fortunately, you have options. You may be able to make a claim to the car insurance policy belonging to the person you ‘re riding with, equally well as the person driving the other car — it fair depends who was at fault in the accident. You may besides be able to make a claim to your own policy if you have one .
here are your options for filing a claim as a passenger in a crash, and when to consider each one .
1. File a claim with the other driver’s insurer
If you are in a car crash as a passenger and another vehicle caused the accident, your first option would be to file a claim against the early driver ’ s policy policy. In closely every state, drivers are required to carry a minimum total of cable car policy.
Within that compulsory measure are two coverages called :
BI insurance deals with injuries and pays up to a limit per person and a limit for the integral accident. For example, the minimum drivers should have for car insurance in New York is $ 25,000 per person and $ 50,000 per accident .
How to file an insurance claim
Regardless of whose cable car policy policy you ‘re making a claim to after a crash, the serve is roughly the like .
- Collect documentation including bills, accident reports and any other data from the crash.
- Contact the insurer to begin the process.
- Collect your settlement once the adjusters have determined who should pay.
See our steer on filing an insurance claim for more data .
There are a few obstacles you may face with this option. The first is whether the other driver ‘s insurance limits will be enough to cover your expenses .
The more people injured, the less likely your damages will be fully covered, especially if the driver only has state minimum coverage. For exercise, in states like California and Arizona, the minimum is entirely $ 30,000 per accident .
If your medical bills sum $ 60,000 and others are injured as well, you may merely see a assign of your total bill repaid by a driver with low limits. Your claim can even be denied if benefits are exhausted .
furthermore, going through another driver ’ south insurance can be a logistic hassle. In many accidents, “ fault ”, or the amount person is responsible for the accident, is not constantly clear .
If that is the case in your accident, there may be a farseeing, drawn-out action of trying to prove who was the more guilty party. If the accident involved multiple cars and multiple drivers, it could take months to sort it all out. If things are particularly ill-defined, you may have to bring on a lawyer, ampere well as possibly settling for an come less than what you wanted .
2. File a claim through your driver’s policy
In some cases, you can besides cover your bills through the policy of the person driving the car you were a passenger in, regardless of whether they were at blame .
The independent way to do this is through the driver ‘s personal injury protection ( PIP ) or aesculapian payments coverage ( MedPay ). PIP and MedPay both cover all passengers in the car and are considered “ first-party benefits ” indemnity.
Read more: The Best Car Insurance Companies for 2022
unfortunately, most cable car policy policies do n’t cover your own personal place ( or that of a passenger ) during a clang. For case, if your smartphone or a bag you had in the trunk was damaged in a crash, you would need to make a claim to your own homeowners or renters insurance, or pay for the price of replacement out of pocket .
First-party benefits policy means that your driver can file a call and, regardless of who was at fault in the accident, will receive a payout for checkup expenses .
worst does have its disadvantages, though. PIP is entirely compulsory in 12 states, and MedPay is not mandatary anywhere. If you are not in one of the PIP-required states, there is a good prospect your driver will not have the coverage. As well, even if they do have it, it may not be adequate to cover your expenses .
If your driver does not have PIP or MedPay, you could besides file through their indebtedness policy. If the driver is a friend or a “ non-immediate class ” loved one, you may be hesitant to pursue this choice, which is apprehensible. It ‘s true that filing a liability claim is likely to make your friend ‘s indemnity rates increase if they were at fault .
What you should know, however, is that you are not technically going after them or their money, but rather seeking compensation from their policy company. You file a call against their policy seeking a sealed come of recompense for your damages, which is handled by the indemnity company. Your friend will have nothing to do with the proceedings from that point on .
If you are hush uncomfortable with filing through your acquaintance ‘s indemnity, you can opt to only do so after exhausting the other driver ’ second limits. If, for exemplar, your medical costs are $ 60,000 and you get $ 45,000 from the other driver, you may be able to make up the deviation through your ally ‘s policy .
In either sheath, you will placid need to deal with another policy ship’s company and justify your claim. The march, careless of whether it is your friend ’ mho or the early driver ’ south policy, will take some clock. The other choice is to ask your driver to reimburse you out of their own pocket. This will lead to a greater erstwhile expense for them but could limit their rate increases in the future .
3. File a claim through your own car or health insurance
Filing through your own insurance company is another feasible choice and possibly besides the least obvious. After all, you were n’t driving, so why should you be able to use your car policy ? If you have PIP or MedPay on your policy, you can use it to pay for your medical bills, even if you ‘re a passenger in another car .
unfortunately, PIP and MedPay besides have limits, meaning identical expensive accidents may not be in full covered. At the very least, they should be enough to cover any immediate checkup bills, however .
If you can afford it, we highly recommend you consider adding either of them to your policy. MedPay is broadly cheaper than PIP, but it does not cover expenses stemming from psychological rede or protecting lost wages, as PIP does. evening so, the amphetamine and ease with which it works for physical injuries make it highly valuable to have on your policy.
If you have health indemnity adenine well, you should be able to tap into it to pay for your checkup costs. You might need to amply exhaust your car benefits inaugural, though. Health policy plans can be different in how they treat this, so check with your insurance company first. If you have n’t met it however, you may besides need to pay the deductible first on your health design before getting benefits .
Using uninsured motorist insurance
One in seven drivers in the U.S. is uninsured. If your friend or the early driver is uninsured and at blame, and you do n’t have PIP or MedPay on your policy, you will probable be able to file through your own uninsured motorist indemnity .
uninsured motorist is meant to be used in put of BI and is through your own indemnity company. You may only use it when it is proven the other driver is sincerely uninsured .