Yes, gap insurance covers at-fault accidents. Gap insurance covers the difference between the amount you still owe on your car loan/lease and the actual cash value of the car if it’s totaled in an accident, regardless of whether you are at fault or not. If you're not at-fault, you can also try to recover what you still owe on your car from the at-fault party's insurance company.
It's worth noting however that gap insurance only works if your car is totaled. If your car is not totaled, your collision insurance will cover the damages for an at-fault accident.
If your car is totaled and you still owe money on the loan, the insurance company will pay your lender for the car’s value, and you will be responsible for any remaining balance if the check is less than the loan amount. If you have gap insurance, it will cover the difference between the car’s value and the loan balance. Otherwise, you will need to continue making payments for as long as it takes to bring your loan balance to zero.… read full answer
If your car is totaled and another driver is at-fault, their liability insurance will pay for the car’s value up to their policy limits. If you were at fault, you can file a collision claim. After you receive a settlement from the insurance company, you can determine if you still have a balance left on your loan.
After your lender has gotten the insurance check, you can file a gap insurance claim immediately, assuming you previously purchased coverage and still owe money to your lender. Be sure to follow any instructions in your policy. For instance, some gap insurance policies instruct you to continue making payments to your lender until the claim can be processed.
Unfortunately, your options are limited if you don’t have gap insurance and your total loss check does not cover your loan balance. You can try to negotiate with the insurance company to have them increase their estimate of your car’s value. However, you will need evidence that your car was worth more than the insurer calculated, and there is no guarantee that you will get more money. Otherwise, you are stuck continuing to make payments, though you could try asking your lender for a payment plan.
Yes, someone can sue you for a car accident even if you have insurance. Unless you live in a no-fault state, you can easily be sued for financial and personal damages in car accidents that you cause. If you have a liability insurance policy (which is required in most states), your insurance company will likely pay for an attorney to defend you in court. However, there are certain situations where they aren’t obligated to do so.… read full answer
When Insurance Doesn’t Have to Pay for a Lawyer
You did not notify the insurance company within a certain timeframe, which can be anywhere from 5-30 days, depending on the specifics of the policy.
The cost of the other driver’s damages exceeds the limits of your policy.
You intentionally caused the accident.
If you have car insurance and you’re sued after a car accident that you caused, it’s likely for one of two reasons: either you don’t have enough insurance to cover all of the other driver’s expenses or the insurance claim process is taking a long time. If the first applies to you, your insurance company is under no obligation to help you once they’ve paid up to the limits of your policy.
However, the rules for filing a lawsuit after a car accident are different in no-fault states. No-fault states require drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which provides coverage for minor injuries sustained in an accident. This eliminates the need for small personal injury cases to go to court, as every driver is protected by their own insurance policy. In these 12 states, you can only file a lawsuit against the other driver if your injuries are severe or your economic damages have exceeded a certain amount. The specific thresholds for each scenario vary depending on the state.
While you can’t control whether or not the other driver will sue you after an accident that you caused, there are steps that you can take to put yourself in the best position possible. The most important things are to notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible and to understand the limits of your policy. If you do end up being sued, take the time to understand what exactly you’re being sued for and what steps your insurer is taking to help you.
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