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Auto Insurance Claims/Subrogation challenge - other driver's carrier refusing to pay

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Question
My car was hit by a NYC limo. The other driver was clearly at fault and admitted as much to the cops that arrived on the scene. The police report clearly shows that the other driver was at fault.

I reported this to my my insurance company and had my car repaired. My insurance carrier paid for the repair. Now they are attempting to recover their costs and my deductible from the other insurance carrier, but the other carrier is pretty much refusing to pay. The accident took place in July. The case has been in subrogation since August. My insurance agent tells me that the other carrier is known to not pay subrogation claims.

In the mean time, since this was the second claim on my policy this year (the other claim was for a no-fault claim - parking lot dent while my car was parked), my insurance carrier has raised my rates. So I've been hit with a double whammy - I paid the deductible and my insurance has gone up.

What are my options? Are there no laws that require insurance companies to pay for subrogation claims when their insured party is clearly at fault and so noted on a police report? Again, the accident took place in New York City.

Answer
Casey,

  Subrogation is a specialty of mine, and I dare say that there are few in the US more versed in this area of insurance (especially auto).  Your question is hard to answer in a short space, but I'll try and get to the point.

1.  Nobody lawfully owes you any money for an alleged tort (auto accident) until a court of law says they do.

2.  Taxi companies are notorious for refusing to pay.  This is normally because they are not trained claims handlers and they are self insured, so basically, they only owe you if you get a judgment against them.

3.  You cannot control the insurance company's subrogation department.  When you made the claim, you "claimed" your coverage and exchanged your rights to sue for payment of your damages.  The insurance company now owns your right to sue for what it paid, and is required to take action to recover or notify you that it is not pursuing subrogation within 60 days of paying your claim.

4.  Small to midsize insurance companies generally utilize great and aggressive subrogation vendors.  Vendors like me sue for recovery frequently and we help the carriers to put a big emphasis on subrogation during the claims training and handling process.  Bigger carriers usually aren't as focused on subro and don't have highly trained or aggressive specialists.  The bigger the company, the faster they think they need to settle claims and the more likely they are to only spend time trying to recover the easy stuff.  The taxi companies knows that if it just refuses to pay, the claim becomes a hard claim, so it is normally a good bet to just refuse payment because according to my experience over 85% of the time, nobody sues.  

Conclusion:

Sadly, unless your insurance company has a stellar and aggressive subrogation specialist or vendor (like Petty Details) who will quickly litigate the matter, then the taxi company will likely get away with damaging you, forcing you to use your own insurance to cover it, and then refusing to be financially responsible.

Cases like yours are why I started a subrogation and specialty claims service company.  I focus on proving that paying attention to details and doing the right thing is the key to success, (instead of focusing on how hard the claim is, or how much it is worth).  Every day (even on Saturday) we prove that focusing on principle over economics will increase your success and quality in life.

Regards,
Justin  

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Justin Petty

Expertise

Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.

Experience

Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

Organizations
NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) AllExperts.com (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

Publications
10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

Education/Credentials
School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author (EzineArticles.com) All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

Past/Present Clients
State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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