Accidents, Personal InjuryAccident With A Leased Car? Here’s What You Need to Know

accident with a leased car

PORCARO LAW: Accident With A Leased Car? Here’s What You Need to Know

Nearly one fifth of new vehicles were leased in 2022 — meaning the chances of a crash with a leased vehicle is not uncommon on Florida roadways. When you find yourself in an accident of this nature, the steps to claiming compensation can be a bit more complex due to the number of parties involved. Not only must you report the accident to your insurer, you must also inform the leasing company of any damages sustained to the vehicle.

At Porcaro Law Group, we’ve handled countless lease car accident claims where the driver was not at fault. Though there is no avoiding the terms of your lease agreement, we can help make the process of seeking damages much easier thanks to our thorough understanding of Florida accident laws. Get in touch with us today to receive a free consultation. We’d be happy to review your case and answer your questions or concerns! 

What if I’m in an accident with a leased car?

The steps following a leased car accident are treated nearly the same as any other wreck. First, you account for any injuries at the scene that may require medical attention. Then, you should call 911 to report the accident and speak with local authorities. This step is particularly important if you plan on seeking damages in a future claim. Without a police report, you won’t be able to benefit from the coverages on your policy. 

After that, you’ll want to contact your insurance company to alert them about the incident. Although it’s not necessary to call your insurer at the scene, it’s generally said the sooner, the better in an accident case. Keeping your insurance company informed from the get-go is the best way to expedite your claim process and make certain they have a clear depiction of your damages.

In general, these are the standard steps one would follow after becoming involved in a crash in Florida. However, a lease car accident requires one extra step. In addition to notifying your insurer, you’ll also need to call the lease company to report the accident. Because the leasing company is the technical owner of the vehicle, it’s crucial they are given an accurate report of the incident. 

In many cases, your lease agreement will contain specific guidelines on how to report an accident claim. Simply refer to your lease terms to see how to go about fixing a repair. You should always check the fine-print before making any decisions that impact the way you handle a leased vehicle claim. 

Outcomes of an accident with a leased car

Normally, there are two outcomes following a lease car accident. Either your vehicle is considered repairable and safe for future use or it is deemed totaled and no longer operable. The first option means you can file a claim and should have full coverage, just the same as a loaned vehicle. The latter involves paying off the actual lease amount to satisfy the terms of your lease agreement.

Totaled vehicle

When the damages sustained are beyond repair, your leased vehicle will be considered totaled in the eyes of the insurer. Because you cannot continue driving the leased vehicle, you will need to pay off the lease and the current value of the car using the insurance money you receive. A number of factors will impact your payout, including how far you are into the lease at the time of the accident, the current market value of the totaled car, and standard wear and tear. Unfortunately, due to depreciation, the compensation you obtain could be less than what you owe on the lease. 

Vehicle not totaled

Under Florida law, drivers are required to carry the minimum liability coverage, which includes $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL). Whether you lease or have a loan on the vehicle, your insurance policy should cover the repairs resulting from a crash. In certain cases, you may also be entitled to seek damages from the negligent party’s insurance company. Provided you have a seasoned car accident lawyer representing your case.   

Gap Insurance

Gap insurance is an optional car insurance coverage that covers the difference between your car’s value and the remaining balance on your lease agreement. Although gap insurance is not required by Florida law, for some drivers, it does help offset the amount you owe after your vehicle is declared a total loss. Some lease agreements already include gap insurance under the terms and conditions, notably referring to it as a “waiver of responsibility in case of loss.” 

The monthly cost for gap insurance in Florida ranges between $2 and $30. However, the amount largely depends on whether you buy the added coverage from a dealership, insurance agency, or manufacturer. In most cases, gap insurance is only necessary for 1-3 years. Or until your car is worth more in value than the amount you owe on your lease or auto loan.

To learn more about gap insurance coverage, visit the Insurance Information Institute website here.    

How to get compensated 

In order to qualify for compensation, you need to report the accident to the appropriate parties, namely the leasing company and your auto insurer. Failure to report your accident can result in penalties and loss of coverage for medical costs, lost wages, and property damage. 

The guidelines for reporting an accident with a leased car in Florida are the same for those who own the vehicle outright. You are required to report any crash to law enforcement that causes:

  • Bodily injury to passengers 
  • Death of a person/s
  • Property damage of $500 or more

It’s best advised to report the crash at the scene to assure the most accurate depiction of events. According to Florida Statutes 316.066, written reports of crashes must be submitted within 10 days after the crash to qualify for compensation. 


The impact of an accident is devastating for all parties involved. However, an accident with a leased car can be extra confusing, considering it doesn’t typically matter who caused the wreck. These types of claims often involve the support of multiple parties in order to establish negligence took place. This is especially the case if you’re seeking a personal injury claim for severe injuries. 

Because insurers are in the business of turning a profit, they often use tactics to undercut the value of your damages. Hiring a car accident lawyer will ensure you maximize your personal injury settlement and avoid being taken advantage of throughout the claim process. If you disagree with the insurance company’s appraisal of your vehicle, your attorney can also dispute the amount being offered. 

FAQs on an accident with a leased car

How much will my insurance go up after an accident?

The national average for car insurance rates goes up more than 50% after an at-fault accident. Unfortunately, even accidents that aren’t your fault can result in a price increase in certain states. Although these amounts tend to be smaller. Because Florida is a no-fault state, the price differences vary between 22% to 77% depending on your insurer. The accident will likely stay on your driving record for 3 to 5 years.

How does an accident affect my car lease? 

Involvement in an auto accident does not affect your car lease. You are still obligated to fulfill your lease agreement. If repairs are required, it’s best advised to thoroughly review your lease agreement. There you can see who is authorized to complete the repair work. Some dealerships have a vehicle collision center that they use or an approved list of verified mechanics. 

Will I get my money back if my lease car is totaled? 

In Florida, a total loss means the cost to repair a vehicle is more than its actual value. In these circumstances, the insurance company will compensate the amount of the lease with consideration of the vehicle’s value. If the payout is less than what you owe to the leasing company, you must pay the difference. Gap insurance coverage can help cover this amount.  

Is returning a leased car after an accident an option?

In most cases, you can’t return a leased car after an accident and expect the insurer to cover the damages. Aside from standard wear and tear, you are responsible for fixing the damages before the lease terms are fulfilled. 

Contact Porcaro Law for legal guidance

Have you been involved in a leased car accident? At Porcaro Law Group, our personal injury attorneys know exactly how to navigate your claim from start to finish. With Florida upholding a no-fault policy, our litigators take assertive action to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The best part — you don’t pay us a dime unless we win your case! 

Contact us at tel:+1-561-450-9355 to discuss your legal options with an experienced car accident lawyer today or visit our website to request a free case review

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