Making Others Pay


I was involved in an accident and the other guy was at fault. Now his insurance company is telling me they won’t pay for the damage to my vehicle because they can’t reach him to confirm details of the accident. Can they get away with this? What should I do now?


Unfortunately, this sort of thing seems to be happening more often lately, as other clients have recently reported similar incidents. In some cases, the police department investigated the accident and made a written report that indicated the other driver was responsible for causing the accident.

Even though the other driver was clearly responsible for causing the accident and damaging your vehicle, there may be no way short of filing a lawsuit to force him – or his insurance company – to pay if he refuses to cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation.

We recommend that you permit us to file a claim on your policy. Your insurance company will handle the claim under your uninsured motorists coverage, subject to your deductible. In addition to repairing the vehicle, your policy will pay the expense of renting a similar vehicle while yours is in the shop, with no daily or dollar limitation.

And don’t worry about the claim affecting your ability to renew your policy. State law prohibits your insurance company from declining to renew your policy just because of one not-at-fault accident.

While having to pay the deductible is no fun, your insurance company may have more success getting the other company or the at-fault driver to respond to the claim without having to file suit. State law requires your insurance company to make an effort to collect your deductible from the other guy or advise you in writing that they won’t be taking any action. If they haven’t done this within 12 months after the date they pay your claim, they must pay you for the amount of the deductible. This law applies whether the third party is insured or uninsured. Make a note on your personal calendar to request reimbursement of the deductible if they haven’t provided the required written notice within 12 months.

This article was prepared and made available to your agent by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, which is solely responsible for its content. Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply. The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas is a non-profit association of more than 1,800 insurance agencies in Texas, dedicated to helping its members succeed, in part by providing technical resources that explain insurance policies sold to their customers.

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