Do you have to pay your deductible if you're involved in an automobile accident?
As you probably know your policy’s collision insurance covers the damage to your
vehicle to the extent the damage exceeds the deductible.
But what if the accident was clearly not your fault? Let's say you're sitting at a red light and you get rear-ended? Or your car was hit while parked? Do you still have to pay the deductible?
The answer is maybe not!
First, make sure you get all the information you will need on the other driver. This includes: Drivers license, registration, and the insurance company information. The easiest way to do this is to use your cell phone to take a picture of the other driver's license, registration and insurance card.
Once you have all the information you need, there are two ways you can proceed with the claim.
The first: Go directly with the other driver’s insurance company.
The advantage to doing this (if the other driver really is 100% at fault) is the other insurance company should pay to fix your car, rent you a loaner while your car is in the shop and you did not have to put a claim in through your insurance carrier.
The disadvantage is it might take a bit longer to process the claim.
If you elect to go this route be sure to notify your insurance company of the claim “for informational purposes only.” This will put your carrier on notice and they won't be able to deny any future liability claim because you didn’t give them timely notice of the loss.
The second: File a collision claim on your auto policy. Your insurance company will pay to fix your car (minus the deductible). They will then look to the other party’s insurance company for reimbursement. When they do get reimbursed you'll get your deductible back! It might take six months or so, but a check will just show up in the mail.
If you have any questions about this or any other insurance matter please give us a call