Whenever you’ve been in involved in an accident that is NOT your fault, you have the option to run the claim through your own insurance company or through the insurance company of the party at fault for the accident.
You might say, “Well, of course I’ll use the other insurance company! The accident wasn’t my fault.” And that makes perfect sense. But let’s look at the pros and cons of that decision.
Using Your Own Insurance Company
There’s some advantages here. You’re on “home turf.” As long as you have collision coverage, your insurance company will simply fix your car for the fair market estimate of the repairs. You will pay your deductible to the shop when you pick up your car. Remember you’re using your collision coverage to fix your car and there’s always a deductible applied. Not to worry though…
After the claim is closed, your insurance company will present the bill to the insurance company of the at-fault driver. They will reimburse your company including your deductible. Your insurance company will then cut a check to you for the amount of your deductible that you paid.
This route is usually a little faster and easier. There’s no need to determine or agree on who’s at fault because your collision coverage pays to fix your car regardless of fault.
Using The Other Insurance Company
There’s some advantages here as well. The main one is that you won’t have to pay your deductible. Once fault for the accident is agreed upon and the other company accepts liability for the accident, they will arrange to pay for the damages to your car and for any rental car you might need. This process might take a little longer. They will have to get a statement from their driver and/or a copy of the police report for the accident. They may ask for a statement from you. Once all that information is in, they can make a determination of fault. The process can take a couple of weeks or more depending on how quickly everything comes together.
There’s No Right Answer
The best answer is the one that you like the best.
YOUR COMPANY: Quicker, but you have to fess up your deductible.
THEIR COMPANY: Slower, but you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
You can always start with the other company and if it gets bogged down or you just want to be done with it, you can always go back to your company and take that route.
Call me if you have any questions. I’m always happy to help.