Florida Car Accident Insurance Questions

Over the past twenty years, Personal Injury Attorney Joseph Lipsky has helped injured car accident victims throughout Florida, including those who’ve had accidents in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Aventura, West Palm Beach, Miramar, Coral Gables and Key West. Most car accident victims have many questions about what effect their car accident will have on their car insurance. Here are some other frequently asked Florida car accident insurance questions, and some brief answers.

How can an insurance company cancel my coverage?

Florida statutes dictate that when an insurance company cancels a policy, any unearned premium must be returned to the insured within 15 days after the date the policy was cancelled.

If you cancel your own policy, the unearned premium must be returned within 30 days after the effective date of cancellation. The insurance company may keep 10 percent of the unearned premium, unless the request is from a military service member being called to active duty, in which case the insurer must refund 100%.

Can my insurance company not renew my policy if I had a car accident?

Florida Statute section 626.9541 (o), prohibits car insurance companies from not renewing a policy just because you caused 1 accident within a three year period. But, if you’ve had additional crashes or received other traffic tickets, the insurance company may use those and your most recent accident as a reason not to renew your policy. In situations when you’ve been involved in crashes which were not your fault, an insurance company can issue a non-renewal if you’ve been in more than 2 such accidents in the last 3 years.

What happens if I am late in paying my car insurance premium?

In Florida, insurance companies do not have to provide any insurance if you do not pay your premium on a timely basis. Payments are due on the date shown on your bill. Insurance companies do not have to provide any grace period to their insureds. So to maintain your insurance, make sure to pay your premium on time.

Do I have to pay anything if my windshield is cracked?

Pursuant to Florida Law, if you purchased either comprehensive collision coverage then your front windshield to be covered. And, if you have a deductible, Florida law requires your insurance company to NOT charge you a deductible if your windshield is cracked or needs to be replaced.

If someone else damages my car am I entitled to be paid for its diminished value?

If someone else is responsible for a car accident, their insurance company, in addition to repairing your car, may also be liable for paying you for the diminished value of your car. If you do not pursue this type of claim, you will bear that loss when you try to trade-in or sell your damaged car, particularly if you have a “high end” or antique car.

Unfortunately, if your insurance company is the only source of recovery, they cannot be held responsible for a diminished value claim.

How long does an insurance company have to investigate a car accident before paying a claim?

Insurance companies generally have to respond to any letter regarding a claim within 14 days. The insurance company must begin investigating a claim within 10 days after receiving a proof of loss. Thereafter, within ninety days, the insurance company must either pay or deny a claim.

Who decides where my car is repaired?

It may be hard to believe, but Florida Statute section 626.9743, does not require insurance companies to guarantee repairs. Insurance companies are also not responsible for delays in repairs being completed. But if the insurance company chooses the repair shop, they will usually approve any addition necessary repairs beyond those originally authorized.

How is it decided if my car is a “Total Loss?”

According to Florida Statue section 319.30 (3)(a)1, if the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles estimates the cost of repairing car damage to be equal to eighty percent of the cost to purchase the vehicle, it shall declared unrebuildable. Yet, if an insurance company and the car’s owner agree to repair, instead of replace, the car, and if the actual costs to repair are more than 100% of the price to replace the damaged car, the car’s owner must inform the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles immediately and request the new title state it is a "Total Loss Vehicle."

Should I give a statement to an insurance adjuster?

The driver who caused your accident’s insurance company will try to take your statement. There is no legal obligation for you to provide such a statement. In fact, there is nothing for you to gain by giving a statement, without the benefit of having your attorney present. Promises made by insurance companies that they are there to help you, are usually insincere. Insurance companies have only one goal in taking your statement, to lock you into a story which benefits their insured.

If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, the Palm Beaches, the Florida Keys, or any city in between, call personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky to discuss all of your Florida car accident questions:

  • (888) FLA-LAW8 - Toll Free
  • (954) 693-0073 - Fort Lauderdale
  • (305) 821-7333 - Miami-Dade
  • (561) 514-3535 - Palm Beaches
  • (305) 296-6300 - Florida Keys

and to arrange for your FREE NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION. Since the call and car accident consultation are FREE, you should not delay in calling to find out about how to protect all of your legal rights.

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