If you are involved in an auto accident, your insurance policy will protect you from financial loss. It is an agreement between the insurance company and you. You pay the premium and agree to reimburse the insurance company for any losses. Auto insurance companies provide medical, property and liability coverage.
Property coverage covers damage to your vehicle or theft. Medical coverage pays for medical expenses, rehabilitation therapy, lost wages, and funeral costs.
Motor Vehicle Losses
Individuals used to have their own vehicles in the past. Today however, in society we live in, each member of a family can have at least 2 vehicles. They may also drive a vehicle or truck that is registered to an employer.
1. QUESTION: I work using my car to deliver pizza. What is my insurance coverage for driving for this employer?
Probably not. Passenger auto policies don’t cover vehicles used for delivery, i.e. You can also order pizzas or other food items for a fee (tips and salary). If you use your vehicle for these purposes, coverage would likely be denied. To find out if your employer could offer you coverage, check with them.
2. QUESTION. My driver’s license expired several days ago. I borrowed the car from my neighbor. With his permission, both my insurance carrier and the neighbor’s have denied the claim. I claimed I wasn’t allowed to drive the car because I don’t hold a valid driver’s license. This is possible, can the carrier?
ANSWER : Most policies will not cover you in these situations, since you knew you couldn’t legally drive the car. To verify whether there is a grace period, contact your local Motor Vehicles Division (DMV).
Auto Repair Quality
The policyholder of Atlanta Auto Insurance will agree with the insurance company on the dollar amount of the claim. The repair was not up to the standards of the manufacturers and owners. This can lead to obvious problems. To fix these issues, the customer must contract with a bodyshop and then approve the final job. For obvious reasons, the insurance carrier won’t contract for repairs to your vehicle. It is up to you, the policyholder, to make these arrangements.
3. QUESTION : I was involved in an accident with another person. The other party was responsible. Although I was entitled to liability coverage for the repair costs, the body shop failed to fix the car properly. What should I do next?
ANSWER. While you may have settled the claim with your insurance company, the problem lies with the body shop with whom you contracted for the repairs. Until you are happy with the job, do not pay the shop. The shop may need to be remediated through civil court. The Insurance Commissioner’s office does not have any authority to inspect the repair facility. Contact the Better Business Bureau.
4. QUESTION – My insurance company estimates that my car will be repaired by a local body shop for $1450.00. However, I would like to have it repaired at a different shop for $250.00. Can I ask the insurance company to pay me the difference in the estimates?
ANSWER. The insurance company won’t have to pay the difference if the estimate is from a reputable body shop. However, you will have to pay the difference if your vehicle is taken to any other shop.
5. QUESTION : An insurance company wants to use aftermarket components instead of original manufacturer’s. Is it legal?
ANSWER. Yes, provided the estimate indicates such parts were used and the manufacturer’s guarantee is listed on the estimate.
Third Party Liability Claims
These claims are made against consumers based upon the claim that the loss resulted in the consumer’s negligence. It protects the consumer from adverse judgements up to the amount of insurance. This insurance, if not paid in full, may be attached to your real or personal property.
6. QUESTION : The insurance company of the other party has denied my claim, claiming that their insured is not liable. However, I gave them a copy from the police report which clearly shows their insured was at fault. Is this possible?
ANSWER : The insurance company conducts its investigation and makes its final decision based on that investigation. According to the Georgia Code, carriers must have a process in place to ensure prompt investigation and settlement. A carrier can have some flexibility in how they conduct investigations. The Carrier can take statements from both drivers and witnesses. They may also review the police report and inspect the accident site to check the points of impact.
7. QUESTION: In an accident, the other party was clearly the fault. The officer gave the ticket to the other guy. My damages are being denied by the insurance company for the other man because they feel that I was somehow to blame. Can the Commissioner force the insurance company of the other guy to pay my damages?
ANSWER. The legal jurisdiction of the Commissioner is not to determine who was legally responsible, at fault or blame in an auto accident. This is a matter of fact and a civil matter that can only be resolved in the appropriate court. Your Insurance company may be able help you settle the matter if your statements are factual.