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You Can't Double-dip On Auto Claims





Question: If I have full coverage and my insurance pays for the total loss vehicle, can I also get payment from the third-party insurance of the at-fault driver?  He was at-fault on all the reports; it only seems fair now that my insurance paid for the car that the at-fault party helps me pay for a replacement and maybe pay me for my time spent on all of this.  

Answer: Sorry, but this isn't how car insurance claims work.  Claims aren't supposed to turn into windfalls for anyone, and you can't get paid twice for the same items.  (See “Is a car accident a lotto ticket?”)

Auto insurance claim payments are meant to put you back in the same financial situation you were in the moment before the accident, not better. Otherwise everyone's insurance would cost a lot more.

Everything from the accident itself to making claims and searching for a replacement vehicle can be time-consuming and aggravating - but that doesn't allow you to double-dip and get paid twice for your damaged car.

If you're injured in the car crash, you may be able to receive compensation for non-economic items such as pain and suffering, but you can't recover for such things when you have just a property damage claim. 

When your vehicle is damaged by another driver, you have a choice of how to make a claim

You can make a first-party claim through your own insurance policy if you have collision coverage.  You'll have to pay a deductible but then can leave the claim for your auto insurer to take care of.

Or, you can make a third-party claim and deal with the at-fault party's insurance company, without a deductible being due.

There are times you may make claims with both your auto insurance provider and the at-fault party's insurer -- but for different items. 

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