As per the title, my leased 2022 Nissan Altima was crashed into the other day while parked directly in front of my house.
The party responsible remained in the scene and exchanged insurance info and I called the police so we can get a police report. Afterwards, their car was towed.
My car was hit on the driver side rear. There is significant damage to the rear wheel and side panel. The rear wheel is turned in and the axel seems to be damaged. I’m afraid this may result in a total loss.
I called the responsible party’s insurance immediately after and filed a claim. I provided all the information that was shared including the police report number and was advised that a representative would reach out to me in the next few days.
Can anyone advise as to what will happen next? Am I at all responsible for the lease? Do I have to call my insurance and will doing so result in an increase in premium for me?
Per your lease contract, you are most likely required to notify nmac.
What kind of liability or exposure do I have in this situation?
Gap coverage inclydwd with the lease should cover any under payments if the total value doesnt cover your buyout. If it’s not totaled, you just need to make sure it’s appropriately repaired as youll be liable for remaining damages at lease end.
If the vehicle is totaled, he’s out any money paid at signing?
Yes, that’s why you don’t put down payment other than just DAS.
Even DAS more first month is too much
Not just down payment being forfeited, IIRC the lessee also needs to continue making lease payments until the car is actually written off. This won’t be covered by insurance.
Your gap insurance will cover any negative equity. You shouldn’t have any financial liability at all if it’s a total loss.
It’s a 24 month lease with only tax+title+reg DAS.
It’ll mature June 2024.
I figured the responsible party’s insurance will inspect the vehicle in the next coming days and determine if it’s a total loss or not.
If it is, they will cover current market value (on the date of the incident). Buy out will certainly be more than current market value.
Dealer buyout is 25k and customer buyout is 27k.
Carmax appraisal came in at 23.4k.
How should I proceed here?
Should I involve my own insurance?
Depends on the bank, the vehicle value, etc
You mean the gap insurance provided by nmac?
I have not purchased gap insurance.
Nissan buys it for you for free…most do, but for example Toyota does not.
First find out if it’s a total loss or not. Going through their insurance will depend on whether it is a good insurance company or not. I got hit by an allstate driver and never had to even contact my insurance, just went through them. Another time I went through mine and I guess they got their money from the other party’s insurance on my behalf.
Thanks everyone! You’ve all been a big help.
The responsible party is with a reputable insurance company. I am unfortunately unable to connect with a claims advisor apart from to report a claim until after the weekend.
I will wait for them to reach out to me hopefully tomorrow and take it from there.
I feel better knowing Nissan has included gap coverage in their leases which was my biggest concern. Hopefully it’s not a total loss and can be repaired after evaluation.
Pretty much every lessor, except Toyota, does
Spoke with the assigned insurance adjuster and was advised that since I am going through the other party’s insurance they will schedule an inspection to provide me with an estimate based on exterior damage and would need to get a statement from the the responsible party before we can move forward.
They also said that I have to choose a repair shop that can work with their estimate or I would be responsible for the difference.
This is what I always do. I provide police report to the body shop so they can arrange a rental and deal with the insurance/repair
In case of a total loss (from personal experience):
You will not see any overage - Nissan changed the rules, and they keep any equity.
Insurance will send a full check to Nissan and tell you that it is Nissan’s choice to give you equity.
And Nissan won’t. Just be prepared.
Just in case you have these thoughts:
Someone tried to skirt that before by sending a Nissan buy-out check instead of notifying of an accident. This way, you become an owner and you get to collect insurance payments. But this is essentially breaking the lease contract and opening yourself to a Nissan lawsuit if they find out.
The person who tried that we have never heard of again in his thread.
As for repair - you get to pick the place where to repair and they will deal with insurance. May need to do a second adjustment once they open up the car.
It goes both ways. The insurance has to pay out for the proper, necessary repairs done to a standard. They can’t make you cut corners in the name of “staying under our estimate.”
Choose a good repair shop that goes to bat for you and doesn’t prioritize keeping the insurer happy.