No, you don't need to pay a deductible when you’re a not-at-fault driver in a car accident. When another driver hits you and it’s deemed their fault, their insurance is required to pay your damages. With collision coverage, you can choose to go through your own insurer. Your insurer later seeks reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance.
Being in a car accident that was not your fault can be frustrating. Knowing how to handle the situation can rid you of long term headaches.
Both ways eventually pay for your car damages (the important part). However, there are some key differences between waiting on the at-fault driver’s insurance versus your own. Consider these differences carefully to pick the best route for your situation.
Waiting for the other driver’s insurance can be slow. The quickest way to get your damages paid for and get you back on the road is to file with your own insurance. While this means paying for your deductible, you should be reimbursed. Your insurer’s job is to seek reimbursement through the other driver’s insurance.
Your reimbursement should include your deductible amount. This process is called “subrogation." Remember to keep your personal injury claim and property damage claim separate. By keeping those two claims separate, you can speed up the process.
The main advantage of waiting on the other driver’s insurance is you don’t need to pay a deductible upfront, which means no waiting for a reimbursement. You also can opt for this option if you're worried about your premium going up.
Keep in mind, the other driver’s insurance company could drag their feet on fulfilling your claim.
After an accident, you submit a claim to your insurance company for the cost of damages. Once your claim is approved, your insurance company issues a payout. Your insurer subtracts your deductible amount from your claim’s payout amount.
As an example, let’s say your claim is approved for $2,500 and your deductible is $500. Your insurer writes you a check for $2,000.
Contact your insurance company about their policy on raising premiums after filing a claim. Some insurers raise your premiums while others won’t after a not-at-fault accident.
It’s especially important to contact them because some companies raise your premium whether it’s your fault or not. This also goes for whether you file a claim or not.
Knowing how to navigate deductibles when you’re a not-at-fault driver is a must. You never know when a bad driver might come barreling towards you head-on! Be prepared for the claim process with either your insurance or the other driver's insurance company.