Leasing a car is a unique commitment that comes with specific terms that are agreed upon between the lessee and the lease company. Going over on your annual mileage is one thing, but what if you get into an accident, and the car you’re leasing is a total loss?
The truth is, nobody’s exempt from getting into accidents, including those who lease their cars. There’s a system in place for how these types of tricky situations are handled by you, your insurance company, and your leasing company.
To help our local lessees in Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton learn more about how damage to a leased vehicle is handled, Collision 24 put together the following post on what you should know if you get into an accident in a leased vehicle.
Filing an Accident Claim for a Leased Vehicle
Even though you’re paying to drive your lease for a multi-year period, it’s important to remember that at the end of it, you’ll have to return the keys. Even though you don’t own the car, you are responsible for things like maintenance and repairs, and accident damage falls under this category.
In general, filing an accident claim for a lease tends to be a bit more involved. Check your lease agreement; it’s likely that your leasing company will request documentation of the damage and will lead the charge in appraisal and designating a repair shop. Because you don’t own the vehicle, this is something you don’t have much control over.
If the damages sustained can be repaired and you were at fault, your insurance company will pay for the cost of the damage minus your deductible. If the other driver is found at fault, their insurance company will pay for the damages.
When a Lease Is Considered Totaled
Post claim and appraisal, if your leasing and insurance companies find that the cost to repair the damage exceeds the actual cash value (ACV) of the car, it may be deemed what’s called a total loss.
When this happens, your insurance company is responsible for paying the ACV of the car to the leasing company. The difficult part is, many times this amount won’t cover the cost of what’s still owed under the lease agreement.
This is where gap insurance comes in. Gap insurance covers the difference between what your car is worth and the amount that’s owed at the time of the loss. And the good news is, many leases build gap insurance into their agreements. Read over your terms carefully and ask your agent for assistance if need be. If you don’t have gap insurance, you’ll be responsible for paying the “gap amount.”
Learn More About Accident Insurance
As a specialty collision repair services facility serving Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton, Collision 24 is committed to offering South Shore drivers top-quality service. We understand that in the case of getting into an accident in a lease, you can’t pick your repair facility, but that doesn’t mean your questions should go unanswered. Contact us today for more information about accident insurance and appraisal processes.
For helpful information about car insurance, the claim process, and general maintenance queries, head to our frequently asked questions page.