Subrogation and How It Affects Policyholders <br/> <br/>

Subrogation is a term that's understood in insurance and legal circles but sometimes not by the policyholders who employ them. Even if it sounds complicated, it would be in your self-interest to know the nuances of how it works. The more you know about it, the more likely it is that relevant proceedings will work out favorably.

Every insurance policy you hold is an assurance that, if something bad happens to you, the business that insures the policy will make good in one way or another in a timely fashion. If your vehicle is rear-ended, insurance adjusters (and the judicial system, when necessary) determine who was at fault and that person's insurance covers the damages.

But since figuring out who is financially responsible for services or repairs is typically a confusing affair – and delay sometimes adds to the damage to the policyholder – insurance companies in many cases opt to pay up front and figure out the blame afterward. They then need a method to recoup the costs if, when there is time to look at all the facts, they weren't actually in charge of the expense.

For Example

You go to the hospital with a gouged finger. You give the receptionist your medical insurance card and she writes down your coverage details. You get taken care of and your insurer gets a bill for the medical care. But the next morning, when you clock in at work – where the accident happened – your boss hands you workers compensation paperwork to turn in. Your workers comp policy is in fact responsible for the expenses, not your medical insurance. It has a vested interest in getting that money back somehow.

How Does Subrogation Work?

This is where subrogation comes in. It is the process that an insurance company uses to claim payment when it pays out a claim that turned out not to be its responsibility. 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 to your self or property. But under subrogation law, your insurer is considered to have some of your rights in exchange 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.

How Does This Affect Me?

For starters, if your insurance policy stipulated a deductible, your insurer wasn't the only one that 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 choose to recover its costs by upping your premiums. On the other hand, if it knows which cases it is owed and goes after them efficiently, it is doing you a favor as well as itself. If all is recovered, you will get your full thousand-dollar deductible back. If it recovers half (for instance, in a case where you are found one-half at fault), you'll typically get half your deductible back, based on the laws in most states.

Additionally, if the total cost of an accident is over your maximum coverage amount, you may have had to pay the difference, which can be extremely expensive. If your insurance company or its property damage lawyers, such as Law office near bonney lake washington, successfully press a subrogation case, it will recover your expenses as well as its own.

All insurers are not the same. When shopping around, it's worth scrutinizing the records of competing agencies to evaluate if they pursue valid subrogation claims; if they resolve those claims fast; if they keep their customers posted as the case proceeds; 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, instead, an insurer has a reputation of paying out claims that aren't its responsibility and then protecting its profitability by raising your premiums, even attractive rates won't outweigh the eventual headache.

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