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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1

    Default How to Make an Auto Insurance Claim

    Auto insurance experts - I need some advice.

    Kicked off the new year with some bad luck and had an accident this afternoon. I was at a 4-way stop intersection. Another car stopped at the stop sign of the intersecting street. I proceeded into the intersection but unfortunately the other car then proceeded into the intersection as well and smashed into the side of my 5 month new car. Nobody was injured as a direct result of the accident but there was enough damage to both cars to have them towed away. The officer at the scene indicated that he believed that I was not the at-fault driver. He said that he "may" issue the other driver a citation after investigation but did not commit to it.

    Now a further complication occurred - while the officers were examining the scene the other driver (an old lady of 91 years) fell down and hit her head pretty hard on the bumper of the police car. The cops called paramedics and she was taken to the hospital.

    I have called in a claim with my insurance company - but given its a holiday today and tomorrow I only got their answering service and will probably only get a 'real adjuster' to talk to on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Here are my questions:

    1) I am contemplating calling the other driver's insurance company as well. From past experience I know my ins company will give me the option of going through them or going through the other party's insurance. But I'm concerned that the other party's carrier won’t have my best interests in mind especially since it isn't absolutely clear that the other driver is at fault yet. It’s a brand new car so I want to make sure I get things done right & quickly.

    2) Does the impact on premium make a difference if I go through the other party's insurance carrier? I know about the deductible impact, I don't care about that because I know my company is pretty good about reimbursing the deductible if they are able to subrogate.

    3) Unfortunately there was a similar accident with my wife's car 2 months ago (uninsured motorist whacked the side of her car when my dad was driving it). Given that this is my 2nd claim in 2 months what can I expect the impact on my premium to be? In this case the driver of my wife's car was not at fault (the other guy did get a citation and the insurance company was able to get funds subrogated somehow and reimbursed the deductible).

    4) Are there any complications I should be wary of given that the other driver was taken to the hospital for an unrelated injury immediately after the accident? It may be a stretch that she claims that the fall came due to disorientation caused by the accident or something like that. I’d like to ensure I have my bases covered.

    If it helps, here are some details:
    State: WA
    Ins company: American Commerce Insurance Co.
    Other Party's company: Nationwide Mutual

    thanks for your help,
    VxG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Car Insurance Claim & Premium Increase

    Your auto insurance company already knows of your accident, so the accident is already a part of your insurance record. Given that, it probably won't make a difference to your premium whether the claim is handled through your own company or the other driver's company - but that depends upon your insurance company's policies. If they do increase your premium, you presumably would want to shop around for a better rate.

    Personally, I would make a claim through the other driver's policy, and hope that her insurance company places the fault with her.

  3. #3

    Default

    Since no one was issued a ticket, her insurance is probably going to deny any claim. Have your insurance company fix your car and then they can fight with the other insurance company.

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