Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Why haven’t I got my deductible back from my car accident?

This seems to be the most common question I have received in the last two weeks. When two or more vehicles are involved in any accident there is a list of priorities that most insurance companies are concerned about. First, was anyone injured? I can replace or repair any car. Injuries, on the other hand, are my major concern. Once we are sure the people involved have received proper medical care, then we concern ourselves with repairing the vehicle.

If the vehicle has collision coverage, we advise our insured to file a claim under their policy. We do this to insure the vehicle is repaired or replaced as quickly as possible. We explain that they will need to pay their deductible to the repair shop when their vehicle is repaired. At this point, we often hear, “But it wasn’t my fault – why do I have to pay my deductible?” We again explain that the purpose of setting up the claim under their policy is to speed the process. If anywhere in the process the other insurance company steps forward and accepts responsibility we can stop our claim and let the other insurance company handle it. If the vehicle does not have collision coverage, then we have no choice but to advise our clients that they must contact the other insurance companies for their damages. Understand insurance companies cannot contact the other company unless we spend money on our insured’s behalf.

At the same time we are repairing your vehicle, we are determining who was responsible for the accident. If we determine you were responsible, then we not only repair your vehicle – if you have collision coverage – but we reach out to the other people in the accident to repair their vehicles. In this situation you will not get your deductible back.

If we determine you were not at fault, then we begin the process of subrogation. Subrogation is the process of contacting the other company and requesting they pay for all the damages their insured caused and we, your insurance company, paid. This is the beginning of getting your deductible back.

Subrogation can result in a direct denial from the other company, an offer of partial settlement or a complete settlement. When direct denial occurs we can proceed to litigate. Offers for partial settlement can be accepted or we can proceed to litigate. Complete settlement gets your deductible and our payments back.

Even when liability is clear, the process of getting your deductible back does not happen overnight. We must first settle your claim, which means all repairs must be finished and paid for. Then we must notify the other company of our intent to subrogate. The other company then must be allowed time to investigate the claim and respond. If we are denied and we decide to take them to court, this process can also take time. To speed this process along, insurance companies can agree to participate in inter-company arbitration. Insurance companies that participate in inter-company arbitration agree not to go to court but abide by the decision of a panel of license insurance adjuster as to who is liable. Not all insurance companies participate in inter-company arbitration.

In March, my insured’s car was backed into while parked. The lady who backed into my insured said she had insurance. The police were called and when they arrived, the lady could not provide a valid insurance card. Within the five days allowed to provide a card, one was produced to the police department. We advised our insured to file a claim, pay their deductible and we will subrogate. Eight months later the other insurance company denied the claim. It seems the lady went and bought insurance after the accident. The police, seeing a valid insurance card for the date of the accident, never thought much about it. What seemed simple turned out not to be. My insured may be out their deductible but their car was repaired in a timely manner. And while we will proceed directly after the lady, as my father would say, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.