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If I’m not at fault in a car accident, do I have to pay my deductible?

If I’m not at fault in a car accident, do I have to pay my deductible?

If you’re in a car accident and your insurance provider determines that you were not at fault, one of the first questions you probably have is “If it wasn’t my fault, do I have to pay my deductible?” Although each situation is unique and there is no quick and easy answer, here are a few factors that can determine whether you will have to pay. 

How car insurance coverage works in Alberta

If you have collision coverage on your car insurance policy, your vehicle repairs will be covered under your collision policy, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. However, you will still have to pay the deductible outlined in your collision policy. 

If you are in a car accident, your insurer determines that you are not at fault, and the insurer of the at-fault driver accepts responsibility, good news—you won’t have to pay your deductible! The coverage for any damage will come from the at-fault driver’s third-party liability coverage.

What if my vehicle was repaired before the claim was settled?

If you repaired your vehicle using your own insurance policy’s collision coverage before your insurer settled the claim, your insurer may charge you a deductible. However, if the other driver’s insurance company accepts responsibility and determines the other driver was at fault, they will cover your costs and your insurer will refund your deductible. 

What about a hit and run? 

If you can’t identify the other driver involved in the accident, your insurer can’t identify the coverage they had, and your damage can’t be covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance. The damage would be covered under your own collision policy and you would have to pay your collision deductible. Your rates wouldn’t be impacted as a result of this hit and run accident if you complied with certain conditions. 

In some cases, it could also be settled as a comprehensive claim. Comprehensive auto insurance helps pay for the cost of damage to your vehicle if its damaged by unexpected situations such as vandalism, theft, fire, or a natural disaster. Depending on the circumstances, some companies settle these claims as comprehensive claims and some companies settle under collision.

What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance? 

If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you cannot get your damage covered by their insurance company. You can get coverage under your own insurer’s collision policy, but you would still have to pay your deductible. 

What if I don’t have collision coverage?

If you do not have collision coverage as part of your car insurance policy, your insurer will not cover any damage to your own vehicle even if you weren’t at fault. You’d have to deal with the at-fault driver or their insurance company to cover your damages.

Find out more

Each situation is unique and is impacted by the coverage you have with your current car insurance provider. If you’d like to discuss your own coverage or deductibles, contact your TW Insurance Broker at 1-888-338-2685 to learn more about your car insurance policies.