Property Damage Claims - Go through your own insurance company

Posted Monday, January 07, 2013 by Ed Harper

Our office usually does not get into claims that are merely property damage. If there is a personal injury due to the fault of someone else, we usually can assist with getting a claim settled. Thus, first, for property damage claims, I recommend to my clients and friends to go through their own insurance company if you are having problems with responsiveness. Yes, you have to pay a deductible, but with liability not a question, you will get this back. The main reason is the requirement for insurance companies to treat their own insured’s in/with “Good Faith”. This is a term of art which refers to the insurance companies obligation to take care of their own insured’s, by looking at the insured’s interests first, not the insurance companies interest. In essence to abide by the terms of the insurance contract.

Secondly, once you have worked out a sensible arrangement with your own company, they will get their money back through the typical methods utilized by insurance companies – usually inter-company arbitration. Not your concern anymore if the at-fault insurance company delays, etc. Here in the State of Washington, if liability is evident, a property damage claim must be resolved within 30 days from the collision. This does put pressure on the insurance company to settle these claims quickly, and thus you’re out of the deductible for a limited amount of time.

Third, you can make additional property damage claims for your own out of pocket expenses to the opposing insurance company. This would include things that are not found in your insurance contact. You may need a rental car for work. You have to advance the funds to get the rental car, but the at-fault insurance company would be responsible to reimburse you for the reasonable value of what is called “loss of use” of your own personal property. This typically is the lowest amount you can rent a car for – about $20-$25 per day.

I hope this helps you and contact Harper Law PLLC if you have any other questions.

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Although our office does not handle all types of cases, we hope you will contact us regarding any legal issues you may encounter. We will answer your questions, or refer you to another quality and trustworthy attorney if we are unable to assist you.

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Harper Law PLLC
826 6th Street South, Suite 101, Kirkland, WA 98033-6740 US
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