Just as Louisiana law requires drivers to purchase liability insurance to cover bodily injuries you may cause to another person, driver must also purchase property damage insurance to cover property damage to someone else's property for an accident that you cause. If you only purchase the required minimum insurance and decline collision insurance, any damage to your vehicle that results from an accident caused entirely by you will not be covered. To protect yourself, you should purchase collision coverage, which covers any damage if you hit another vehicle or object. Instead of paying the entire cost of repairs out of your pocket, you will only have to pay a deductible and collision insurance will cover the cost of the repairs or replacement of your vehicle.
If another driver is at fault in causing an accident, you can always make a claim through their insurance company. However, sometimes these claims take time as the insurance company will have to first perform an investigation to speak with their insured, to secure the police report, or to talk to witnesses. You may be stuck without a vehicle or rental vehicle during this period of time. During this time, you can use your own collision coverage even if you are not at fault for causing the property damage to your vehicle. Your insurance will pay for the damage and provide you a rental car if covered under the policy, and then will seek reimbursement from the at fault driver's insurance company, which can include a refund of your deductible.
- Amanda Morse is an associate at Kiefer & Kiefer.
This is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.