You are driving on the road when another driver runs a stop sign, and crashes into the side of your vehicle. You can check to see if the people in the other car are okay, then call the police. While exchanging information with the other driver, you discover that they have the same auto insurance company as you, which leads you to wonder: How do I file a claim if the other driver has the same insurance company? Is the process different from the usual? If so, how?
Read below for answers to these questions and advice on how to make sure you get fair compensation.
How insurance companies deal with accidents when both drivers are customers
In an ideal situation, an insurance company would deal with accidents between two of its customers the same way it would any other car accident: impartially and responsibly. However, this is not a perfect world, and the failure of insurance companies to provide adequate compensation to customers for their bottom line profits.
When a car accident occurs and both drivers have the same insurance company, the insurance company must deal with it carefully to avoid running into a “conflict of interest”. To do this, most insurance companies issue each driver their own set. The idea is that both officers will independently assess the claim and responsibility for the accident, and report their findings to each other once the fault is identified.
If both officers agree that one of the drivers is at fault, then the officer supervising the faulty driver will further process the claim and provide compensation to the other driver based on his insurance policy.
However, if there is a complication about liability, and both officers do not agree on who was at fault, they will act as if they were operating in two separate companies to handle the claim. Two seizures from the same company will not take any legal action to determine the fault, rather, they reach an agreement between them.
Often insurers waive the deduction of a customer if he is involved in an accident with another customer in order to avoid the hassle of handling liability disputes and accusing the customer of acting in “bad faith” by making a decision that does not involve any of the drivers’ best interests.
When the insurance company issues only one rate to handle the claims of both drivers, there is a high risk of a conflict of interest. If this happens to you, contact a car accident attorney immediately to make sure you receive a fair compensation.
The advantages of having the same insurance
As unfortunate as being in an accident in the first place, there are some advantages when the other driver has the same insurance company as you.
On the other hand, talking to a representative at your insurance company is always much easier and less difficult than contacting an expert from another insurance company. Since you are a paying customer, seizures tend to provide faster service than if you had a different insurance company.
Second, insurance companies have a financial incentive to fulfill your claim and provide you with reasonable compensation if you are a customer. In most cases, insurance companies will end up losing more money in the long run if you stop using them as your car insurance provider because you are not satisfied with the coverage than if they paid a claim directly. So rather than risking your (the paying customer) loss, it is often in their best interest to please you by paying a claim.
Finally, when two drivers with the same insurance company have an accident, the claim may be processed faster than if the accident involved two different insurance companies. Two officers who work for the same insurance company, and work in the same office, can sort things out simply by going to the other officer’s office.
The disadvantages of having the same believer
Being involved in a car accident with a driver who has the same insurance company can also have its own risks. For example, an insurance company may try to take advantage of the opportunity and protect its bottom line by unreasonably delaying or rejecting your claim, or even failing to return your phone calls. Or, two of the officers may reach an unfair agreement behind closed doors that allows the company to forgo paying a full claim that they would otherwise have to.
Also, insurance policies can be confusing, and insurance companies may try to use this to their advantage by convincing an unconfirmed client that there is a loophole that frees them from the responsibility to provide compensation.
When to call a lawyer
If your car accident caused only minor property damage and / or injury, you will likely be able to go through the usual process of filing a claim with the insurance company and letting them set the moderators. However, if you do receive serious damage or personal injury, you should contact a car accident attorney to hold your insurance company accountable for fair and reasonable compensation, as well as answer any questions you may have.