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A vehicle that was being towed was totaled

How should I handle the insurance in this example? I just towed a truck I am buying (not yet registered on my name /non-op) to location parked it and a street racer crashed into it totaling it. The insurance is under mothers name only ...what do I do next?

Aug 27, 2018 Gardena, CA

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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

Credentials
  • 7+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

I'm sorry to hear your car was totaled. This is what I would recommend.

  1. File a police report. Although I do not have all the details, it sounds like this was a hit-and-run situation. A police report will be important for step 3.
  2. Check your policy to see what coverage your mother has.
  3. If you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage, and you filed a police report, you will be able to claim the accident under this coverage. If you can file it under an uninsured motorist, the accident will be reported as a not-at-fault accident. Not-at-fault accidents will not impact your rate as much as an at-fault will and it will only be on your record for up to three years. On average, it can increase your rate by $34 per 6-month policy period. However, that is just an average.
  4. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage but you do have collision coverage, you can have the damages repaired under this coverage. If you use your collision coverage to pay for the damages, it will be reported as an at-fault accident. At-fault accidents will stay on your record for up to five years and impact the rates more than a not-at-fault accident will.
  5. If there is no uninsured motorist coverage or collision coverage, your car will not be repaired. Keep in mind most insurance companies require you to report an accident, even if a claim isn't submitted. The other issue is who the car is registered. If it is your name, you would need to be listed as a driver on the policy otherwise the claim can be denied.  

In summary, most likely your rates will be impacted if you file a claim. How much your rates will be impacted depends on the types of coverage you have and what coverage pays out to fix your car.  Take a peek at our guide on how to file and what you can expect. Good luck and if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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