YOU ASK:

Will auto insurance pay for collision repair if I'm at fault?

WE ANSWER:

It depends on the type of coverage you have.

If you only have the basic coverage - third party liability - the repairs of the other car you bumped into will be paid by your insurance company. However, they will not pay for the repairs on your car.

If you have collision insurance, then the insurance company will pay you the amount needed to repair the vehicle up to the policy's maximum limit and less the deductible. If the car is declared a total loss, then instead of paying you for repairs, the insurance company will pay for the fair market value of the car, less the deductible. In most cases, you can file a claim for the expenses needed to repair your car even if the accident happened out of state.

Now, if the collision is ruled as a 50/50 accident (where both parties are at fault), the insurance company will also pay for the damage to your car. The same goes for no-fault insurance - your insurance company will pay up regardless of who is at fault.

Remember that you have the option of adding collision coverage on top of your basic liability coverage. Yes, it may cost more in premiums but then, if you meet with an accident where you are at fault, you can get substantial help in having your car repaired.

Please remember that the insurance required by most states is only for liability insurance - the states don't require you to have collision coverage. Thus, to provide a higher level of protection for yourself, you need to get collision insurance or better yet, add in a comprehensive coverage.

That said, you have to remember that there are limits as to when the insurance company will pay. If the accident was a result of a deliberate and/or malicious action on your part or if you were in violation of basic driving rules, the insurance company may deem this as grounds to deny your claim. For instance, you allowed an unlicensed minor to drive the car, or you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.

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