Don't call other driver's insurer after auto accident -

Don't call other driver's insurer after auto accident

Don't call other driver's insurer after auto accident

When you are not at fault in an auto accident, you might think it is smart to leave your own insurer out of it. But that's never a good idea regardless of the responsible party.

Your concern might be: If it's not my fault, and I tell my insurer about an accident, that becomes a bad mark against me and my rates could get jacked up. But you never have to worry about that and dealing with the other company is your insurer's job.

After she was rear-ended in an auto accident, Mary Morton says police cited the other driver for being at fault. Morton was so sure the other driver's insurance would pay the accident claim, she decided to deal directly with them.

"I was trying to give them information and I was just trying to work positively with them; they were extremely negative," Morton said.

Morton says the other insurer dragged out the claims process for months. She paid nearly $2,000 for repairs to her car and a rental while her car was in the shop but the other insurer sent her a check for only $800. She refused to cash it. Eight months after the accident, Morton finally called her own insurer for help.

"I assumed that my rates would go up if I called GEICO; that was the No. 1 concern," Morton said.

Now nearly two years after the accident, Morton is still waiting for GEICO to reimburse her. She knows she made a mistake right at the start.

"I should have called my own insurance company and that would have been probably the easiest way to go," Morton said.

Calling your own insurer is always your first move. Your rates can never go up if you're not at fault. Don't waste time contacting the other driver's insurer.

"I should have never bothered to call them. I guess I was just trying to be the nice person. I've never dealt with this kind of a problem before," Morton said.

This is part of what you pay your premium for -- to let your insurer work on your behalf with the other driver's insurer. Never contact them yourself; that's your insurer's job. Don't make the mistake of thinking you need to hide an accident from your insurer.

GEICO got right on Morton's claim after CBS 5 News contacted them and reimbursed her for her repairs and car rental. We thank GEICO for its quick action in resolving this claim in a fair manner.

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