February 9, 2011

How Your Auto Insurance Company Deals With A Liability Claim

Auto insurance companies have certain well-defined procedures for dealing with different kinds of claims. Your auto insurance company has its own specific rules for handling claims, but certain generalizations can be made. Generally, auto claims are one of two types: comprehensive and liability. As a rule, comprehensive claims result from losses due to theft, vandalism, inclement weather, animal strike, etc. An auto insurance liability claim usually arises from a vehicle collision.

Of those that are determined to be auto insurance liability claims, there are two types: clear liability and unclear liability. Clear liability claims are regarded as having facts which are not in dispute. In other words, liability can easily and entirely be assigned to one at fault party. An example of a clear liability claim would be if you rear-ended a stopped vehicle on the highway. Another might be if someone hit your legally parked car.

An auto insurance liability claim with unclear liability is one which would require investigation. In the event that your auto insurance company feels it is necessary to investigate an auto accident, then a claims adjuster will be assigned to handle your claim. It then falls on the claims adjuster to conduct a complete and thorough investigation into how and why the accident occurred. Each state has laws governing how auto insurance companies handle liability investigations.

While conducting a liability investigation, the claims adjuster will review all of the information about the accident which is available. Evidence gathered may include the following: the statements of all drivers, the statements of witnesses, police reports, video footage, the accident scene, the vehicle damages and the traffic laws of your state. At the end of his investigation, your claims adjuster would then complete an analysis of all available evidence and reach a liability conclusion. The result of the liability investigation would assign either full or a percentage of blame to one or more drivers.

Only after an auto insurance company has concluded a liability investigation will it be able to address the damages of the other party. If you were determined to be the responsible fault party, then your car insurance company would then pursue settling the auto insurance liability claim with the other party on your behalf. If it were determined that the accident was not your fault, then the other party and their insurance company would be sent a denial of claim letter.

Armed with the above information, you are better prepared to deal with an auto insurance liability claim should one occur as the result of a car accident. Above all else, cooperate with your auto insurance company, because they will be acting on your behalf and in your best interests.