How the Property Damage Claim Process Works in Florida
What is Property Damage?
If you’re working with our firm it’s because you have a bodily injury claim.
In other words, you’ve been hurt in a car accident or you lost wages as a result of a car accident, or you have medical bills as a result of a car accident.
And while that’s all very important stuff, and we take care of all that for you, at the very beginning you probably have the situation where your vehicle, which you rely on for transportation is either dinged up or worse, it’s actually been destroyed so it’s inoperable.
And so you have what’s called a property damage claim that you need to resolve. You need to get your car fixed, or if it’s not going to get fixed, you need to get it checked for the value of your car so you can buy a new car.
Types Of Insurance For Your Property Damage Claim
Now, there are two different places that you’re going to look for help with that. Two different types of insurance. They’re both property insurance.
One would be your property damage insurance, and the other would be the at-fault party, the person who caused insurance, their property damage insurance.
At the very beginning when we first start working together, someone from our office is going to take care of getting those claims set up for you and make sure that we talk to those claims adjusters to ensure they don’t try to talk to you about anything that they’re not supposed to talk to you about.
But after we get all that taken care of, we’re going to turn it over to you just because it’s a lot quicker, to finalize it and make sure things get squared away.
Heres what you need to know.
Use The At-Fault Party’s Property Insurance
If you can, you’re going to want to use the at-fault party’s property insurance.
Simply because if the at-fault party accepts liability, you’re not going to have to pay a deductible and it’s going to go right from the other person’s insurance.
If you need a rental car, the at-fault party is going to have to pay for that as well. Great, right?
Heres the problem.
Insurance companies are notoriously slow, and before an at-fault party is going to accept liability and pay your property damage claim, they’re going to do an investigation first, and the practical reality of that is sometimes that can take days or weeks, or in some cases even longer. But you probably don’t have days or weeks.
This is the Tampa Bay area, you have to commute, you need a vehicle, right?
But If You’re In A Rush, Talk To Your Insurance Company
If you run into that situation where the best case scenario is the at-fault party is going to accept liability and write you a check right away or fix your vehicle right away then use the at-fault party insurance.
But if you run into the situation where that’s not going to happen and they are going to take their time to do their investigation, then you should immediately talk and pursue a claim with your insurance company with your collision property damage claim.
And the reason is simple. Your insurance company is going to move a lot quicker because they’re not going to have to determine fault.
Now, you’ll talk to your insurance company. They will require, and you’ll be required to pay a deductible, in your case that can be $250, $500, and in some cases $1000. You’ll pay the deductible but it will get you back on the road quicker.
Now, the good news about that is even if you have to pay a deductible now to get yourself back on the road and get your vehicle fixed, at the end of the day if the other insurance is at fault, you can expect that your insurance company is going to go after that insurance company for your property damage claim, to get your deductible back and to make sure that you don’t have any issues with your insurance as a result.
If you run into the situation where you become out of pocket because you have to pay for yourself out of pocket for a rental car, that’s a loss of use claim with your vehicle, just give the information to us and we’ll make sure that gets taken care of at the end of the day, and your bigger bodily injury claim.
You Can Talk To Both Insurances For Your Property Damage Claim
Another thing to note as you’re going through this. You can, with your property damage claim, talk to both the insurance company that represents the at-fault party, and your insurance company, and you can see if your car is broken to the point of no repair.
If it is, they have to buy you out of the vehicle.
You can compare the offers in both insurance companies and you can take the one you like better.
So if you like your insurance company’s offer better, if they’re going to pay you more money for the value of your vehicle if it’s been totaled, you can take that, instead of going to the at-fault party.
Not Being Treated Fairly? Contact Us
In any case, if you find that your insurance company’s treating you unfairly in any way, contact us.
So for example, they offer you a value for your property, you look at NADA online, or you look at KBB.com online and you’re realizing they’re not giving you fair value.
Just give us a call, and we’ll take it from there and take care of it for you. If you have any questions about that portion of your property damage claim, please give us a call, talk to your case manager.
We’d love to help you out, otherwise, we’re looking forward to taking care of you and helping you out with your bodily injury claim, thanks.