Comparing Property Damage Liability Coverage, Collision Coverage, and Gap Insurance

by Aug 29, 2023Article

Unless you work in the insurance industry, chances are you may not know a whole lot about the many different types of insurance coverages you can get for your car. Auto insurance laws vary from state to state, and Florida auto insurance laws can be complex. Here at Rosenblum & Mayer, we want you to be informed and prepared, which is why we will break down the differences between property damage liability coverage, collision coverage, and gap insurance.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Auto insurance policies issued in Florida are only required to have a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance along with a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If you get into a car accident, PDL kicks in and pays for damage to the other driver’s property, such as the costs to repair their vehicle. However, PDL only covers the other driver’s damages, and not for damage to your own vehicle.

Collision Coverage

Collision insurance typically comes into play when two or more vehicles are involved in an accident, though it may also be relevant if a single vehicle “collides” into something. Some situations that collision insurance may cover include:

  • Crashing into a ditch
  • A vehicle flipping over
  • Colliding with another vehicle
  • Colliding with a streetlight or any other stationary object

Collision insurance helps to get your vehicle repaired as soon as possible after you get into an accident. Sometimes you may need to wait a while before the other driver’s liability insurance coverage compensates you for the repairs to your vehicle. With collision coverage, the money is automatically awarded so you don’t have to wait for the other driver’s insurer to establish liability. This coverage is not to be confused with comprehensive coverage, which covers theft or damage to your vehicle not caused by a collision, such as storm damage. We strongly recommend you carry both collision coverage as well as comprehensive coverage. 

Gap Insurance

Gap insurance is often helpful for Florida drivers who have financed a car. If your vehicle is damaged beyond repair and you owe more on your loan than the car is worth (which is often the case when you just bought a new car), gap coverage kicks in to cover the difference, or “gap”, between your loan payoff amount and the current market value of your vehicle. Since the minute you drive a car off the lot it starts depreciating in value, your car insurance provider factors in the depreciation of your vehicle so they will adjust any potential insurance payout based on the depreciated value of your vehicle. This can often make the payout lower than what you owe on your loan. Gap insurance can cover the difference. 

Key Differences To Know

  • Liability insurance covers damages that the OTHER driver sustained, caused by YOU
  • Collision insurance cover repairs to YOUR vehicle
  • If you finance a car and get into an accident, gap insurance covers the difference between your loan payoff and what your insurer will pay out

Contact Us Today

Insurance law can be frustratingly complex- If you get into a car accident, it’s essential to have an experienced auto accident attorney on your side to help you navigate the system. Call Rosenblum & Mayer to speak to a car accident lawyer today.