- You can find information about car insurance through the police, the DMV, or through your own insurer.
- In some cases, you will need to use your own coverage to pay for vehicle repairs.
- There are some circumstances where you will not be able to make a third party claim even if you are not at fault.
Accidents can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and repairs. Fortunately, there is insurance, so you can be reimbursed. If you are injured or your car is damaged in an accident that is someone else’s fault, you can often file a claim with that person’s insurance company.
While getting someone’s insurance information at the scene is ideal, it may not always be possible. If you are involved in a hit and run or the at-fault party refuses to cooperate, there are ways to protect yourself.
How to get information about someone’s car insurance
Although frustrating, there are some actions you can take if someone you were involved in an accident with is uncooperative. You can ask the police for help, contact the DMV or work with your carrier to find out who the at-fault party’s insurer is, says Anastasia Almon, a personal injury attorney at Farris, Riley and Pitt.
Get the police involved
Asking the police for help should be your first step if you have been involved in a two-way accident.
Crime scene officers typically create a report that includes details of the accident, such as date, time, weather conditions, damage to the vehicle, and who was at fault. You’ll need to get that police report number to file a claim, Almon says.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run and got the vehicle’s license plate number, give it to the police. If you didn’t get a license plate number, try to remember as much as you can about the other vehicle, such as its color, make and model, and give them as many details as possible, Almon says.
Get insurance information from the DMV
Suppose the guilty party refuses an exchange
information. In that case, you can also visit your local DMV to find information about the at-fault driver’s insurance. You must provide the DMV with the reason for your claim and the at-fault party’s driver’s license, according to Insurantly, an
quote comparison company.
Once you know who their insurer is, contact the provider and report details of the incident.
Report the incident to your insurer
Drunk drivers often get away because they don’t have insurance. Many states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance.
If you’ve been in an accident and the other driver fled the scene or doesn’t have insurance, report it to your insurance company. You may be able to recover damages through your insurance company if you have collision coverage, or your insurance company can help you find the at-fault party’s insurance information.
“Even if you don’t end up filing a claim, you need to update your insurance provider as soon as possible or you risk voiding your policy,” Almon says.
3 steps to making a claim against someone else’s insurance
A third-party claim is when you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, according to Allstate.
There are two types of third party auto claims: bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
Here are the steps you need to take to file a claim against someone else’s car insurance:
Step 1: Gather as much information as possible
Gathering as much information about the incident as possible is critical. This will speed up the process and ensure you get a fair settlement.
If you’re involved in a car accident, here’s some information you should gather at the scene, according to Allstate:
- Place, date and time of the accident
- Name, address, telephone number and insurance policy number for all parties involved in the incident
- Weather conditions
- Photos of damage
- Copies of police reports and accident reports, if applicable
Step 2: Contact your insurance company
If you file a car insurance claim, report the accident to your insurance company immediately to avoid claim delays. From there, your provider will work with the at-fault party’s insurance to obtain reimbursement for your loss.
Step 3: Prepare to meet with an adjuster
After you file the claim, the at-fault party’s insurance company usually sends an adjuster to inspect the damage. Prepare for the visit by creating a list of damaged items.
Make sure you have any relevant information, such as details of the incident, contact information for anyone involved, and any photos or videos related to the incident.
When you should and when you shouldn’t file a third-party claim
In some cases, you may not be able to file a claim against someone else’s insurance, even if you are not at fault. You may decide to fix the problem yourself if you find that the process is taking too long.
No-fault states require drivers to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP). No-fault insurance covers medical bills related to an accident up to a certain limit, regardless of who is at fault.
In this case, you will not be able to file a claim against another person’s insurance for your medical expenses, as you are required to have your own coverage. Personal injury coverage will cover the medical expenses of you and your passengers, regardless of whether you have health insurance. You can usually pair your PIP cover with medical payments cover or MedPay for more protection.
An underinsured or uninsured motorist is someone who has little or no liability insurance.
In most states, drivers must have a minimum amount of auto liability insurance. However, you cannot file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company if they do not have coverage. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim on your own insurance to get reimbursed.
Otherwise, you have to pay out of pocket for repairs or sue the at-fault party, which can be a long and expensive process.
Use of proprietary coverage
If another car hits you, your collision coverage is an option to pay for the damages. Collision coverage is not required by law. However, it can be useful if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits your car. Also, filing a claim with collision coverage can speed up the process.