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Subrogation is a concept that's understood among insurance and legal professionals but often not by the customers they represent. Even if it sounds complicated, it is in your self-interest to understand an overview of how it works. The more knowledgeable you are, the more likely an insurance lawsuit will work out favorably.
Every insurance policy you own is a commitment that, if something bad happens to you, the firm that insures the policy will make restitutions in a timely fashion. If you get injured while working, for example, your employer's workers compensation insurance pays out for medical services. Employment lawyers handle the details; you just get fixed up.
But since ascertaining who is financially accountable for services or repairs is regularly a time-consuming affair – and time spent waiting in some cases adds to the damage to the policyholder – insurance firms in many cases decide to pay up front and figure out the blame afterward. They then need a way to recover the costs if, when all is said and done, they weren't actually responsible for the payout.
You head to the Instacare with a sliced-open finger. You give the receptionist your medical insurance card and she takes down your policy details. You get taken care of and your insurance company gets an invoice for the expenses. But on the following day, when you arrive at your workplace – where the injury happened – your boss hands you workers compensation forms to turn in. Your company's workers comp policy is in fact responsible for the invoice, not your medical insurance company. The latter has a right to recover its money in some way.
How Subrogation Works
This is where subrogation comes in. It is the process that an insurance company uses to claim reimbursement after it has paid for something that should have been paid by some other entity. Some companies have in-house property damage lawyers and personal injury attorneys, or a department dedicated to subrogation; others contract with a law firm. Ordinarily, only you can sue for damages done to your person or property. But under subrogation law, your insurance company is given some of your rights for making good on the damages. It can go after the money that was originally due to you, because it has covered the amount already.
Why Should I Care?
For starters, if your insurance policy stipulated a deductible, your insurance company wasn't the only one who had to pay. In a $10,000 accident with a $1,000 deductible, you have a stake in the outcome as well – to the tune of $1,000. If your insurance company is unconcerned with pursuing subrogation even when it is entitled, it might opt to get back its losses by upping your premiums and call it a day. On the other hand, if it has a competent legal team and pursues those cases efficiently, it is acting both in its own interests and in yours. If all ten grand is recovered, you will get your full $1,000 deductible back. If it recovers half (for instance, in a case where you are found 50 percent accountable), you'll typically get half your deductible back, based on the laws in most states.
Furthermore, if the total expense of an accident is more than your maximum coverage amount, you could be in for a stiff bill. If your insurance company or its property damage lawyers, such as personal injury law firm Powder Springs GA, pursue subrogation and succeeds, it will recover your losses as well as its own.
All insurance companies are not created equal. When comparing, it's worth comparing the reputations of competing agencies to find out whether they pursue legitimate subrogation claims; if they resolve those claims without delay; if they keep their policyholders advised as the case goes on; and if they then process successfully won reimbursements right away so that you can get your deductible back and move on with your life. If, on the other hand, an insurance firm has a reputation of honoring claims that aren't its responsibility and then safeguarding its profitability by raising your premiums, you should keep looking.
Subrogation is an idea that's well-known in insurance and legal circles but rarely by the customers who employ them. Rather than leave it to the professionals, it would be in your self-interest to comprehend the steps of the process. The more information you have about it, the more likely an insurance lawsuit will work out favorably.
Any insurance policy you hold is an assurance that, if something bad happens to you, the insurer of the policy will make restitutions in one way or another in a timely fashion. If your vehicle is in a fender-bender, insurance adjusters (and the courts, when necessary) decide who was at fault and that party's insurance covers the damages.
But since figuring out who is financially accountable for services or repairs is often a heavily involved affair – and delay in some cases compounds the damage to the victim – insurance firms in many cases opt to pay up front and assign blame after the fact. They then need a way to regain the costs if, ultimately, they weren't actually responsible for the expense.
Can You Give an Example?
You are in an auto accident. Another car collided with yours. Police are called, you exchange insurance details, and you go on your way. You have comprehensive insurance that pays for the repairs right away. Later police tell the insurance companies that the other driver was entirely at fault and his insurance policy should have paid for the repair of your vehicle. How does your insurance company get its money back?
How Subrogation Works
This is where subrogation comes in. It is the process that an insurance company uses to claim reimbursement after it has paid for something that should have been paid by some other entity. Some companies have in-house property damage lawyers and personal injury attorneys, or a department dedicated to subrogation; others contract with a law firm. Usually, only you can sue for damages done to your person or property. But under subrogation law, your insurance company is given some of your rights for having taken care of the damages. It can go after the money originally due to you, because it has covered the amount already.
Why Should I Care?
For one thing, if your insurance policy stipulated a deductible, it wasn't just your insurance company that had to pay. In a $10,000 accident with a $1,000 deductible, you lost some money too – namely, $1,000. If your insurer is lax about bringing subrogation cases to court, it might opt to recover its losses by boosting your premiums. On the other hand, if it has a competent legal team and goes after them enthusiastically, it is acting both in its own interests and in yours. If all is recovered, you will get your full deductible back. If it recovers half (for instance, in a case where you are found 50 percent accountable), you'll typically get half your deductible back, based on the laws in most states.
Furthermore, if the total cost of an accident is more than your maximum coverage amount, you may have had to pay the difference. If your insurance company or its property damage lawyers, such as immigration law firm South Jordon UT, successfully press a subrogation case, it will recover your losses in addition to its own.
All insurers are not created equal. When shopping around, it's worth comparing the reputations of competing agencies to evaluate whether they pursue valid subrogation claims; if they do so in a reasonable amount of time; if they keep their customers apprised as the case goes on; and if they then process successfully won reimbursements right away so that you can get your money back and move on with your life. If, on the other hand, an insurer has a reputation of paying out claims that aren't its responsibility and then safeguarding its bottom line by raising your premiums, even attractive rates won't outweigh the eventual headache.
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