What is the impact of automobile recalls on my insurance coverage?
Sean Shaw, Florida's insurance consumer advocate, says there are several issues drivers should consider when their automobile is recalled..
The impact sometimes can be positive. And with the major Toyota recalls, the issue can be critical.
"Consumers should remain alert for an announcement of any recalls affecting their model," Shaw said in his recent report on the issue. "There are many Internet sites where consumers can check if a recall has been issued for their vehicle."
Here are some issues Shaw suggests drivers consider if there is a recall on their cars:
• If a recalled part is determined to be the cause of damages or injuries, the insurance company will pay the claim without regard to the recalled part. Auto policy providers have indicated that accidents caused by a recalled part will be included in the vehicle's liability or collision coverage.
• Insurance companies often seek reimbursement from the manufacturer for a claim that is the result of a manufacturing defect. Should the manufacturer pay the insurance provider, the consumer may get a fraction, if not all, of the deductible returned.
• Many auto insurance companies are currently in the process of sending notices to their clients confirming that they will receive the necessary coverage protection.
Shaw recommends visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation Web site at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallsearch.cfm. There, consumers can enter their vehicle make, model, and identification number and receive up-to-date recall information.