Do drivers with insurance have to let other driver, who is responsible for the accident, know that they have insurance or are they allowed to keep quiet about it and force the responsible party to pay much more than the plaintive driver's deductable?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 22, 2017

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Insurance Question from Chatsworth, CA

Asked on 06/22/2017

Do drivers with insurance have to let other driver, who is responsible for the accident, know that they have insurance or are they allowed to keep quiet about it and force the responsible party to pay much more than the plaintive driver's deductable? Hi. I have a question where I hit a guy damaging his side door. Even though I don't have car insurance, I took responsibility and took his car to a shop who was to fix the dent and replace the side mirror. I paid 250$ though the shop did a bad job getting the dent out-and admitted that it would be better to get a new door entirely. And they are still waiting for the mirrors.The other driver is scathing mad-and cussing at me via texts- that it's taking this long. So I told him that I would allow him to take it to any shop he wants and I would pay the bill. But then I had an idea to just pay his deductible and let his insurance company take over. But when I asked him if he has insurance he is not responding. Does he have to let me know if he has insurance? I mean what if paying his deductible is less than what the new mechanic is charging me?Is it possible that he is using his deductible while having me pay more and pocketing the rest?

Answer given on June 25, 2017

If you caused an accident and damage to another person’s car, it is your responsibility, or that of your insurance company, to pay for the repairs to the car.  Since the first attempt to repair the car did not work, you are still responsible to repair or replace the door in question. 

If the other driver submits the claim to his insurance company, he will most likely have the deductible to deal with. However, his insurance company will come to you to reimburse them for any money they pay out for the damage to his car.  This is standard procedure for such claims.  They will also want you to reimburse his deductible. So, whether you pay him directly for the repairs, or if he takes it to his insurance company, you will have to pay the full amount.  Also, he may not want to report to his insurance company because it could raise his insurance rates, even though the damage was not his fault.


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