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My parked car was involved in a hit and run accident outside of my house. Luckily, one of my neighbors saw the incident happen and the other driver ended up getting caught and cited by the police for it.

The driver is a minor, so his father is handling the ordeal. He is very insistent that we not go through insurance, so he would like to pay me directly for the damage to my vehicle.

My question is: what is his likely motivation for wanting to go that route? Is his motive purely financial (i.e., not have his insurance rates raised) or is there some legal benefit to him paying for my damage out of pocket?

I live in the state of North Carolina.

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    Most insurance companies will immediately cancel your car insurance if you are guilty of a hit and run, because it is a criminal offense. So a bit more severe than just higher rates (I suppose they'd be much higher when he tried to get different insurance). Not aware of any legal reasons though. – animuson Jul 8 '15 at 2:30
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    @animuson: Aren't auto insurers informed of such convictions of insureds anyway? (I haven't ever been convicted of a moving violation, but my understanding is that they even get copies of those summary offenses.) And wouldn't any such criminal prosecution be independent of how/whether the damages are paid? – feetwet Jul 8 '15 at 4:01
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    Ah, but it would be the son that has the conviction, not the insured. Also, the insurance may not cover the son - he may not be nominated or the policy may exclude people of his age. Also, also; if you get the money, why do you care what his motivation is? – Dale M Jul 8 '15 at 4:11
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The most likely reason the other driver doesn't want to go through insurance is to avoid a raise in his premiums. However, there could be more serious consequences, up to and including having his insurance cancelled, for example, if the son was not supposed to be driving the car, or based on the criminal nature of the offense.

However, there can be serious consequences to not dealing with insurance. Some (if not all) insurance policies require him to report the accident; by failing to do so, he may risk losing his insurance.

More importantly to you, if he does not report a claim to his insurance, his insurance will not pay it. This is important to you, because insurance companies, as a general rule, pay claims. Random people don't always; they ignore you, they move out of state, they go bankrupt. If this is a serious amount of money, you need to talk to a lawyer before you enter into a contract with this person, to make sure that it's enforceable, and that if you don't get paid, you have some recourse.

  • I've more or less come to the conclusion, which your answer seems to affirm, that there is certainly no benefit for me to not go through the other person's insurance to settle this matter. And from everything I've gathered so far, your answer seems to agree with what his likely motivations would be. Thank you. – Jon Worek Jul 19 '15 at 14:43

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