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Auto accident question: what to do when the other driver's insurance says they cannot contact the driver?
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Auto accident question: what to do when the other driver's insurance says they cannot contact the driver?

I was involved in an accident a week ago where another person rear-ended me. My insurance says I can use my own insurance policy to get the car fixed, but I'll need to pay for the deductible myself. Otherwise, I can get the other party's insurance to take care of the cost, since it's clearly the other person's fault.

The other person's insurance company, though, is telling me they cannot begin the claim because they cannot contact the driver (it's been a week...) My car is already in the shop and I'd like to get it back asap.

Has anyone encountered anything like this before? How did it resolve at the end? In particular, I am wondering:
1) What if the other party's insurance keeps telling me that they cannot contact the driver?
2) Should I get my own insurance to fix the car, and my insurance company should contact the other person's insurance company on my behalf? Right now I am doing all legwork myself.

Additional Details
Thanks for all the inputs so far. What I am hearing right now is:

1) One week is not uncommon.
2) I should go through my own insurance.

Before I take the next step, I want to find out the following:

a) If I use my own insurance and my insurance company's adjuster said the damage is $X. Will the other insurance company agree to that amount?

b) The damage amount is not likely to exceed my deductible. In this case, my insurance company doesn't have any incentive to follow up on this claim with the other person's insurance company on my behalf, since my insurance company doesn't need to pay me anything. Am I right, or am I worrying too much?

BTW, my insurance company is 21st Century, and the other person's insurance company is USAA.



Kasey C
Tell your insurance company that you'll pay the deductible for now, but you expect a REFUND of the deductible after they get the settlement from the other side. THEN let THEM negotiate with the other insurance company. That's why you pay them the insurance premiums: to avoid the hassle.

EDIT FOR ADDITIONAL REPLY -- You are worrying too much. Just pay the deductible, and let your insurance worry about the difference between the what the other side would pay vs. how much is spent to fix your car. As for how much the damage is, you'd be surprised what a body shop would say your damage is worth. Even a TINY SCRATCH is like $500+. (I backed into a car at 3 MPH, left a dent size of a pea, they said the damage is $550) A major body panel damage would be in the $2500 range. Your insurance company WILL treat you fairly, if they want to keep you as a customer.

Here's the deal-
Would you want your insurance company to pay a claim without talking to you first? Before you say yes because this situation is influencing your answer, think about it!

They must speak with their insured. It's not that they don't want to handle your claim, but they can't handle it with only your version or just the police report, etc. That's an improper and incomplete investigation and their duty is really to their insured first and you second. The worst case scenario is this drags on for some time. As long as they are continuing to make efforts to reach their insured it can take as long as it takes. I know you don't want to hear that, but those are the facts!

If it's an issue of flat out failure to cooperate and comply with the policy they will take steps towards possibly disclaiming coverage for violating the contract, which means they won't pay the claim and their insured is on the hook because coverage was taken away. A week (don't roll your eyes and sigh) is NOT that long for a claim to still be pending. If your car is driveable, you can wait a bit. If it is not, you should not wait; you should use your carrier.

Chris is (again) 100 % correct. To the idiots that are saying insurance companies will drag-out the claims process as long as possible: get a clue and a life. There is NO advantage in a lengthy claims resolution. The adjusters want those files closed and off their desks as soon as possible. I would suggest you go through your own carrier if you feel like this is taking too long, (and believe me, there ARE some red flags beginning to show). Sometimes insureds think that by dodging claims adjusters they somehow are absolved of any responsibilty. Sometimes they are on vacation, sometimes they haven't paid their premium and their son stole the car from the garage, got drunk and crashed into another car. Your insurance company will handle all of these problems and (attempt to) recover your deductible if you wish.

People go into the longest explanation of accidents and for some reason don't state the
most important details.

Did you call the cops? Did they cite the person who rear-ended you?
I am wondering why they would want to contact the driver if you have done this.

James H
I had an accident similar to yours in 1998. A lady from out state pull away from a stop sign in front of me. I could not avoid hitting her. Vehicle was totaled. My insurance company paid me for my vehicle and I did not have to pay the deductible. The lady's insurance company paid my insurance company entirely plus my $100 deductible. It took a while of course, but it did not effect my premiums. Hope this can help you

Yes I have several people hit me and a week is nothing. I just got my car back and it was 10 days before the insurance company even got out there and then they report the claim and get hold of both people injured in the accident. Your going to have to be patient and just wait it out. They have all the information on file. If you have a problem get your agent involved and have him call there company to see what's going on.

Pay the deductible and start the repairs. Ask your insurance to get you your deductible back when they collect from the other party for their loss. They should help you with that.

the other insurance company is probably telling you the truth, they need to speak to their insured to get a statement so they can begin, maybe he is avoiding them, suppose he has a bad driving record or is behind in his payments, etc Usually a person that delays contacting his agent has something to hide
I hope you didn't put your car in the shop before the other company got a chance to inspect it!

Contacting the insured should present no problem. They are beating around the bush to prolong the process. I trust you have a police report.
Check with your agent and see if your insurance will pay and sue for payment on your behalf. If they will, you will be out the deductable for a while.

If you have a good insurance company they should get in touch with the other drivers insurance company. But maybe because the deductible is up to you they are dragging their feet. But I don't think as much as insurance companies are making you should have to do the legwork, complain, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease."

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