Your vehicle repairs – which insurance is going to pay – mine or theirs?
If you have been in an accident that was the other driver’s fault, you may wonder if you should have your car repaired through your insurance company or the other driver’s.
If you have collision coverage on your policy, you can make the claim on your own policy. Your insurer would pay for repairs to your vehicle, minus your deductible. At that point, your insurance company will probably ask the other driver’s policy to reimburse them. Once the other auto insurance company confirms that their policyholder was at fault, it would send a check to your insurance company and then your deductible would be refunded. This process is known as subrogation, and it can take up to six months to be completed.
Some people like this option because they feel more confident in their own insurance company than that of the defendant. The claims process is usually faster too because they do not have to determine fault before they send your check. On the downside, you are out your deductible for a while, and there is no guarantee you will get it back.
You also can make the claim on the other driver’s policy. Their company will investigate the accident to confirm their policyholder was at fault. At that point, they will have an adjuster look at your car, and will pay for your car repairs. The other driver’s policy will also cover your medical costs.
The advantages of this are you do not need to pay your deductible and be reimbursed. Also, if you do not have collision coverage, this is the only way to get your car repaired without paying out of pocket.
On the downside, if the person who hit you does not have a liability policy, or has limits below your medical costs, you could end up filing with your own policy anyway.