If you have “full coverage” car insurance, where your company will cover your property damage whether you or someone else caused the crash, then this is certainly an option for you. There are pros and cons to doing this.
One of the plusses is that going through your own insurance might be a little quicker as your insurance has an obligation to take care of it customers. You potentially could save a few days or even weeks if you do this. They will be quicker to “accept liability,” even when it could be said that you may have contributed to the crash happening. And they won’t pay just a percentage, if this is the case. In terms of values for your totaled car, their offers might be a little fairer as they generally have an obligation to act in good faith and deal fairly with their customers. This might lead to less haggling when it comes time to negotiate.
On the negative, there is the pesky issue of the deductible, which will need to come out of a totaled vehicle claim. Again, if there is any issue of your contribution to the crash, you will probably need to grin and bear it when it comes to the deductible. In the end, though, if you are free of fault in causing the crash, you will be reimbursed for the amount of your deductible. Some insurance companies will even waive the deductible with the expectation that they will later collect it themselves from the at-fault carrier. Another potential downside is not timely getting a rental car or “loss of use” coverage. This can be a big issue if you are out a car and you need to get to your doctor’s appointments, get the kids to school or even get to work. The reality is that most people do not purchase rental car coverage. If this is you, not having prompt access to a rental car could be a real downer. Keep in mind, though, that if you paid for a rental car out-of-pocket, the at-fault insurance will still generally be responsible to pay for this. It just requires you to make and pursue the claim with the insurance company.