Anamarie Waite, Car Insurance Writer
You should file a claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company if you are not at fault for the accident and you have standard liability insurance but no collision coverage. Liability insurance pays for injuries and damage that a driver might cause to other people and property if at fault for a car accident. That means your liability insurance won’t be involved if you are not at fault. The other driver’s liability policy would cover the damage.
But there are drawbacks to filing a claim with someone else’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurer will investigate your claim and confirm that its policyholder is at fault. And it’s typical for them to deny fault, especially if no police report was filed. If your claim is denied and you don’t have collision coverage, you’ll have to take the other driver’s insurance company to court, which could drag on for a while. Insurers know that the longer it takes and the more difficult it is to resolve a claim, the more likely it is that you will settle or drop it.
Things are a bit different if you have collision insurance, however. In that case, you can file a claim with either your auto insurance company or the other driver’s insurer. Filing with your insurer starts a process called subrogation. Your insurance company pays for your property damage and pursues compensation from the other driver’s insurance company after the fact. You may have to pay your collision deductible, but you could get that money back when your insurer settles with the other driver’s insurance company.
Collision insurance doesn’t cover your injuries, but if your insurance company is able to establish the other driver’s fault through subrogation, it might help get your medical bills paid by the other carrier. If the other driver was responsible for your property damage in an accident, they’re equally responsible for your injuries. Your insurance company will only pay for your injuries if you have medical payments coverage or personal injury protection.
If it turns out that the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you can make a claim through your uninsured motorist protection, if you have it. There is no deductible for uninsured motorist claims.
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