What do we mean when we say property damage? We’re talking about the damage to your car. After an accident, many people need to figure out how to get their car fixed or replaced as fast as possible. You typically have two options: (1) run the property damage through the at-fault auto insurance, or (2) run the property damage through your own auto insurance. There are pros and cons to each option.
The most common instinct accident victims have is to run their property damage through the at-fault auto insurance company. They figure that they are not at-fault for the collision, so the person that was should take care of this. That thinking is not wrong. The downside is that it can take a long time to have the at-fault auto insurance do what needs to be done.
The insurance administrative code gives the insurance company 30 days to complete their investigation. R590-190-10(2). However, if they need more time, they pretty much just have to inform you. So, people often call me feeling like the insurance company is not taking them seriously and that they are getting the runaround. This happens because the law does not put a firm time frame in place for property damage claims to be completed.
The upsides are that you don’t have to pay your deductible. While the insurance company is repairing your vehicle or until a reasonable settlement offer has been made for a total loss vehicle, the insurance company should provide you with a rental car or reimburse you for the cost of a rental car. R590-190-11(9).
If you are not in a hurry, running the property damage claim through the at-fault auto insurance is a great option.
Many accident victims hesitate to run their property damage through their own auto insurance because they have to pay the deductible and they don’t want a claim on their record that would increase their premium. While, paying the deductible is definitely the downside. The upsides are:
(1) The repair or payout takes place a lot faster;
(2) Your auto insurance company cannot increase your premium for an accident that wasn’t your fault (See UCA 31A-19a-212); and
(3) Your auto insurance company will go after the at-fault auto insurance company to get the money they expended on your behalf back. When they get it, your auto insurance will reimburse your deductible back to you.
One other possible downside is getting a rental vehicle. If you do not pay for rental car coverage on your policy, you will not have a rental car available to you.
So, if you don’t have a lot of time to wait for your vehicle to be repaired or to get a new car, running the property damage claim through your own auto insurance can definitely be a great option.
If you have questions about your specific case, call expert Utah personal injury attorney, Jake Lee, at 801-849-3664 today to schedule your free consultation and get your questions answered.