My car was hit while parked in July 2019. Person left note admitting fault. Placed claim with my insurance co. They told me where to get it fixed. When I picked up my car, I was told I must pay my deductible ($500). Had no choice and paid. Now the 'at fault's' insurance co. is giving me a hard time about reimbursing my money. I've received a little over $200 from them and am waiting for the balance. Arbitration claim was filed. My insurance co. said there's nothing I can do but wait. I shouldn't of had to pay the deductible in the first place. As a paid up, covered policy holder at the time of the claim, should my insurance co. be refunding me my money... and then try retrieving it back from the 'at fault's' drivers company? This is very frustrating. Thank you.
While the at fault driver (or his/her auto insurer) should ultimately be responsible for the damage, you chose (wisely I suggest) to have your auto insurer handle it under your collision coverage, which carries a deductible. The auto body shop doing the repair work and was entitled to be paid without delay and should not have to get in the middle of things or have to wait or bear risk. Thus it demanded you pay the deductible upfront.
You're going to have to wait until your insurer finishes with the matter -- which in nearly all instances works out far better and will take less time than suing the at fault driver yourself, waiting for trial, running the risk of loss at trial and if you win, finding out that it's hard to collect a judgment perhaps because the other driver lacks assets -- even if you could.
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