Getting in a car accident is an unfortunate situation, even if the accident is not your fault. There’s a risk of damaging your car severely, or worse, totaling it. Then there’s the risk of injuries to you and your passengers. But one thing is for certain: after a car accident, there are a lot of things that you need to do to manage the collateral damage. The most important of them are auto insurance claims.
You might have known that if you have a car insurance policy, you need to claim it if you get in a car accident. But there are some other things that people are not aware of. For example, who pays your deductible if the accident was not your fault? This article will detail everything about this topic and tell you about the process of recovering your deductible from the at-fault driver.
When the Accident is Someone Else’s Fault
When you get in a road accident and it was someone else’s fault (the at-fault driver), it is legally mandated that the other driver should pay for your damages and injuries. This is why liability coverage is so important and mandatory in almost every state. Your liability coverage pays for the cost of car/property damages and medical treatments of the other driver if the accident was your fault.
So if you get in a car accident, and it is the other driver’s fault, then exchange insurance information, contact their vehicle insurance company and make the claim. After all, the facts have been laid and it is shown that the accident was indeed the other driver’s fault, your claim will be processed. But there’s a slight problem here.
The other auto insurance company can take a long time to process your claim as you are not their client. This can be very tolling on you as car accidents are not cheap. So instead of waiting for the claim to be processed, you can take the help of your car insurance company.
Subrogation is a legal term where a third party can take the legal right and responsibility to collect debt for you. So what does subrogation mean in this situation? In this case, your auto insurance company will pursue the car insurance company of the at-fault driver on your behalf. Here’s how the process unfolds.
After you have claimed the other driver’s liability coverage right after the accident, you need to inform your car insurance company as well. This will lead to a process wherein you can claim with your car insurance company and get the required money. The amount you receive will be decided by the other insurance company.
Once the claim is done, you get the money needed for the repairs of your car and medical treatments. But you might have to pay your deductible in this case. Let’s understand briefly what insurance deductibles are.
What are Deductibles
When you buy any car insurance policy, it comes with a deductible. A deductible is the amount of money that you need to pay before the auto insurance company pays the rest of the insurance money. It is called deductible because this amount is deducted from your total claim payout.
You can select your deductible amount. Let’s say your deductible is $500. This means that if you get in a car accident and make a claim, you’ll have to pay $500 first to get the rest of the claim amount. So if the claim amount is $3,000, you’ll pay $500 and then the company will pay you the rest of the $2,500.
You must be thinking, if the accident was someone else’s fault, why would you pay the deductibles? It should be paid by the other driver. And you’re right, it should be paid by the at-fault driver. This is why subrogation is necessary. You can approach the other driver’s car insurance company, but that’s a tedious and long process, clearly not something you want to do after you’ve had a car accident.
How to Recover Your Deductible
Your deductible will be recovered by your auto insurance company in the subrogation process. Auto insurance companies are required to give back any amount paid by you in accidents where the fault was not your fault. Subrogation is preferable because you get paid without much hassle while the insurance companies handle the transfer of money within themselves.
This is why you must choose the best auto insurance company for yourself. If your insurance company is slow in processing claims and charges unnecessary money, you’d be in deep waters. To find the best car insurance companies in your state, keep your search specific and look for the most affordable and best-reviewed car insurance companies.
For example, if you live in Indiana, find the best car insurance companies there by searching for the cheapest car insurance quotes in Indiana. Look at their claim processing time and read customer reviews to make the right choice. Follow these steps and you’d be sitting comfortably in your home while your car insurance company does all the work for you.
Things to Note
In case the other driver claims that you also had some fault in the accident, and it is proved, then you’ll have to pay some portion of the money from your pocket. Let’s say that you did not turn your blinkers on while taking a right, and even though the other driver was over the speed limit when the accident occurred, you might have to pay some percentage of the money from your pocket.
Whatever the money is, do not sign or accept any waiver of subrogation that will stop your insurance company from recovering the deductibles for you. Avoid doing that, follow all the claim filing procedures carefully, and you’ll have your deductible money in your pocket.