Amount of damage less than deductible between two individuals’ mutual loss jeanniemorrissey asked 8 months ago
Amount of damage less than deductible between two individuals’ mutual loss

I was parked in a large parking lot and was slowly, very slowly backing out of my spot at the same moment another driver in a larger car than mine was also backing out. The shape of the parking lot on that row was slightly mounded so distance was distorted. Anyway we both barely impacted each other as we were both backing slowly. In fairness the fault was 50/50, but the damage to my car was more because my fender cracked so that has to be replaced, the dent on her bumper could easily be pounded out and smoothed over with light touch of paint should not cost more than $200 to 300 max to repair. My car would cost $599 to repair (based on the estimate I have). We both exchanged insurance information. Because both of our deductibles are $500 I do not see the need to go through insurance company. My experience with insurance companies is everybody tries to max out the cost of the repairs so a lot of money flows. But the trick is that the customer, myself, gets zinged with higher insurance premiums and a tag that they incurred a loss for the company which is reported for three years in their history, in that there are internal points attached. I do not want to run it through insurance because of this. I would like to have both of our cars fixed at the same repair spot and then split the cost. Her insurance company submitted a claim to my insurance but I do not want to go through insurance. What are my rights to just not go through insurance?

1 Answers
Kelly Mannion Kelly Mannion Expert answered 8 months ago

Hi Jeannie,

From a legal perspective, it is OK not to report damage if the deductible is higher than the loss amount. We discuss this in our publication, [To Claim or Not to Claim].(https://uphelp.org/claim-guidance-publications/to-claim-or-not-to-claim-that-is-the-question/)

Generally, the rights and obligations for reporting to your insurance company are laid out in the insurance contract. Unless it is something like a hit and run or a claim for benefits not at issue here, such as an uninsured motorist, there is no requirement to report.

If you are asking whether you are permitted to proceed with your plan of having repairs done without the involvement of insurance, I think it is safe to say yes. But it is unclear how the other driver will want to proceed. It is possible that the other driver’s insurer will contact your insurance company, or they may be fine working directly with you. You need to reach out to the other driver and figure out who is paying for what damages and if they are willing to get the car repaired at your shop, among other things. You can’t force the other driver not to report or communicate with her insurer and can’t control what happens from that end. But you are not required to report to your own insurance company.