Other driver's insurance dragging their feet on paying for damage
August 30, 2022 10:53 AM   Subscribe

My parked car was sideswiped, causing damage to the fender. I got the other car's insurance info and filed a claim with their insurance company but almost 3 weeks later haven't heard anything back, other than that they are still waiting to hear from their insured (the driver of the other car) and they can't move forward until that happens. What's the easiest/best way for me to handle this?

I could file a claim with my own car insurance company for subrogation, but then would I be on the hook for the deductible? And would it cause my own insurance premium to go up (even though I'm not at fault)?

What are my other options?

Meanwhile, I haven't even started on the process of getting my fender repaired or even getting an estimate. How long am I supposed to wait? (In the past, I've had an adjuster come out right away to do their own estimate, but obviously they are in no hurry to do that this time.) Should I just take it to a body shop of my choice and get it repaired before the insurance company gives me a go-ahead?
posted by splitpeasoup to Law & Government (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I always deal with my insurance first - it's their job to track down and talk to the other insured. Yes, this means deductible but at least then repairs can start.
posted by tiny frying pan at 10:55 AM on August 30, 2022 [10 favorites]

Do NOT do that. Who knows what kind of coverage you will get. Call your insurance, that is their job. They will refer you to a local shop, you can get it done there, and then they will go after the other driver.
posted by wnissen at 10:55 AM on August 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: And if the other driver is at fault you will get your deductible back, too. The other driver is supposed to make you whole, if your car is undriveable you will need a rental, which the other driver should pay for as well, until yours gets fixed. But go through your insurance.
posted by wnissen at 11:07 AM on August 30, 2022 [8 favorites]

Insurance companies terrify us when we confront them -- but when you can use them against someone else, they are a powerful ally!

So call your insurance company and turn them loose on the other driver: presumably Other Insurance Co. is ignoring you because you're "just" a person and not a scary corporation.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:20 AM on August 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

You might wish to specify in which state the accident occurred, as variations in state law may have an affect in some cases.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:43 AM on August 30, 2022

Why do you have insurance if you don't want to use it?

Almost every state requires it to be on the road legally. New Hampshire and Virginia are the exceptions, according to Prof. Google.
posted by Dolley at 11:45 AM on August 30, 2022

Best answer: A similar situation confronted me this summer. Work with your own insurance. They have leverage and incentive to deal with the other party. Your repairs can proceed.

In my case, the other, at-fault party was not paid up on their insurance, even though they presented a card. So I paid my deductible. I have an assuring letter from the other party's insurance of prioritized recovery of my deductible from their client and another letter from my insurance that says they will hold the other company to this promise.
posted by gregoreo at 11:58 AM on August 30, 2022

Best answer: Getting money from the other guy's insurance company is not your job, it is your insurance company's job. Your insurance company works for you. This is what you pay them for.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 12:01 PM on August 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Almost every state requires it to be on the road legally.
Liability insurance is required in most states, but this is collision insurance we are talking about. Liability is when your car causes injury or damages, so it is required. Collision insurance means your car will be fixed or you wil be reimbursed for the lost value if it cannot be. If your car is not paid off, your loan probably requires you to carry collision insurance, but it is not required by law.

You may be on the hook for the deductible at first, but that amount should be included in the total amount the other company pays your company and they should forward that on to you. It may take a long time (even six months in one case I know of when it was a city vehicle at fault) but it should eventually come back to you.
posted by soelo at 12:04 PM on August 30, 2022

would it cause my own insurance premium to go up

As long as your own insurer can find no contributory negligence on your part (car parked somewhere that it's unreasonable for it to have been parked, for example) then I wouldn't expect so.

If my circumstances were your circumstances and my insurer did jack up my premium after the dust had all settled, I would be switching to a less bastard insurer pretty damn pronto.

And yes, adding my voice to the chorus of those reminding you that you have no business relationship with the other party's insurer, so they're not the slightest bit motivated to help you out. Your own insurer will be, even if your level of cover with them doesn't specifically include accidental damage.
posted by flabdablet at 12:04 PM on August 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Do not try to negotiate with the other insurance company! Do not, for god's sake, sign anything!
They will play you for a fool - they are about protecting their profit, not making whole the grieved party saying "please sir, can I have some more?" Use your own insurance company. They are experts at this and have bushels of lawyers whose job is to do just this.
posted by citygirl at 4:32 PM on August 30, 2022

Best answer: As everyone has said, call your insurer and get them on the back of the other driver’s insurance. This situation is the reason you pay your premiums (well, one of the reasons)

I will warn you, insurance repairs have gotten really messy over the past several years. You will be pushed into using an “approved” repair shop, and there will be labyrinthine requirements for getting a loaner car and such.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:44 AM on August 31, 2022

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