My Fiancée was in an accident where the other driver was 100% at fault, and we had a witness come forward to support our claim.

We filed a claim with our insurance, paid our deductible and had the car fixed; our insurance told us they would be pursuing payment from the other driver's insurance, and if they were successful we would be refunded our deductible.

A few weeks later, I received a sizeable check in the mail from the other driver's insurance, listing me as the claimant.

  • Is this a settlement check?
  • Is this owed to our insurance company, who paid the damages up front, or is this a check owed to us?
  • Basically, I'm wondering if this is our money to use, or if this is a check that should have gone to our insurance company; it seemed odd that the check would be issued to me when my insurance company is who was dealing with the other driver's insurance.
  • I'm worried we'll cash the check, and our insurance will come looking for it.

Thank you for your help!

  • 3
    What country, did you inform your insurance about this check?
    – Dheer
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 6:46
  • 1
    You should call your insurance company and ask them what the deal is.
    – BrenBarn
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 18:07
  • 1
    This exact thing happened to me. Wondering how things ended up in your situation.
    – Jay
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


When I have been struck, and the other person has been at fault, I have not gotten my insurance company involved. The main reason is that if I go through my insurance company I will get paid for the damages minus my deductible, and my rates may go up because I made a claim.

Instead I have filed a claim through the other drivers policy. The other driver pays the deductible.

Over the years I have seen different ways of paying the claim. It depends on the company involved and how the repair was done.

  • Sometimes the repair shop dealt directly with the insurance company. No money or checks were handled by me. Even the rental car company dealt directly with the insurance company.

  • In other cases I was asked to pay for the repair and then send the bill to the insurance company.

  • In other cases the check was sent to me based on the estimate, and then I gave the check to the repair shop. This was the worst because the timing of getting the check was always problematic. One time the repair shop found additional damage so a second check was needed, and that delayed the amount of time the car was in the shop because of the slowness of the mail.

There can also be adjustments to the procedure if the item has a loan. We had to file a claim with the homeowners insurance once, they made the check out to us and the lender. That way the lender knew about the damage, and the lender would only release the funds if the repair was made. It could be possible that some auto loans could work this way.

In any case you should ask your insurance company. They will want to get their money back. If the check was made out to you they will tell you how they want to proceed. If the check is to cover other items that your company didn't pay for: rental car, towing, deductible... they may only need part of it back.

  • +1 for "you should ask your insurance company". Absolutely critical. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 13:32
  • 1
    As an aside, although you may not officially file a claim with your insurance company, I've found that it's useful to notify them that the accident occurred. In some cases you may be required to do this within a certain time of the accident, and failing to do so can make it difficult to later pursue a claim if necessary. Also, a good insurance company will look out for you and negotiate with the other insurance company to make sure you get paid, without raising your rates or otherwise penalizing you, as long as they don't actually have to pay the claim themselves.
    – BrenBarn
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 18:09
  • Your statement doesn't make sense. If someone paid your deductible, they'd need to go through your insurance company to determine what the value would be. Also, if the accident is reported to one insurance company, it's pretty much known to all, given that they all have access to the same accident and traffic history databases. So, you're not really saving yourself anything in premiums and you're setting yourself up to be taken advantage of by the other driver or their insurance.
    – iheanyi
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 20:55

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