A Video Explaining the Insurer's Right of Subrogation
Cases with Subrogation Potential
There is subrogation potential to the insurer on nearly every loss the adjuster investigates, no matter how slim the chances of collecting from the other party. The adjuster must listen carefully to what the insured says when he or she tells the adjuster what happened. The adjuster should always ask questions with subrogation in mind. The adjuster should think about what the insured would do if the insured had no insurance. The adjuster should also remember that if the wrongdoer is insured, the chances of collection increase logarithmically even if liability is slim because of the doctrine of comparative negligence.
Some insurers, being highly practical business people, will settle almost any case for the perceived cost of defending it. The adjuster should always be thinking about who, or what, is responsible for the loss. If possible, the adjuster should identify the wrongdoer’s insurer since insurers are easier to negotiate with than individuals and corporations.
Although it is usually the obligation of an insurance adjuster to pay a claim, the adjuster must recognize that he or she is a profit center for the insurer who, by developing a subrogation case, can reduce or eliminate the net loss paid by collecting from others. Failure to consider the person responsible for a loss is a failure of a major duty of a claims person.