When you suffer a car accident in Atlanta, GA, you may have several methods of collision coverage. For instance, if you carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), you can immediately seek damages from your own insurer. However, PIP is not mandatory in Georgia and many drivers don’t carry it as a part of their auto insurance policy. A good Atlanta auto accident lawyer can help you explore your other options.
These typically include filing a third-party insurance claim with the insurer of the at-fault driver. This is one of the most common ways of recovering compensatory damages. It is also the most viable option if the other driver is insured and you can clearly show that the other driver was at fault.
However, you can also collect compensatory damages under other types of coverage you may carry. One of these types of coverage is car collision coverage, or car damage coverage. Here is a look at what it is as well as its pros and cons.
What is Collision Coverage?
Vehicle collision coverage is an optional type of insurance that you can purchase as a part of your auto insurance policy. This means that if you file a claim for damages under this type of coverage, your claim will be handled by your own insurance company. Collision coverage offers coverage for collisions, rollover crashes, parked car collision damage, as well as rental car accidents. However, the precise terms of the coverage may vary from one insurer to another.
This coverage is a no-fault coverage, so you can seek damages whether or not you were at fault. Even if your own fault caused a crash and resulted in damage to your vehicle, your collision coverage will cover it.
Pros of Collision Coverage
Carrying this type of coverage as a part of your car insurance policy offers many notable benefits. These include:
As noted above, collision coverage is no-fault coverage. So when you file a claim under this coverage, the insurance company will not dispute your claim or investigate whether or not you were at fault. Instead, the company will compute the amount of damages and then award your claim. As a result, claims under this coverage are nearly never rejected or disputed.
If you seek damages from the insurance of the at-fault driver, the process can take a while. Depending on the nature of the claim, it may take several weeks, months or even above a year. Until the claim is settled, you won’t receive any money to cover for your vehicle damage as well. In contrast, collision coverage lets you get a settlement quickly so that you are able to take care of the imminent vehicle repairs without any delays.
That being said, this type of coverage also has some disadvantages. Here is a look at these.
Cons of Collision Coverage
The downsides of the collision coverage include:
Exclusive Vehicle Damage Coverage
If you seek damages from your own insurer under collision coverage, you are no longer entitled to receive compensation for vehicle damage from the at-fault driver. Instead, your own insurer will take up your vehicle damage claim after reimbursing you under the terms of your collision coverage.
When you seek damages for vehicle repairs or replacement under the collision coverage, your damages are capped at the limits of the insurance policy. So if you suffer $5,000 in vehicle-related damages but your collision coverage maxes at $3,000, you will have to pay up the rest of the amount from your pocket. In contrast, when filing a third-party claim for vehicle-related losses, you can seek a greater amount of damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Stricter Claims Processing
As noted above, your claim under collision coverage will nearly never be denied. However, your insurer may use a more rigorous process of inspection to determine the amount you are entitled to. In addition, your collision coverage may not cover the valuables in your vehicle or the costs of a rental car that you may use while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced.
Given these pros and cons, it is important to consult a reliable lawyer before you file for vehicular losses under your collision coverage.
Hiring a Reliable Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer
A qualified auto accident lawyer will advise you on whether you should file a third-party claim for vehicle damage or utilize your own collision coverage. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, our lawyers fully understand how insurance works in car crash claims. We can help you recoup the maximum amount of compensation for your vehicular losses by exploring all the available options. Get in touch with us today to discuss your car crash claim with our lawyers.