Automotive insurance deductible defined – Observer reporter
Why didn't I get my deductible back from my car accident?
This seems to be the most common question I've received over the past two weeks. When two or more vehicles are involved in an accident, there is a list of priorities that most insurance companies are concerned about. Was someone hurt first? I can replace or repair any car. Injuries, on the other hand, are my main concern. If we are sure that the people concerned have received medical care, we will take care of the repair of the vehicle.
If the vehicle has collision insurance, we recommend that our policyholders make a claim under their policy. We do this to ensure that the vehicle is repaired or replaced as soon as possible. We declare that you have to pay your deductible to the workshop when your vehicle is repaired. At this point we often hear, “But it wasn't my fault – why do I have to pay my excess?” We reiterate that the purpose of making a claim under your policy is to expedite the process. If the other insurance company steps forward somewhere in the process and takes responsibility, we can stop our claim and let the other insurance company handle it. If the vehicle does not have collision protection, we have no choice but to advise our customers that they must contact the other insurance companies about their damage. Understand that insurance companies cannot contact the other company unless we are spending money on behalf of our policyholders.
At the same time we repair your vehicle and determine who caused the accident. If we determine that you are responsible, we will not only repair your vehicle – if you have collision insurance – we will also contact the other people who caused the accident to repair their vehicles. In this case, you will not get your deductible back.
If we find that you are not at fault, we will start the recourse procedure. Recourse is the process of contacting the other company and asking them to pay for any damage that your insured has caused and that we, your insurance company, have paid. This is the beginning of getting your deductible back.
The assignment can lead to a direct rejection by the other company, an offer of partial settlement or full settlement. If a direct rejection occurs, we can initiate legal proceedings. Partial settlement offers can be accepted or we can initiate legal proceedings. If the billing is complete, you will receive your deductible and our payments back.
Even if the liability is clear, your deductible will not be reclaimed overnight. We need to settle your claim first, which means all repairs must be completed and paid for. Then we have to inform the other company of our intention to assign. The other company must then be given time to investigate the claim and respond. If we are rejected and we decide to take them to court, that process can also take time. To speed up this process, insurance companies can agree to participate in intercompany arbitration. Insurance companies participating in intercompany arbitration undertake not to go to court, but to adhere to the decision of a committee of license insurance experts on liability. Not all insurance companies participate in inter-company arbitration.
In March my insured's car was parked. The lady who insured my insured said she was insured. The police were called and when she arrived the lady could not produce a valid insurance card. A card was presented to one of the police within the five days allowed for a card to be issued. We have advised our policyholders to file a claim, pay their deductible and we will give in. Eight months later, the other insurance company denied the claim. It appears that the lady took out insurance after the accident. The police, seeing a valid insurance card for the date of the accident, didn't think much about it. What seemed easy turned out not. My policyholder may not have a deductible, but their car was repaired on time. And while we go straight after the lady, as my father would say, you can't get blood out of a turnip.