at-fault driver’s insurance won’t compensate property loss my insurance is making me pay a full deductible

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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at-fault driver’s insurance won’t compensate property loss my insurance is making me pay a full deductible

My vehicle was declared a total loss from a car accident where the other driver was at fault. The other motorist’s insurance said the value of our property loss exceeded the man’s insurance for property loss. The man owned the minimum requirements of $10,000 for property loss. So, the other insurance told us to work with our own insurance for this claim. Now, our own insurance only wants to give us $9,500 for our property and is asking us to pay the $1,000 deductible for a collision claim, taking it down to $8,500, even though part of our policy includes uninsured motorist property damage with only a $250 deductible. Why do we have to work with our own insurance company for this claim and are only being offered this amount when the other guy’s insurance was obviously thinking the property damage exceeded $10,000 and we wouldn’t have had to pay any sort of deductible to them for the property loss claim? Our own insurance is telling us to go ahead and pay them the $1,000 deductible and that, after our property loss claim settlement is complete, they will

Asked on December 11, 2017 under Accident Law, New Mexico


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The other driver's insurer does NOT have to pay you anything: they are the other driver's insurer, not yours, and owe no legal duty to you. The other driver's insurer's legal (in this case contractual, since an insurance policy is a contract) obligation is to their client/customer--that is, the other driver; they are obligated to defend him in court, and/or pay any judgments against him (e.g. if you sue him and win), at least up to the limits of their policy.
So if you want the other driver and/or his insurer to pay, you have to sue the other driver (you sue the other driver, not the insurer): if you sue him and prove in court that he was at fault, you can get a court judgment (court order) that he pay whatever amount of costs or damages you can prove came out of the accident and were caused by the other driver. At that point, his insurer should pay, since there is a judgment against the other driver, again, up to the policy limits; any amounts over the policy limits would have to be paid directly by the other driver.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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