Subrogation Process for the Insured
July 7, 2023
We all recognize the benefits of having a good insurance policy— whether it’s for your home, your health care, or your car. But many times, even though you may be familiar with the basics of your policy, you aren’t aware of what may be going on behind the scenes. Specifically, there’s a process known as subrogation that is important to understand. But what is subrogation? And how do subrogation and insurance claims affect how much compensation you may end up receiving?
Reach out to a subrogation attorney if you’re confused about a recent claim and need legal guidance. At The Law Office of Stephen Barker, our attorney has over three decades of legal experience helping clients in the Boca Raton area and the rest of Florida, including the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Miami, and West Palm Beach. Set up a consultation to learn more.
What Is Subrogation?
Most people are unfamiliar with the term “subrogation,” although it is a process they may benefit from. In a legal sense, subrogation occurs anytime one party steps in for another party and assumes their legal rights. Where the average citizen will see this most often is in the insurance sector. For example, your auto insurance carrier can use the process of subrogation to seek compensation on your behalf from the at-fault party when you file a claim on your policy.
For example, let’s say you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, and that this accident resulted in property damage to your vehicle as well as bodily injuries to you. You may choose to file a claim with your insurance provider and they’ll in turn pay your damages to whatever limits your plan was set at. This way, you get paid first and are able to cover your expenses related to the crash.
The insurer, however, will now want to recoup that money they paid out to you by seeking payment from a third party—namely, the other driver’s insurer or the driver themselves. Your insurer can pursue reimbursement for the damages they paid out to you as well as any deductible you had to pay first. They can then use this money to pay themselves back, then split any additional proceeds with you to reimburse you for your deductible.
Subrogation Process for the Insured
The insured subrogation process is largely a hands-off operation that you likely won’t directly participate in. That said, because you stand to benefit from it, it’s important to understand the basics of this process. Subrogation can not only reimburse you for your deductible, but also works to keep your rates lower because your provider is able to reimburse themselves when the accident isn’t the fault of the policyholder. Of course, every situation is unique, which is why reaching out for guidance from a subrogation lawyer can prove invaluable.
How Long Does Subrogation Take?
The length of time of subrogation recovery can vary widely from one case to the next and depends on how large and complicated the case is. In some cases, the entire subrogation process can be completed in under a month, but this is only typical for straightforward claims in which there is no disputing fault. For more complex claims in which the other insurer pushes back, it could take over a year for the process to be complete.
Benefits of Subrogation
There are two main benefits of subrogation, one affecting you and one affecting your insurer.
For your insurer, subrogation gives them more options for ensuring their expenses are kept down and that they can get reimbursed when they have to pay out on a policy for one of their members. The insurance industry is a big money business and companies need to do all they can to minimize their risk and make sure they’re meeting their bottom line.
From the policyholder’s perspective, subrogation helps ensure that extra costs aren’t passed down to them in the form of higher premiums. You also may be reimbursed for your deductible if your insurer is successful in recouping costs from the third party.
Role of an Attorney
Although the role of an attorney in the subrogation process will be mainly behind-the-scenes, they still perform an essential function. This can be particularly true with a health insurance claim, but also with auto insurance. In some cases, another carrier may be trying to come after you to provide reimbursement for a claim they paid out on. In other cases, you may have been the victim in a personal injury claim and are confused about your role in the subrogation process. An experienced lawyer can help you better understand your case so you know what your rights are and what to expect.
Get the Full Picture
If you have questions or concerns about the subrogation process and live in the Boca Raton, Florida area, contact our firm at The Law Office of Stephen Barker. Our attorney is proud to serve clients throughout all of South Florida—including Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach—and the rest of the state. Schedule a consultation today.