January 4, 2010

What Is A Payment Recovery Adjuster

When obtaining an auto insurance quote, most people are focused on how much the initial cost will be, the amount of the monthly premiums and what exactly the policy will cover in the event of an accident. It is naturally taken for granted that if the car insured is involved in an accident where the other party is at fault, the insurance company will diligently pursue them on the client’s behalf. But how exactly does this process work?

Every insurance company has a portion of its staff dedicated to the process of payment recovery, or, in technical terms subrogation.’ After an accident claim is reported and fault is determined, an insurance company will pay out to have their client’s vehicle repaired, and will then begin the payment recovery process with the other party’s insurance company. They do so by employing a ‘payment recovery adjustor.’ It is this person’s job to recover the funds that the insurance company has paid out to repair the car, and in some cases the client’s deductible as well, from the at-fault person’s insurance company.

The payment recovery adjustor will typically begin by speaking to the at-fault party’s insurance company, or directly to the other party themselves. Insurance websites and agents are very clear that payment recovery is not always a guarantee, especially if the other party disputes the accident or does not have insurance. In any event, the payment recovery adjustor will typically keep the client informed of the subrogation progress, as well as its intended resolution time. This time varies wildly, depending on how cooperative all parties wish to be, and it can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months. As mentioned, some companies will try to recover their client’s auto insurance deductible, but their first priority will always be to recover their own costs. In different states, the amount of recovery and what exactly can be recovered varies greatly. A states’ car insurance regulatory body will set out the guidelines for what can be recovered.

The adjustor will typically work until all options have been exhausted to recover payment, and in some cases will also work to have the at-fault party’s driver’s license suspended if they were driving without insurance. Adjustors will ask clients to deal with them only on insurance matters, and not to speak to the other party or their insurance company. They’re also instructed not to admit fault or take any sort of cash payout, as it could affect the claim’s progress.

Knowing the process of subrogation and the role a payment recovery adjustor plays in a claim can be beneficial when you find yourself in the middle of accident claim.