Recovering Your Deductible If You’re Not at Fault in an Accident

Cell phone down, two hands on the wheel and your full attention on what’s ahead — you do what you can to stay safe on the road. But no matter how safe a driver you strive to be, you’re still vulnerable to accidents caused by other people.

Dealing with a car accident can be stressful and time consuming — especially when it’s an accident that’s not your fault! That’s why American Family Insurance makes it a priority to help you get things back to normal as quickly as possible. Starting with your deductible.

We’ve highlighted some key information about the deductible recovery process so you understand how we’ll help you get your deducible reimbursed after an accident that wasn’t your fault.

How Do Car Insurance Deductibles Work?

Let’s start with the basics — what’s a car insurance deductible?

A car insurance deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out of pocket when you file an insurance claim. Once you pay this amount, your insurance company will then step in to help cover the remaining cost for damages (up to your policy limit).

A deductible is commonly required with collision coverage, which is coverage that would protect you in an accident that’s not your fault. You’d also pay a deductible with comprehensive, auto lease/loan gap coverage and sometimes uninsured or underinsured coverage.

Do I Pay My Car Insurance Deductible If I’m Not At Fault in an Accident?

It depends. You can choose to wait until the at-fault driver’s insurance company connects with you and pays for your damages — which could take a while to get the money. Or, if you want to get the process rolling so you’re back on the road quicker, you can file a claim with your insurance company, pay your deductible and have them cover the remaining costs for damages.

But it doesn’t seem fair to have to pay for an accident that wasn’t your fault, right? That’s where deductible recovery comes into play.

What Is Deductible Recovery?

With deductible recovery, American Family Insurance will work through a process called subrogation. Subrogation is the insurance world’s fancy way of saying, “we’re working on getting your deductible back because the accident wasn’t your fault.”

Basically, subrogation is when one insurer (e.g. American Family) receives money from another insurer (e.g. the at-fault driver’s insurance company) so that you, the careful, attentive, safe-minded driver gets their deductible back.

Here’s what will happen:

Step 1: Your insurance company will pay for your damages, minus your deductible, and work on determining who’s at fault for the accident. Sure, you know the answer to this, but it’s all part of the process. You might be asked for a statement about the accident, so having the police report, pictures and/or other important details will be really helpful.

Step 2: After determining the other driver was indeed at fault, your insurance company will work through the subrogation process to recover your deductible. You may need to submit proof that you paid your deductible, which could be a body shop invoice or credit card statement.

Step 3: If successful, you’ll be reimbursed for your deductible!

How Long Does Deductible Recovery Take?

The deductible recovery process time depends on your circumstance — after all, each claim is unique. But on average it can take about six months to recover your deductible. If both sides are cooperative and provide the necessary information, it’ll make everything much smoother. You could get your deductible money back in as quickly as one to two weeks!

No matter the situation, American Family Insurance is your advocate. We’re prepared to help you through the process every step of the way — and we’ll work diligently to do whatever we can during the deductible recovery process to help you get reimbursed. Have more questions? Connect with an agent to learn more.


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Related Topics: Insurance Terms , Insurance Needs