Auto Insurance Claims: rear ended, changing lanes, insurance company

Hello Richard,
As we were driving yesterday the cars in front of us slowed and then came to a stop We saw this going on and my husband hit our brakes. We were just about completely stopped when we were hit from behind. My bumper was damaged and my car is pulling to the right. The driver that hit us apologized and said that he was changing lanes and looking behind him to make sure it was clear.
This accident was clearly his fault and acknowledged that.
My question is, will our rates go up even though it was not our fault. Do we have to file a claim with our Insurance company or do we go straight to his. The person who hit us is also asking us to see how much it would cost to repair and then see if he can pay us directly. He does not want to report this to his insurance.

Hi Trisha,

All of this is perfectly fine. You should get a couple of estimates. However remember an estimate is just that, an estimate. You should use the estimate only to let the guy know approximately how much it will cost to see if he is able to pay. You should warn him that there may be more cost once repairs are actually started and he will also owe you for a rental car during the repairs.  If he seems even a little bit unsure of his ability to pay, you should immediately file the claim with his insurance company.

This will have no affect on your policy or premiums.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh