What to tell the other driver's insurance company?
June 9, 2020 3:16 PM   Subscribe

The insurance company of the guy who hit my car just asked if I had collision coverage. Is there any reason not to tell him?

Our parked car was hit about a week ago while parked on the street in front of our house. The damage was superficial but will cost about $1,000 to repair. The driver apparently hit a bunch of other cars on our street due to a "medical event". The police came, took a report and then were able to give me all of the insurance info because they had already been to a number of houses with wrecked property and cars that morning. I guess they were able to get the guy the medical help he needed at the final house.

So, we filed a claim with the car owners insurance that day. I provided pictures, a police report and a quote we got from the dealership for the fix. Apparently they are combining all of the accidents into one claim and the new rep assigned said that it might exceed the coverage level and we might just get paid a pro-rated amounts. Then he asked me if I carried collision coverage on the car or just liability.

So, should I tell him I carry collision? I don't want to file a claim with my insurance because of the high deductible. Any advice?
posted by victoriab to Law & Government (10 answers total)
I think you should let your insurance, that you pay for, be the only people who speak to the other driver's insurance. Let them do their jobs. That you pay for.
posted by phunniemee at 3:21 PM on June 9, 2020 [44 favorites]

If you carry collision, tell him and give him the name of your company. phunniemee is correct. There is a reason you have car insurance beyond that it is the law. This is it. Let your insurance company decide or fight with the other insurance company if it is one incident or multiple. And, if you do not get 100 cents on the dollar, you are, in effect, using a deductible. Might as well get credit for it with your company.
posted by AugustWest at 3:40 PM on June 9, 2020

I would do an initial consult with an injury/accident lawyer about this. Don’t agree to what the other insurance company is saying. You are not paying your insurance company to deal with this unless you make a claim, and your own lawyer is a better option when the other party is pulling shenanigans.
posted by michaelh at 4:17 PM on June 9, 2020

In that situation I'd be contacting my own insurer to find out what to do.

Last time this happened to me, my insurer helped me to find the form they use to submit a "report only" claim just to open a case, then instructed me to forward all correspondence from the other party and let them deal with it.

Since my contributory negligence was zero, as is yours, my insurer recovered 100% of the costs of repair, plus car hire to cover the period mine was off the road, from the other insurer and didn't charge me a deductible or ding my no-claim bonus.

Your mileage may vary because some insurers are just arseholes, but just getting advice from yours shouldn't hurt. If in doubt, you don't even need to identify yourself as their customer before seeking it. Just ask them what they'd recommend that one of their customers did in your situation.

Also, use emails for this rather than phone calls. If it does all go pear shaped it helps to have a paper trail.
posted by flabdablet at 8:49 PM on June 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

+1 on flabdablet's advice, my experience has been that when you file a not-at-fault collision damage claim like this with your insurance co, they "subrograte" the claim to the other driver's insurance co, in which case the deductible is waived. If due to the multiple accidents the damage exceeds the limits of the other driver's coverage, you might not be made whole, but that's a risk you run regardless of whether you admit to having collision coverage or not.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 4:45 AM on June 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

If due to the multiple accidents the damage exceeds the limits of the other driver's coverage, you might not be made whole

One advantage of letting your own insurer deal with it, if they say they're willing to do that, is that they will go after the at-fault driver even after their insurance hits its limit and save you all the unpleasantness of doing so.
posted by flabdablet at 6:22 AM on June 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Even if your insurance company fights with his insurance company and pays you for the damage he caused this will go down in your driving record as a claim, an accident and could make your policy premiums go up. This driver has multiple accidents that occurred on the same event but there should not be any reason you get less than what damage is on your car. Get a lawyer and that should handle if they are treating you fairly
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 10:58 PM on June 10, 2020

this will go down in your driving record as a claim, an accident and could make your policy premiums go up

My own insurer made it very very clear to me before I agreed to submit my "report only" claim that this would not be the case.

Your mileage may of course vary and you should make sure that not only do you understand what they've told you, but that they've told it to you in writing, before deciding whether or not to act on their advice.
posted by flabdablet at 2:36 AM on June 11, 2020

Hi guys! Thanks for all the advice. Calling my own insurance company turned out to be the right move. They immediately cut me a check for the repair which we’d had done over the weekend. They are going to deal with the other guys insurance. Also, our deductible was waived because we weren’t at fault for the accident. Interestingly, they would have waived our deductible even if we had been at fault because we haven’t had a claim in 13 years. You get this benefit if you are claim free for 5 years. So, it seems like this won’t affect us at all and we are now back to being whole. Thanks again!

Quick edit to add - our policy apparently also includes an insufficient coverage clause where our company makes up the difference if the other policy won’t cover it.
posted by victoriab at 6:37 PM on June 11, 2020

Good to see some of what you've paid them for years and years and years coming back at last. Well played - glad you got a result.
posted by flabdablet at 8:56 PM on June 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

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