Can I sue the car dealership that I bought my car at or my insurance for negligence regarding coverage on my new car?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue the car dealership that I bought my car at or my insurance for negligence regarding coverage on my new car?

I recently bought a new car. Right before I left the dealership, I asked if I needed to do anything about my insurance and I was told by them that I was good to go. I checked my insurance a few days later on my app and noticed that my old car was still under the policy, so I quickly changed the same policy over to my new car thinking my coverage was good. I subsequently got into a car accident which was deemed my fault. My insurer covered the other party with the property damage coverage and both parties were not injured seriously, just a few very minor abrasions. Since I was told everything was good by the dealership, I hadn’t reviewed more of my policy but found out that it had no comprehensive or collision coverage. Can the insurance company be allowed to authorize such a transfer of policy since the car is being financed? The damage on the car is pretty severe to a point that the side air bags have been deployed, the right side door is smashed in along with the front right wheel pushed in at an angle causing my car to be undriveable and potentially a total loss. I purchased GAP coverage at the dealership in case something like this happens and now I can’t even use it because my insurance won’t cover anything. Now I’m stuck with no car and I’m going to have a difficult time making the payments for it because I was using Uber part-time to make them. This is also making my life very difficult as commuting to work and daily life is becoming a nuisance. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on August 12, 2017 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue them for negligence, since they had no legal duty or obligation to ensure that you had insurance. Insurance is for *your* benefit: to provide some way to pay for any damage or losses, up to and including the car being totalled. If you don't have insurance, you have to pay out of pocket; therefore again, the insurance protects you. Neither your dealership nor your insurer has a duty to protect you from economic losses; that is your own obligation, to make sure you have the insurance you want and feel you need. Since it is your obligation, not theirs, you cannot hold them liable for this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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