Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • When someone has hit your car, you often need to file a claim to get the repairs or replacement processed
  • You can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier if you have information about who hit your car, their policy, and their contact information
  • There are instances where the at-fault party may not pay for the loss
  • Common reasons that a loss may not be paid include an inactive insurance policy or when your accident occurs in a no-fault state
  • Hit-and-run accidents are another occurrence where your loss may not be covered by the at-fault party’s insurance policy

When someone hits your car, your first concern may be holding the at-fault party responsible for the loss, so you file a claim with their insurance provider.

Under normal circumstances, filing a claim in these situations is straightforward as long as you have enough information. However, there are instances where getting the at-fault party to pay for the loss may be more difficult than expected.

Compare car insurance quotes today to make sure you’re getting the best rate for the coverage you need.

What To Do When Someone Hits Your Car and Causes Damage

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One of the first things that should occur after any accident is contacting your insurance provider to advise them of the situation and get guidance on how to proceed.

Depending on the extent of the damages and how they occurred, your insurance provider may direct you to contact the insurance representative for the at-fault party.

When you contact the at-fault party’s insurance provider, it’s important to have basic information about the driver and the policyholder, since they can be different. This information should include:

  • the policy number and information
  • the vehicle involved
  • contact information for the point of contact

When you have this information, filing a claim is a simple process, and reaching a resolution should be just as simple.

However, there are instances where filing a claim under your policy may be your only option. Here are some examples where using your insurer is the only thing you can do:

  • the at-fault party does not have insurance
  • their policy is inactive
  • they engage in a hit-and-run accident
  • you live in a no-fault insurance state

Your insurance policy may provide coverage for this type of loss, but you will need to speak with your provider before assuming this coverage applies.

No-fault auto insurance is a policy type where insurance claims are recovered through your insurance provider; the fault is not taken into consideration when settling the claim and reducing the number of lawsuits being introduced into the legal system.

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Getting Your Loss Covered Under The At-Fault Party’s Coverage

The simple way to get your car repaired or replaced is when you file a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance provider.

This claim filing often includes contacting the insurance provider, giving them details of the accident and the parties involved, and providing any additional information you may find relevant.

The insurance provider will then go through the process of filing a claim after receiving a reasonable amount of information from you which allows them to reasonably deduct that you have spoken to their policyholder.

As you go through the claim filing process, it’s important that you are honest about the accident and the extent of any damages or injuries. When the claim is investigated, any falsified or exaggerated information may lead to your claim being denied or declared void.

Once the claim has been investigated and the damages assessed, the insurance provider will provide direction on how to proceed:

  • repairing your vehicle
  • replacing it if repairs are not possible
  • settling a cash payment if this option is chosen

Occurrences Where The At-Fault Party’s Policy May Not Pay

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As mentioned previously, there are instances where the at-fault party may not pay for the damages to your vehicle. These instances can include accidents where the other party does not carry insurance, their insurance has lapsed, or they engage in a hit-and-run.

No-fault insurance states also require claims to be filed through your insurance carrier, regardless of fault, for review and settlement.

Your insurance policy may provide coverage for losses caused by uninsured motorists, which covers instances where the other driver does not have coverage or hits your vehicle and flees the scene.

However, these types of claims still count as a claim on your insurance history and under your policy, which means that they can cause premium increases or other policy changes.

Before filing a claim for these types of losses, other than no-fault claims, be sure to speak to your provider about how this can affect your policy in the future.

Additionally, you may want to have the damage to your vehicle assessed by an appraiser or repair shop. They can give you an idea of the cost that repairing or replacing your vehicle will be. If the cost is manageable, you may decide to make the repairs yourself without filing a claim.

Conclusion

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When someone has hit your vehicle, you often want to get the car repaired or replaced and get back to your life as soon as possible. However, you may be able to get your loss covered under the at-fault party’s insurance.

When you’re involved in an accident with a driver, and they are at-fault, make sure to get their contact information, policyholder details, and the type of vehicle involved in the accident.

If you file a claim through your provider for incidents where the other party does not have coverage or performs a hit-and-run, be aware of your available options; it’s important to speak with your provider or agent to get advice before making your decision.

In some cases, it may make financial sense to repair your vehicle out of pocket to avoid any premium increases.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the best insurance company for your needs.