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Should I use my insurance or the other party's insurance (their fault)
My parked car was hit by a young driver and is going to be totalled. They have insurance and I am covered with collision and comprehensive. I was told that I am better off filing through my insurance company rather than the party at fault because I have better rights for resolving diputes with my own insurance company. I live in Maryland. The car is a 1999 Intrepid worth about $4700.
Getting your insurance involved is always a good idea, even if you do not settle with them. Mainly, you want to put them on notice that a claim exists, that way you would be covered in case things go South.
You question is a good one because there are + and - of having your own insurance company deal with the loss.
The +: you do have more rights. The insurance adjusters have a duty to act in good faith and advicate for you. This is usually more powerful in a bodily injury claim than in a total loss, but you would have a cause of action against your own insurance company should they breach their duty of good faith.
The -: You have a deductible that will apply. Many insurance companies will waive the deductible (if you ask) since they will be compensated by the other insurance company. This is optional so some insurance companies will not do that. In that case you can ask the insurance company of the person that hit you, to send you the deductible directly, they will do that.
The other -: With more rights comes more Responsability. I say this because there are provisions on the policy that protect the bank. If you have a car loan, then every payment will have the banks name in it, so you would need their signature to cash (which means they would apply to the loan balance). If you do not have a loan, then this does not apply.
So then what
Try to use both! This is sometimes hard as you need wheels to get to work (or go on with your life). But you can have both insurance companies inspect and run comps. See which one offers you more and settle with that one, the insurance companies would have to battle it out with each other leaving you completly out.
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