If your vehicle is damaged in an auto accident, either your Pennsylvania car insurance company or another driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying at least some of the repair cost. In order to make sure that your car is taken care of, certain steps need to be followed.
The first step is filing a police report
The first thing you do when you are involved in an accident is to call the police. The police will question you and complete a police report, which your insurance company will use to make their decision regarding your claim. You should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver or drivers, and take photos of the accident scene. Also get the license plate numbers and driver’s license numbers of others involved in the accident, as well as the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
Insurance Coverage Depends on Who is at Fault
Your collision insurance will pay for damages to your vehicle and your liability insurance will pay for damages to the other driver’s vehicle, if the accident was your fault. The coverage will extend to the limits of your policy, after you pay your deductible. If the other driver was at fault, their liability insurance will pay for repairs to your vehicle. If you have carry no-fault insurance, then your insurance company will pay to repair the damage to your vehicle, regardless of fault.
Establishing Your Claim
After you file a claim, your insurance company will send a claims adjuster to inspect your vehicle or they may send you to a company-approved repair shop. Depending on your collision coverage and the severity of the damage to your vehicle, your policy may pay the entire cost to restore your vehicle to the condition it was before the accident, or you may be responsible for a portion of the bill. You will need to pay your deductible before your insurance coverage takes effect. If the damage is severe enough, however, the adjuster may declare your vehicle “a total loss.” In this case, you may receive a check for the market value of the vehicle, or for the cost of buying a new vehicle (depending on the terms of your policy).
Rental Reimbursement Coverage
While your vehicle is being repaired, you can have access to a rental car if you carry rental reimbursement coverage. This optional coverage will become vital in the event your car has extensive damage and you do not have a back-up vehicle to drive while the repairs are being made. If the accident was not your fault, then the at-fault driver’s insurance company will provide you with a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop.
Driving Without Insurance
Pa Automobile insurance is mandatory. If you are involved in an accident without insurance, you will have to pay a minimum fine of $300. Your car’s registration and your driver’s license will be suspended for three months. After three months, you will be charged a $50 fee to restore your car’s registration and another $50 to get your license back.