Question

Can I file a claim with the "At fault" insurance company and have the repair check made out in my name if the car isn't registered to me?

I was rear-ended while stopped at a red light, and of course the police traffic report determined I was "Not at fault" (so no ticket). I believe our insurance coverage (myself and a family member) is joint because we share usage of one car and both our names appear on the cards and policy, plus we live at the same address. The insurance company of the driver that hit me has contacted us both regarding filing a claim (for damages/ injury) but here is my confusion. I was the driver involved in this accident (not the family member) and the car is not registered in my name but in the elderly family member's name. When the "At fault" driver's insurance company pays for damages to the car, will the claim need to be filed by me or my family member who owns the car? Furthermore, who will the repair check be made out too? Can it be made our in my name or will it be my family member since they owns the car and are also a policy holder on our insurance coverage?

Sep 11, 2017 Columbus, OH

Answer
Neil Richardson

Sep 11, 2017

You would file the claim since you were driving at the time of the accident. Unless the vehicle is totaled, however, there won't be any payout from the insurance company to anyone other than the repair shop. If the vehicle is owned outright and you would rather receive payment instead of the repair, the check would be made out to the owner of the car. In those cases, you normally have to prove ownership of the vehicle so money is not paid to someone who doesn't have a financial interest in the vehicle.

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