What to Consider When Filing Third Party Auto Insurance Claims

by J Lee

Disappointment of seeing your vehicle damaged is only the beginning. If you have to make a third party car insurance claim it means that someone else caused the damage. Some people are nice enough to hold their hand up and own up their mistake. Then, it is a straightforward case even though it will still require some of your time.

However, some insurers and their policyholders can make you go through hoops before they pay for your damages. That is why it is important to record the facts immediately after an accident and make sure you can prove the other driver is at fault. The best proof is a police report. If not, pictures and witnesses will be very helpful.

What Can You Claim?

This will depend on the state you live in. If you live in a no-fault state, what you can claim for injuries will be determined by state limitations. Generally your own personal injury protection cover should pay for your injuries. Still, you should be able to claim for physical damages to your automobile.

In most states (without no fault restrictions), you should be able to claim for repair costs, medical bills and even lost wages. You should make a note of all the reasonable payments you had to make due to the accident.

Filing the Claim with Other Drivers’ Insurers

This is not much different from any other claim, except it is not your policy you are claiming on. It is important that you provide as much information as possible for a quick settlement. Here are some of the details you will need to provide.

  • Police accident report would be very handy if there is one.

  • Details of the accident with pictures and witnesses.

  • Details of the injured passengers and medical expenses, if there is any.

  • Details of the damages to your vehicle.

  • Details of the proposed repairs and estimates.

What Other Options Do You Have?

Dealing with third party drivers and insurers can be difficult as they may be slow and try to get out of the liability. That is why many people may choose to go to their insurers and make a claim on their comprehensive policy. In this case, your insurer would pay for your damages and start the subrogation process to get the money from faulty drivers’ insurers.

Initially, you will have to pay the deductible on your policy. If and when your insurer can successfully get the money from the third parties you may get this back. Also, the incident would be recorded as a claim on your name. This would be corrected as no fault incident after your insurer receives their costs back from the other side.

Advantages of Claiming Directly from the Third Party Insurers

First of all, you wouldn’t need to pay any deductibles. Secondly, the incident wouldn’t go down as a claim on your own policy. Thirdly, you may be able to claim more from third parties. For example, you may be able to claim the value depreciation of your automobile due to accident repairs. This is not usually something you can claim from your insurer.

On the other hand, your insurer can deal with the claim much faster and help you recover it from at fault parties, if you decide to make a claim on your policy. You need to consider the odds of making a successful third party claims before making a choice.

Nobody wants to lose their auto insurance discounts, especially if the accident isn’t their fault. Then again, nobody likes to be messed around with when someone else has already caused enough inconvenience.

This article is approved for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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