STOLEN VEHICLES AND AUTO INSURANCE CLAIMS
- What happens if your vehicle is stolen and the culprit crashes into another vehicle, an object, or runs over a pedestrian?
- Who covers the damages to your vehicle if it is stolen and crashed.
- Will my insurance policy cover damages or injuries to others?
- What kind of insurance coverage protects me if my car is stolen and damaged?
- When is my vehicle not covered if it is stolen?
In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm’s staff of car accident and insurance claims lawyers understand these to be common questions and concerns when a vehicle is stolen and damages occur. So, in order to help stolen car vehicle owners understand what happens in the above mentioned car robbery situations and how they are covered, or not, Jonathan Perazzo, personal injury attorney and founder at the Perazzo Law Firm, sheds light on this matter.
If your vehicle, or the vehicle of a friend or relative has been stolen, please continue reading for valuable insight. You can also contact Jonathan Perazzo at the Perazzo Law Firm ONLINE now for a FREE initial consultation. The Perazzo Law Firm offers its clients ZERO OUT-OF-POCKET FEES.
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WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR VEHICLE IS STOLEN AND INVOVLED IN AN ACCIDENT?
Following an accident that involves a stolen vehicle, the vehicle owner will not be held legally at fault for injuries or damages incurred as a result of the vehicle robbery. Nevertheless, it is in your best interest to file an insurance claim in an attempt to get compensation for your losses from damages to your vehicle. Since stealing a vehicle is a criminal offense, the culprit will face criminal charges and may be held liable for any damages, injuries, or losses incurred upon others.
Another factor to be considered is how the car was stolen. For example, was the broken into, was there an identical key made, were you carjacked, or was the car hotwired? The answers to these questions will help determine liability on behalf of your insurance provider. The Perazzo Law Firm recommends that Florida vehicle owners check with their insurance providers to determine whether their coverage includes theft.
WHO PAYS FOR DAMAGES TO YOUR VEHICLE IF IT IS STOLEN AND DAMAGED?
In Miami, the car accident attorneys at the Perazzo Law Firm that this question seems like a simple one, but it is not and a lot of factors have to be considered and understood in order to be able to receive compensation for the damages to a vehicle damaged after being stolen. While every registered vehicle owner in Florida is obliged to carry PIP and PD insurance (see Personal Injury and Property Damage Insurance Coverage), they do not cover the damages to your vehicle if it is stolen.
Stealing a car is a criminal offence, and thus, the culprit will be subject to criminal charges and thus, be held liable for any losses inflicted onto others if found guilty for the incident.
WILL MY INSURANCE PAY FOR MY VEHICLE REPAIRS IF IT IS STOLEN AND CRASHED?
That depends highly on a number of factors. Though most people believe that anyone who takes another person’s car without asking is stealing it. Though that may seem like the logical truth, an insurance provider may argue that negligence on behalf of the vehicle owner may have contributed to the vehicle being stolen, or fallen into criminal activity.
These acts of negligence may include:
- Leaving your keys in the car or in the ignition
- Leaving your running car with the doors open and you out of the vehicle
WHAT KINDS OF INSURANCE POLICIES COVER MY VEHICLE IF IT IS STOLEN AND DAMAGED?
There are two main types of insurance coverage policies that cover your vehicle if it is stolen and crashed, totaled, or disappears. They are GAP insurance and Comprehensive Insurance. In Miami, Jonathan Perazzo breaks them down here:
GUARANTEED AUTO PROTECTION INSURANCE (GAP): This type of insurance policy coverage offers a difference between a vehicle’s current monetary value and the amount still owed to the financial institution or company owed through a personal loan, dealer leasing contract, etc. GAP insurance is common on brand-new vehicles or trucks used for commercial purposes because their depreciation is so high in the beginning. Motor vehicle owners that wish to acquire GAP insurance can do so via two ways. Firstly, by purchasing it through an insurance intermediary or broker which is regulated by the insurance industry. Secondly, GAP insurance may be acquired through an unregulated waiver agreement purchased from a financial institution or insurance provider. In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm reminds vehicle owners that this coverage is important because the other insurance policies discussed in this article, such as PIP or PD will only cover as much as the fair market value of the vehicle. GAP covers the space in between its market value or financial lender. For further information on GAP coverage and how it covers policyholders and third parties involved in car accidents in Miami due to negligence behind the wheel, the Miami-based Perazzo Law Firm suggests consulting an insurance provider or contacting our Miami or North Miami Beach car accident staff of attorneys ONLINE for a FREE initial consultation.
COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE: Comprehensive insurance is not mandatory for registered vehicle owners in Miami; thus, each vehicle owner can choose whether to insure their vehicle with comprehensive insurance. It provides coverage for a vast range of incidents that may cause damage to vehicles not caused by negligence. These may include damage brought-on by vandalism from personal vendettas or civil unrest, damage from hurricanes or hailstorms, and even purposely caused collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians and even animals. Comprehensive coverage also serves to replace or repair vehicles after falling victim to theft; this includes any and all parts of the car. Comprehensive coverage is very common on leased or financed vehicles until they are fully paid-off. Thus, a registered vehicle owner with comprehensive coverage is very well protected against any kind of situation that leads to damage not covered by collision or property in Miami and Florida. The Perazzo Law Firm highly recommends Comprehensive Insurance Coverage for vehicles with high market or sentimental value, such as antique vehicles. This coverage protects your vehicle against almost everything that isn’t related to an accident caused by the owner.