PROPERTY DAMAGE FROM A CALIFORNIA CAR ACCIDENT: What happens if I am involved in a California car accident and my car is totaled, but I owe more on the car than it is worth?

First, you should check your finance agreement to see if you have GAP insurance protection which will cover you for the difference between the fair market value (FMV) of your car, and what you owe.  

Second, If you lease a vehicle, and do not finance, GAP insurance protection is automatically in built into the lease agreement.  Since the insurance company is only responsible to pay you for the FMV of your car if it is totaled, the above answers are the only way you are able to get covered.  It is important to review your finance agreements NOW in order to make sure you are protected in case the above issue arises.

One final note on the above two items; it is very important that a California consumer periodically review their insurance coverages.  This should be done yearly so if any family changes have taken place, or lifestyle changes, any additional insurance coverage can be addressed proactively.  Remember, insurance coverage is like a "hospital gown" in that you only "think you are covered." You should be proactive and KNOW that you are covered by always reviewing what you have and do not have.  As mentioned above, GAP insurance is very very important but also, equally important if not more so, is having plenty of uninsured motorist coverage!