If you were in a car wreck, you can get money for your car damages by filing an auto accident claim under your auto collision coverage. Filing under your own car collision coverage means you will have to pay a deductible.
Sometimes paying the deductible is the best decision. However, if you chose not to pay the deductible and file an car accident claim against another driver’s insurance company, you may end up paying more.
Since auto accident claims be confusing, you should understand how to evaluate the best option for you.
Advantages of Auto Collision Insurance
The main advantage of filing under your auto collision insurance is that you do not have to prove who was at fault for your accident. Under this policy, your insurance company is required to pay you for your car damages and expense, up to your limit, regardless of who caused the collision.
This saves you the trouble of trying to convince another driver’s insurance company that their insurer was at fault. The other driver’s insurance company will not pay you, until you can prove their insurer was partially at fault for your collision. This would mean you would have to track down the police reports, locate witnesses, submit pictures etc.
Dealing with your own insurance company is usually less stressful. Once you file an auto accident claim under your own insurance company, you simply have to follow their guidelines of getting inspections and estimates. After this is done, you will be paid for your expenses.
The car accident claims process with your auto insurance company is also much quicker. The other driver’s insurance company can delay your auto insurance claim by asking for more evidence, conducting their own investigation, or simply waiting until you accept a lower settlement offer.
Note: You may be able to recover your deductible if your insurance company decides to recover damages from the other driver’s insurer. You should talk to your insurance company about this possibility. This way you can avoid the stress and recover the money you lost.
Disadvantages of Auto Collision Insurance
The main disadvantage of filing an auto accident claim under your collision coverage is that you may have a high deductible to pay.
The deductible will be subtracted from what your own insurance company ends up paying you. You will have to pay the difference for your car repair costs from your own pocket. Another disadvantage may be that your collision coverage limits are not high enough to cover your damages.
For example, let’s say that after a car wreck, your car damages come out to be $5,000. You decide to collect under your own auto insurance coverage, which has a deductible of $1,000. Once your claim is settled, the insurance company will pay you $4,000 (your car repair costs minus the deductible.)
If your collision policy limit was only $5,000, then you would get $4,000 (the policy limit minus your deductible).
There may also be tighter limits on how much you can get paid for renting vehicles and recovering for other damaged personal property in your vehicle.
Deciding which one to choose?
Choosing whether to collect under your auto collusion insurance depends on your finances, available time, and tolerance for dealing with rude insurance adjusters.
If you are unsure of what to do, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have clear evidence that the other driver was at fault?
- How fast do I want my car repaired?
- Am I willing to be patient and wait a few weeks or months?
- Do I have time to dispute with insurance companies over car repair costs?
- Is the stress worth it?
Answering these questions, gives you a better understanding on how prepared you are if you chose to file a car accident claim against the other driver.
If the fault is unclear, you are not comfortable disputing your repair estimates, or you need your vehicle repaired quickly, then you should consider paying the deductible and filing an auto accident insurance claim under your own collision coverage.
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