Notifying Your UM Insurance About the Proposed Settlement
“Solomon’s Laws: 1. When the law doesn’t work…work the law.”
― Paul Levine, Solomon vs. Lord
In most cases, after you sign the Release with the party that caused your damages and get the check, your case is done. However, there are instances when you still have the ability to seek additional money. What I’m talking about is the scenario involving UM Insurance. UM Insurance stands for “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance.”
When you obtain car insurance, one of the benefits you are able to obtain along with typical liability and property damage benefits, is UM Insurance. If you take out UM Insurance (and I strongly, strongly suggest you do), you have the ability to always ensure you are protected. Let’s say you are in a car accident and your damages are worth much more than the insurance limits of the party that caused your accident. For instance, let’s say you have damages of $100,000.00 but the car that hit you only has insurance with a limit of $10,000.00. If you have a UM policy, you will then be able to go after your own policy for the difference (if your limits are that high). I believe that having UM Insurance is one of the single most important things you can do to protect yourself.
There are some protocols which must be followed though. Before you sign the Release with the at-fault party and accept the check from them, we must ask your UM Insurance Adjustor for permission to settle. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, the truth is that there is a very good reason for this. By asking your own insurance company for permission to settle, you are also asking them to waive their right of subrogation (the right to go after the at-fault party for reimbursement). After asking for permission to settle, your UM Insurance Adjustor then has 30 days (what’s considered a reasonable amount of time) to decide to allow you to settle or to cut the check themselves and send it to you in place of the at-fault party. If they do it this way, they then retain their right to go after the at-fault party for reimbursement of all the money they have and will have to pay out to you for your injuries.
It sounds confusing and in truth, it is. What’s most important is that if you have UM Insurance and you plan on seeking money from it, you ask your own insurance company for permission to settle before signing the release and cashing the check with the at-fault party. Got it? If you don’t follow this procedure, then your own insurance company can wiggle out of having to give you any money from your UM policy.
One other key point to remember – if you have UM Insurance and you plan on seeking money from it for your injuries, you must also send a Demand Package to your own insurance. This is very similar to the regular Demand Package you sent out, with just a few small, key differences.
Remember, the best thing you can do is to call the Ticktin Law Group at (954) 570-6757 as soon as possible. By speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer and going over all the facts of your particular claim, you will get a much better idea of what steps you should already be taking, what the best way is to proceed with your case and what compensation you may be entitled to.