Driving sucks
August 26, 2007 10:24 PM   Subscribe

Car accident while driving for work, any chance of getting my deductible paid back?

I have to drive frequently for work, average 200 miles per week. This is to an from meetings during work hours, not from my home to work. I am reimbursed for mileage etc for these trips.

I was in a car accident last week, someone T-boned me and my car is now in the body shop with $5000 in damages. My insurance is still sorting out who is at fault so I dont know if my premium will go up BUT I have a $1000 deductible and I am out this money for sure.

Because this happened during work hours, on a required work trip is there any chance they would be obligated to reimburse my deductible? This accident would not have happened otherwise. Or am I barking up the wrong tree and should just suck it up?
posted by outsider to Work & Money (9 answers total)
I am reimbursed for mileage etc for these trips.

I'd say an accident for which you were not at fault should count as "etc". Ask the people who reimburse you for mileage if there's a written mileage reimbursement policy you can look at.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:37 PM on August 26, 2007

If your company is like most that I've seen, they reimburse at the GSA rate, which is more than just the cost of gas. The GSA rate is intended to be inclusive of all costs of driving - insurance included. It wouldn't hurt to ask for reimbursement of the deductible or assorted costs, but I don't believe they are under obligation to do so. You've already been reimbursed with your normal mileage rate.
posted by saeculorum at 10:50 PM on August 26, 2007

isn't it true that if your insurance company decides the other party is at fault, everything gets paid by that party's insurance company.. and your deductible will be returned to you?
posted by busybee at 11:08 PM on August 26, 2007

busybee, yes, that is true - however, you and your insurer have to get the money out of the other party first. That's not always an easy task; for example, the other driver may not even have had insurance. Or their insurance company may be the type to stall, stall and stall some more before paying out a claim. Meanwhile, outsider needs his car for work, and can not wait that long for the car to be fixed, so he's out the $1000 out of his own pocket now, and if they can't collect from the other party, then that money is a total loss. (More people drive without insurance than you might think.)

Your employer is not obligated to pay the deductible, as others have mentioned; however, it's not a bad idea to ask around a bit. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, or maybe they'd even loan you the money until you were able to get your deductible back.
posted by azpenguin at 12:35 AM on August 27, 2007

Ask whether your company has an auto policy that covers you while on the job. Some do to cover insurance on rented cars, and it might apply to you when driving for work.

As a practical matter, if the deductible is a hardship, tell your manager or HR person. They may offer to help you, even if it's only an advance.
posted by zippy at 1:13 AM on August 27, 2007

As was stated by a saeculorum, typically mileage paid by employers will also cover such things as general wear and tear on your vehicle, gas, and insurance costs should something like this occur.

The above is true for my company(or rather, government), too... and it actually states in our policy that should an accident occur, the employer is not held responsible for the deductible or any other such fees.

(probably why a lot of people opt to cab to and from meetings rather than take their personal vehicle, because while they tend to 'make money' on the mileage rate, the tables end up turned when they end up in a situation like yours)

I'd definitely inquire anyway if I were you, though.
posted by irishkitten at 5:39 AM on August 27, 2007

outsider, unless your insurance policy covers using your car for work, be very careful what you tell them. You might find out that your insurance does not cover using your car for work if you get reimbursed for mileage.
posted by yohko at 10:43 AM on August 27, 2007

however, you and your insurer have to get the money out of the other party first.

That's never been my experience with State Farm; they pay up immediately. I had a case where I was hit by an uninsured driver. They paid up, less the deductible, immediately. Then they went to garnish the other driver's wages.... and she suddenly remembered she *did* have insurance after all! As soon as her insurance company verified her coverage, State Farm cut me a check and didn't wait for payment from the other company.
posted by Doohickie at 10:46 AM on August 27, 2007

On the other hand, I am still waiting for my deductible to be reimbursed to me by State Farm for an accident in which the other driver was at fault and has the moving violation ticket to prove it. I know I'll get it eventually, but in the meantime, we've been eating hotdogs all month because we had to fork over the $500.
posted by nax at 7:22 PM on August 27, 2007

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