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What Happens When An Insurance Claim Is Made Against You?

Last modified: Sep 29, 2022

If you get into a car accident and cause damage to another vehicle, there is a chance that the vehicle owner may file an insurance claim against you. What happens when an insurance claim is made against you? And when can you dispute it?

This article provides a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know in the event a claim is made against you. This includes information on the different ways a third party can make a claim, how it can affect your insurance premium, and how you can dispute a claim. 

What Happens When an Insurance Claim Is Made Against You?

Knowing what happens if someone files a claim against your car insurance can be beneficial. In most cases, you will be alerted by your insurer and asked if the incident was your fault. If you agree, the insurer will handle the whole claim on your behalf, including discussing the incident with third-party representatives and paying the compensation.

This section delves more into details of what happens when a claim is made against you, including answering such questions as: 

  • How do I know someone has filed a claim against me?
  • Will a third-party claim affect my insurance?

What Does It Mean When a Claim Is Filed Against You?

During an accident with a third party (such as another driver or pedestrian), they may receive damage or injury, which could require a lot of money to fix/treat. 

If you were directly responsible for this damage or injury, the third party is entitled to make a claim against you. An insurance claim is a way of seeking compensation to pay for any repairs/treatment.

Your insurer will pay this compensation. In most cases, you will not have to pay anything.

How Do I Know Someone Filed a Claim Against My Insurance?

Following an accident that is your fault, it is courteous (and sometimes legally compulsory) to exchange insurance details at the scene. Any parties to who you caused damage can then file a claim against your insurer. Afterward, your insurance company will tell you when a claim has been made and will go through your options with you.

Unless a third party has your insurance details, it will likely be difficult for them to make a claim, but not impossible. However, a driver may still be able to obtain information, such as your license plate number, and contact your DMV to find out who you are insured with, allowing them to then make a claim. In such circumstances, your insurer will contact you to let you know that a driver has made a claim against you. 

It’s possible that a third party may not directly contact their insurer or your insurer and that they may send a letter, text, or email directly to you. If this happens, you should forward the message to your insurer and ask them to proceed with the claim. 

There’s Been a False Car Insurance Claim Made Against Me. What Can I Do?

If you believe that you were not at fault during an accident (or you don’t recall being in an accident), you can dispute the claim. You can find more information on how to dispute an insurance claim against you later in this post. 

Disputing a claim can have many benefits. However, you don’t have to dispute it if you don’t think it’s worth your while. In many cases, your insurer will still pay the bulk of the claim on your behalf. 

Types of Insurance Claims

What are the three types of insurance claims? Let’s have a look at them:

  • At-fault claims: If an accident is your fault, it will be recorded as an at-fault claim. For example, if a third party makes a claim against you and you do not dispute it.

  • Non-fault claims: If an accident was the other party’s fault, this is a non-fault claim. For example, if you make a claim against someone else’s insurance and they do not dispute it.

  • Partial-fault claims: Partial-fault claims are claims in which both parties are found to be at fault. In such cases, both your insurer and the third party’s insurer must come to an agreement as to who will pay for the damage (whether it’s 50/50 or 70/30). If the other party is a cyclist or pedestrian, they may not have any insurance in place, in which case your insurer may only have to partially pay the compensation, and the third party must pay the rest out of their pocket. Such claims typically occur when there is a dispute, and neither party is willing to back down. They can be a lot more complicated!

What Does an Insurance Claim Do?

An insurance claim is a formal request by a policholder to an insurance company for compensation for a policy event. 

Some claimants may not always have honest intentions, and it’s worth being wary of fraudulent car insurance claims. In other cases, a claimant may work with their insurer to pin the blame on the other party using bad faith tactics.

What Is a “Bad Faith” Insurance Claim?

Many countries have laws that restrict bad faith insurance claims, but they can still occur. Bad faith claim refers to an insurance company acting deceptively, often refusing to pay out compensation. Sometimes it may be necessary to seek out legal support if you think you are dealing with such behavior. 

Will My Insurance Go Up if Someone Claims Against Me?

When you make a claim with your own insurer, you may typically notice your insurance rates going up. But what happens when an insurance claim is made against you? Does this still affect your insurance rates?

In most cases, yes, your insurance rates will go up if a claim is made against you. However, it may depend on how at fault you are:

  • How much will my insurance go up with an at-fault accident? You’re likely to see the biggest rate increase for an at-fault accident. The exact amount by which your insurance will rise depends on the insurer and the circumstances. The average price increase in the US after an at-fault accident is about $637.

  • Will my insurance go up with a 50/50 claim? A 50/50 claim is likely to cause your insurance rates to go up, even though you’re not fully at fault. But again, it depends on the insurer.

  • Will my insurance go up if a false claim is made against me? Simply being involved in a claim — whether you were at fault or not — can be enough to cause a price increase. Of course, if it is genuine fraud and you can prove you weren’t even in an accident, you may be able to claim that the insurer is using bad faith tactics by increasing your rates.  

My Rates Have Increased. Can Someone Claim on My Car Insurance Without My Knowledge?

If your rates have gone up, but you have not been made aware of a claim against you, you may wonder, “Has someone filed a claim against my insurance without me knowing?” 

It is very unlikely that this is the case. Usually, your insurer will alert you if someone has made a claim against you. Failing to notify you is likely to be an error on your insurer’s part — it may happen when dealing with a minor accident that you may have already warned your insurer about. 

Want to know how to find out if there is a claim against you? You can contact your insurer directly and get them to check their records. 

Do I Have to Pay My Car Insurance Excess if Someone Claims Against Me?

No. In most cases, you only have to pay the excess when claiming against your own insurance policy, including mandatory and voluntary excess.

Will My No-Claims Bonus Be Affected if Someone Claims Against My Car Insurance?

In most cases, your no-claims bonus is not affected if someone claims against your insurance. It’s only affected if you make a claim yourself. That said, your premiums will still likely go up, so you may not see your bonus benefits.

How to Dispute an Insurance Claim Against You

There may be times when it may be necessary to dispute a claim. Here are a few examples:

  • You were in an accident, and you were both partially at fault. For instance, you may have swung out of a car parking space without looking, but the other driver may have been speeding and unable to stop in time.
  • You were in an accident, and you were not at fault at all — you believe that the third party was solely at fault. 
  • You weren’t even in an accident, and you believe that you are a victim of fraud.

Your insurer will usually contact you when a claim is made against you, asking you if the accident was your fault. If you disagree, you can start the dispute process there and then. Alternatively, you can contact them at a later stage to dispute the claim if new evidence arises.

The outcome of a dispute will vary depending on the evidence you are able to give. You may be able to prove that you were not at fault at all. In most cases, both your insurer and the third party’s insurer will split the compensation in order to settle a dispute — this could be 50/50 or 70/30, depending on how great the evidence is on each side.

Disputing an insurance claim can make a big difference when it comes to major accidents in which a claim is much more expensive. Insurers will likely be much more willing to help you dispute these claims as it could save them hundreds or even thousands of dollars in some cases. 

Note that some serious cases may require getting police involved if a crime is committed. You can also hire a lawyer if you feel that you need to defend yourself against criminal accusations or if an insurer is not being cooperative. 

Will Disputing a Claim Affect My Insurance Premiums?

You can expect an insurance premium increase if someone makes a claim against you. Disputing the claim may help reduce this insurance premium increase if you can prove that you weren’t solely at fault. Your insurance premiums may still go up, even if you prove you weren’t at fault; however, the increase won’t be as significant.

Providing the Right Evidence

Providing evidence that you weren’t solely at fault will help increase the success of your dispute. There are a few different forms of evidence that you can use to help argue your case. These include:

  • Photographs of vehicle damage
  • Photographs of the location and scene (if you have them)
  • Dashcam or CCTV footage
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Policyholder verbal statements
  • Police reports 

In Conclusion

We hope this guide has helped explain what happens when an insurance claim is made against you. Obviously, there may be unique circumstances; however, now you know what to expect when dealing with the most general insurance claims.

There are a few essential things that are worth remembering when a claim is made against you:

  • Your insurer should always contact you if a claim is made against you.
  • A third party must ask for your insurance details to make a claim on your insurance. These are usually exchanged at the scene, but if not, there are other ways to obtain them.
  • You can dispute the claim if you believe you are not solely at fault. In this case, you will need to be sure that you have enough evidence to prove you weren’t at fault.
  • Your insurance premiums will likely increase when a claim is made against you, whether you were at fault or not. An exception may be if it is an obvious fraud case.
  • Your insurer will pay the compensation — you don’t have to pay anything, including excess.


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