What You Need to Know About Subrogation

Subrogation is a concept that's understood among legal and insurance professionals but sometimes not by the people who hire them. Even if it sounds complicated, it is in your self-interest to comprehend an overview of the process. The more knowledgeable you are, the more likely an insurance lawsuit will work out in your favor.

Every insurance policy you own is an assurance that, if something bad happens to you, the firm on the other end of the policy will make restitutions without unreasonable delay. If you get hurt while you're on the clock, your employer's workers compensation picks up the tab for medical services. Employment lawyers handle the details; you just get fixed up.

But since figuring out who is financially accountable for services or repairs is regularly a confusing affair – and delay often adds to the damage to the policyholder – insurance firms usually opt to pay up front and assign blame afterward. They then need a method to recoup the costs if, when all the facts are laid out, they weren't responsible for the expense.

For Example

You are in an auto accident. Another car collided with yours. The police show up to assess the situation, you exchange insurance details, and you go on your way. You have comprehensive insurance and file a repair claim. Later police tell the insurance companies that the other driver was entirely at fault and his insurance should have paid for the repair of your auto. How does your company get its funds back?

How Does Subrogation Work?

This is where subrogation comes in. It is the method that an insurance company uses to claim reimbursement after it has paid for something that should have been paid by some other entity. Some insurance firms 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 self or property. But under subrogation law, your insurer is extended 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 one thing, if your insurance policy stipulated a deductible, your insurer 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 insurer is unconcerned with pursuing subrogation even when it is entitled, it might opt to get back its losses by ballooning your premiums. On the other hand, if it knows which cases it is owed and pursues them efficiently, it is acting both in its own interests and in yours. If all ten grand is recovered, you will get your full thousand-dollar deductible back. If it recovers half (for instance, in a case where you are found 50 percent at fault), you'll typically get $500 back, based on the laws in most states.

Moreover, if the total price of an accident is over your maximum coverage amount, you may have had to pay the difference, which can be extremely costly. If your insurance company or its property damage lawyers, such as workers compensation Canton, ga, successfully press a subrogation case, it will recover your losses as well as its own.

All insurance agencies are not the same. When shopping around, it's worth examining the reputations of competing agencies to determine if they pursue winnable subrogation claims; if they resolve those claims with some expediency; if they keep their customers posted as the case continues; and if they then process successfully won reimbursements quickly so that you can get your money back and move on with your life. If, on the other hand, an insurance firm has a record of paying out claims that aren't its responsibility and then protecting its bottom line by raising your premiums, you should keep looking.