I was in an accident that was not my fault. Is it better to file on my own insurance, or on the at-fault drivers insurance?
Well, ultimately, it’s your decision but there are some factors that one should consider before reaching that decision. The first is time. Whether you’re in an accident that’s your fault or someone else’s fault, the insurance companies are going to conduct their investigation, primarily if you’re in an accident that was someone else’s fault, that insurance company is going to take a statement from their own driver, interview any witnesses and also request a statement of you. Now, you don’t have to give that statement but there is some time considerations that are involved with that investigation. When you file on your own insurance, that process is sped up. Your insurance company will take a statement from you and you do have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance, if you choose to go that route.
The first factor would be the time considerations. Number two is the deductible. Obviously, if you file on your own insurance policy, you’re going to have a deductible that you’re responsible for, but we generally recommend that if the deductible is $500 or less that our clients file on their own insurance company. Ultimately, since it is the other drivers fault, their insurance company will be required to reimburse you your deductible at a later date.
Another factor to consider is being a claimant, as you would be if you file on the at-fault drivers insurance company versus a paying customer under your own insurance policy. Obviously, customer service goes a long way and being worked with as someone who is making a claim against the company versus a paying customer really has some advantages to it. So, that’s another strong consideration to really factor in that you pay your insurance company and you’re a paying customer. Another consideration to take in is the fact that rental reimbursements are only available under your own insurance policy. If you have rental reimbursement on your policy, the only way you can take that is if you file on your own insurance policy. Again, ultimately it’s your decision on whether or not to file on your own policy or the at-fault drivers policy but I think if you take into consideration these three factors of time, the paying customer versus claimant, and the rental reimbursement, you will make the right decision by filing on your own insurance.