If my car was hit and I didn’t have collision coverage but my insurer never told me that, do they still have to pay for the repairs?

Asked on November 4, 2014 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Why would your insurer have to "tell" you that you have collission coverage? Collision is a separate, distinct form of insurance--you have to specifically order and pay for it. Either you did order and pay for it, in which case you had it--and if your insurer is denying you coverage, you could sue them for breach of contract (not providing what they agreed to provide; an insurance policy is a contract)--or if you did not order and pay for it, you don't have it, and your insurer has no obligation to pay for your repairs. It's all a matter of whether you bought collission coverage from your insurer. (Also note that when you received you insurance policy, binder, etc., it would have indicated the coverage you have; if you read those materials, you would have seen whether or not you had collision, and, if not, could have ordered it if you wanted.)

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you were not at fault in the accident, you file your claim for property damage (cost of repairs to your car) with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.

The at-fault party's insurance company pays for the repairs to your car.

If the at-fault party did not have insurance and you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy, file an uninsured motorist claim through your insurance carrier.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Why would your insurer have to "tell" you that you have collission coverage? Collision is a separate, distinct form of insurance--you have to specifically order and pay for it. Either you did order and pay for it, in which case you had it--and if your insurer is denying you coverage, you could sue them for breach of contract (not providing what they agreed to provide; an insurance policy is a contract)--or if you did not order and pay for it, you don't have it, and your insurer has no obligation to pay for your repairs. It's all a matter of whether you bought collission coverage from your insurer. (Also note that when you received you insurance policy, binder, etc., it would have indicated the coverage you have; if you read those materials, you would have seen whether or not you had collision, and, if not, could have ordered it if you wanted.)


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