Subrogation is a term that's well-known among legal and insurance companies but rarely by the customers who employ them. Even if you've never heard the word before, it is in your benefit to know the nuances of how it works. The more information you have about it, the more likely relevant proceedings will work out in your favor.
Any insurance policy you hold is a commitment that, if something bad occurs, the insurer of the policy will make good in one way or another without unreasonable delay. If you get injured while you're on the clock, your employer's workers compensation insurance agrees to pay 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 sometimes a confusing affair – and time spent waiting in some cases adds to the damage to the policyholder – insurance firms usually opt to pay up front and assign blame later. They then need a path to regain the costs if, when there is time to look at all the facts, they weren't actually responsible for the payout.
Can You Give an Example?
Your electric outlet catches fire and causes $10,000 in house damages. Luckily, you have property insurance and it pays for the repairs. However, the assessor assigned to your case finds out that an electrician had installed some faulty wiring, and there is a reasonable possibility that a judge would find him to blame for the damages. The home has already been repaired in the name of expediency, but your insurance company is out $10,000. What does the company do next?
How Subrogation Works
This is where subrogation comes in. It is the way that an insurance company uses to claim reimbursement 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. Under ordinary circumstances, only you can sue for damages to your person or property. But under subrogation law, your insurance company is extended 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 Do I Need to Know This?
For a start, if your insurance policy stipulated a deductible, it wasn't just your insurance company who had to pay. In a $10,000 accident with a $1,000 deductible, you have a stake in the outcome as well – namely, $1,000. If your insurance company is unconcerned with pursuing subrogation even when it is entitled, it might opt to recoup its expenses by raising your premiums. On the other hand, if it has a capable legal team and goes after them aggressively, it is doing you a favor as well as itself. If all of the money 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 culpable), you'll typically get $500 back, based on the laws in most states.
Additionally, if the total expense 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 work injury lawyer whitewater wi, successfully press a subrogation case, it will recover your costs in addition to its own.
All insurance agencies are not created equal. When shopping around, it's worth contrasting the reputations of competing companies to determine whether they pursue legitimate subrogation claims; if they do so with some expediency; if they keep their customers updated as the case continues; and if they then process successfully won reimbursements immediately so that you can get your losses back and move on with your life. If, on the other hand, an insurance agency has a record of honoring claims that aren't its responsibility and then protecting its profit margin by raising your premiums, you should keep looking.work injury lawyer whitewater wi