regardless of who is at fault.
That’s the basics. Talk to your insurance agent for particulars. Like handy said, you’re payin’ the Jaguar bill for the insurance guy, make the sucker earn it. And make sure you get some promotional goodies too (atlas, etc.).
And one last thing before I shut up and do a WAG on another thread (and I plan to): IF YOUR CAR IS BROKEN INTO OR STOLEN, YOUR CDs ARE NOT COVERED. EVER. Of course, check with your agent.
Oh yes…if your car is damaged by a 20’s style death ray, you’re probably out of luck. Comprehensive is normally a named perils coverage. Last policy I read did not cover damage caused by scalar weapons…and most exclude damage caused by war (and I assume this includes interplanetary war as well.)
This actually happened to me (having my car totalled while parked, not the 20’s style or even 30’s style death ray). My car was one of six cars that one particular nimrod demolished on her way to crashing into a tree. I was in a friend’s apartment about 300 feet away, and actually heard the series of sickening crunches. Fortunately (or not), the woman driving the van that murdered my car was so incredibly drunk that she was able to get out and sit down on the curb and wait for the paramedics.
Since she was insured, my insurance didn’t matter, because the woman was obviously at fault. They just cut me a check and sorted out the details by themselves.
When your car insurance company lowballs you when totalling your car, you need to walk into their office with all of your maintenance receipts, Jiffy-Lube receipts and pictures that you took the one time that you had it completely detailed. In my case (with a seven year old car), I had over 200 pages of stuff (that they had to photocopy for their records) indicating that my car was worth more than “low blue book wholesale.” However, all I could get them to do was increase it to “high wholesale,” which still pisses me off, since I then had to turn around and buy my next car at retail prices. The difference, however, was $1800, which I think was worth my time.
Also, check with your home owner’s insurance, if any. The contents of your vehicle may be covered there, depending on deductibles, of course.
Violet Good thinking. Most Homeowner’s policies I’ve seen will exclude CDs if they are stolen with your car. An exception is if you have a boom box (not attached to the car) stolen along with them. The idea is the CDs were accompanying the boom box, the whole kit-n-kaboodle which was being transported to another location.
What the Ins Co is trying to do is not have to buy you a CD collection that a) may not have existed in reality or b) you were too imprudent to have left in the car (morale hazard).
As for how to get more money for your totaled car, receipts are good, but only to a point. All you can do is demonstrate that your car was “better than average.” The car policy is NOT a maintenance poilicy, you are expected to have expenses as a normal part of car ownership. For instance, you will not be owed for spending $900 on brakes because that is maintenance–your car would actually be worth LESS without the work. Stuff that will improve the value significantly are transmission/engine rebuild/replacements, excellent paint & interior and low miles.
(Can you tell what I do for a living?)
"As for how to get more money for your totaled car, receipts are good, but only to a point. "
Sometimes you ou can collect the money from them & offer to buy your car back from them too if you want it back.
Not long ago my car was in a neighbor’s driveway during a tropical storm and got $1,000 of damage from a tree that fell in the yard of THEIR next-door neighbor. My insurance company happily paid for everything over the deductible. (I can’t afford a lower deductible, yet that $500 was a pain in the ass to pay.)
So yes, they’ll pay for things that happen to parked cars. Come to think of it, I need to check with them to see if their homeowner’s will cover any of this…I’d LOVE to get that $500 back. They offered to check but I’d forgotten until now!
Whiterabbit give it a try, but I don’t think much will come of it. The only way I can think their HO policy can pay for damage to your car is if you could show your neighbor was liable. Meaning: was th tree dead and were they remiss in removing dead limbs? If the damage was caused by a storm you’ll probably get denied. “But what would you be if youdidn’t even try? You have to try.”
handy you are correct. If an Ins Co totals your car they are essentially making an offer to buy it from you for the market value, call it $15,000. What the company will do with the car after the transaction is they will sell it at a salvage yard, so the car does have some value to them as salvage. If you want to keep the car, the insurance company will figure what they could have received for selling the car, say $1,000, and then subtract that from your settlement. So in this scenario you get $14,000 and you keep the smoking hulk. You can use the $14k to repair the car, plant begonias in or sell on your own & maybe get more than $1k for it–the Ins CO doesn’t care, but in settling this way thay have no further responsibility to you for this claim.
Every state has different laws regarding treatment of the vehicle title in the event of a total, so you want to make sure you can re-title the car after you settle. Florida, for instance, usually requires a “certificate of destruction” to replace the title. You can’t license a car with such a title, ergo you can’t legally drive it without repairing it and jumping through some hoops.
Yeah, I don’t think it’s likely, either. The last I heard they were going to ask. It’s always worth ASKING, right?
We had maybe 15 or 20 minutes of wind. I’d moved my car off the street because I was afraid of flooding, and the tree gets it. Silly me.
This also happened to my son. He was home in bed. Car parked along with other cars at apt. complex. Some kid slams into his car & totals it. Driver was taken to jail & charged with DUI. However unlike you’re happily ever after story, his has turned into a nightmare. His was an older car but still worth $7,500 according to their insurance appraisers. But he just received noticed that their underwriter denied the claim because they found “false information” on the application of the insured, even though they had been paying for the policy. They didn’t go into detail as to what they found was false and they sure as heck didn’t have any problems taking their premiums. Now they are just flat out denying payment because they say since they’ve found false information the policy is considered void.
Now he’s without a car and no way to re-coupe his lose as he only had liability on his car. How can this be?! How does he get punished for being in his own bed and these people and their ins. co get off scot-free.
Of course we contacted a lawyer but no attorney will touch it because there wasn’t any bodily injuries, therefore they won’t stand to make their multi-million off of the ins. co.
What recourse might he have with the insurance company?
Unfortunately, probably none. IANAL, but when Bruce Williams had his radio program he frequently made the point that the insurance company’s responsibility is to protect the insured. They can do that by paying the damages, by using their lawyers to defend the insured in court, or by just refusing to pay and explaining why. You can only sue the person who caused the damages. If the insurance company’s decision is wrong, the insured would have to sue them.