FAQ continued:

Q: The accident I was in was determined not to be my fault. The insurance company is offering far less for my vehicle than what I owe. Don’t they have to at least pay off my loan?

A: No. The insurance company is not required to take into consideration any outstanding loan on the vehicle. They generally are only required to pay the fair market value of the vehicle.


Q: May I keep my auto if I have a claim and the insurance company declares it a total loss?

A: Your insurance company is entitled to any salvage value your auto may have and will typically take title to your auto when it pays your claim. You may be able to negotiate with your insurance company to purchase the vehicle from them.


Q: Am I entitled to a rental vehicle and for how long?

A: If your personal automobile insurance policy has an endorsement for rental coverage, or “rental reimbursement” clause, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the cost of a rental vehicle while you are waiting for your vehicle to be repaired within your policy limits. If you’re collecting for your damages from a company other than your own, your state may or may not have a law requiring rental reimbursement. Typically, insurance companies allow for a rental vehicle for a specific amount of time once they determine their insured is liable.


Q: Do I have to hire a lawyer to defend me if I’m sued because of an auto accident?

A: No. The liability portion of your automobile insurance provides for representation by the insurance company. The insurance company provides the lawyer but he or she represents you, not the insurance company.