Uninsured motorists

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Here is another good one. A family member was involved in an auto accident. He was rear-ended while at a dead stop at a red light. No one was hurt but the member's car was effectively totalled. It just happened that a police car was present and the officer witnessed the accident. He also came right over and took the information for both drivers.

The insurance company is now telling me that the other motorist gave false information, that we dont' really know who she is, and that in order to collect on the uninsured motorist coverage that the family member has, we have to prove that she [the other motorist] doesn't have insurance.

:uhh:
 

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  • #2
turbo
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You have to "prove" that the person who gave false information was uninsured? If the information was collected by the police officer, presumably he demanded to see a driver's license, a vehicle registration, and proof of insurance (insurance cards a mandatory in Maine, anyway and must be presented on demand by a law officer). Sounds to me like your relative's insurance company is trying to make money the old fashioned way - collect premiums and refuse to pay claims.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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Yep. I asked about the officer and if he didn't ask for proof of insurance, which is required in California,. She [the agent] said that she didn't think he filed an official report.

I don't know what that means. She was reading from HIS report!
 
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  • #4
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maybe illegal alien insurance is an extra premium
 
  • #5
BobG
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What would the insurance company do if your family member was involved in a hit and run accident, where the other driver hit your car and fled the scene?

Seems to me that this is the same situation.
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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I have no idea!

For legal reasons I don't want to be too specific, but it is fair to say that this is considered to be one of the premium insurance companies.
 
  • #7
Astronuc
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Presumably the police officer has the license plate number and can trace the car to the owner, or did the driver of other car have fake license plates? I once loaned my car to a student in my department. He managed to park the car in a No Parking zone, and he got a ticket, but threw it away. He didn't tell me about it, and I only learned about it when I got a summons in the mail. I was perplexed because at the time, that was about the time my daughter was born, and wasn't anywhere near where the car was parked. It took me a while to figure out the student who borrowed the car and had parked it illegally. As the owner of the car, I was held responsible by the state.

I assume the police could find the car, even if the driver has false ID. The owner of the car should be held liable.

Edit by Ivan: ACK! I accidently edited your post. Hopefully I put it back the way it was.
 
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  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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Presumably the police officer has the license plate number and can trace the car to the owner, or did the driver of other car have fake license plates?
We have been waiting six weeks for a DMV on the plates. Of course, the insurance company is doing that.

I once loaned my car to a student in my department. He managed to park the car in a No Parking zone, and he got a ticket, but threw it away. He didn't tell me about it, and I only learned about it when I got a summons in the mail. I was perplexed because at the time, that was about the time my daughter was born, and wasn't anywhere near where the car was parked. It took me a while to figure out the student who borrowed the car and had parked it illegally. As the owner of the car, I was held responsible by the state.

I assume the police could find the car, even if the driver has false ID. The owner of the car should be held liable.
Right now I don't know what to think. If we don't get results soon I may go directly to the police.
 
  • #9
turbo
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Right now I don't know what to think. If we don't get results soon I may go directly to the police.
If you don't get results soon, go to the State Insurance Board, and to the Attorney General.
 
  • #10
dlgoff
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I had a similar situation. But when I told them my neck was really starting to hurt and would be going to see a doctor, things changed.
 
  • #11
Moonbear
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Right now I don't know what to think. If we don't get results soon I may go directly to the police.
That would probably be the best bet. There is probably a penalty for giving false information to the cops, and there must be something traceable in the report that the police could obtain more quickly than an insurance company dragging their feet on payment can find. It also sounds like it's time to get a lawyer. Don't sign ANYTHING with the insurance company until you have a lawyer review it. Letting the insurance company know that they should work through your attorney also tends to get things moving on their end faster.
 
  • #12
lisab
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Here is another good one. A family member was involved in an auto accident. He was rear-ended while at a dead stop at a red light. No one was hurt but the member's car was effectively totalled. It just happened that a police car was present and the officer witnessed the accident. He also came right over and took the information for both drivers.

The insurance company is now telling me that the other motorist gave false information, that we dont' really know who she is, and that in order to collect on the uninsured motorist coverage that the family member has, we have to prove that she [the other motorist] doesn't have insurance.

:uhh:
I think your family member bought the wrong insurance policy. What was needed here was an Unprovably Uninsured Motorist policy.
 
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  • #13
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The police here can run a plate in about 60 seconds. They will run the plate number anytime a vehicle is pulled over for any reason even a tail light out.

You should be able to get a copy of the police report, I know I can here by going down to the police station and giving the officers name and a time and date of the incident.

The owner of the other vehicle is responsible. There is a lot of info available on the Internet for a small charge. I was able to get the complete driving record of a guy who hit my wife's car.

In your case the officer should have verified the VIN number on the registration and then compared it to the VIN number to the one on the vehicle.

We may be ahead of the game here in Az because we have so many illegals swapping plates and using fake ID's.
 
  • #14
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This is California Right???


From an Orange County attorney's web site:


Many people who cause accidents do have insurance but are afraid of an increase in premium. Therefore they actually lie about having insurance or refuse to provide the information to you. You have a remedy. The Department of Motor Vehicles has a process of filings on accidents that cause more than $500 damage to a vehicle. Each party is obligated to file an SR1A, a document advising of the accident and the insurance status of each driver. If the other driver does not respond, their license is revoked. Therefore you should file an SR1A immediately or your attorney can help you with this.

If the DMV gets no response, the chances are that the other party has no insurance. To prove no insurance status, you can request verification from the DMV by filing an SR19. It usually takes 60 days to get the final response from the DMV but is presumed conclusive. If of course insurance is discovered in the meantime, you can process your claim.

If you have demonstrated that there is no insurance through an SR19, you may then consider a claim against your insurance company under your Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage pays you for damages that another owes you arising from an accident involving a motor vehicle. Clients can rest assured that making an uninsured motorist claim does not invoke a rise in premiums because the accident is not your fault or a chargeable event. Additionally, you can claim damages from your carrier up to the limits of coverage you purchased before the accident.
http://www.allenflatt.com/lawyer-attorney-1130139.html [Broken]

Your family member's insurace company should have filed the two forms below with the DMV

Form Sr 1

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr1.htm

SR 19

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/sr/sr19c.pdf [Broken]

DMV's are s-l-o-w The insurance companies don't mind waiting
 
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  • #15
Yep. I asked about the officer and if he didn't ask for proof of insurance, which is required in California,. She [the agent] said that she didn't think he filed an official report.

I don't know what that means. She was reading from HIS report!
I just called the police tonight for an accident that happened across the street from my work. I had to harass the dispatcher because she kept trying to tell me that they do not respond to non-injury accidents. I had to stay on her case and tell her that I had no idea if anyone was injured before she finally got exasperated and said she would send a car out.

Essentially, from what she said, it is considered an issue between the two partys unless it was something more serious than a simple accident (which it turns out from what one person said that one of them may have been drunk). From dealing with the police it seems they will not file an actual report unless they take some sort of action. For their records they will make an incident report which will only describe the reason for which they were responding (when where ect) but will not necessarily contain very detailed information. From what an officer has told me police reports are often useless and will be considered hearsay in court when it comes to a dispute between two parties. So they don't like to waste their time writing official reports that are useless.
 
  • #16
Ivan Seeking
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Thanks SA, and thank you Edward. That is very helpful. Normally I just post to highlight some inequity or to complain, but this is a real issue as the family member lives on an extremely limited budget. Today it became pretty clear that the insurance company is jerking us around.
 
  • #17
Definitely have him check to see if there is a report or not though. If the officer actually witnessed the accident he may have written one. He himself would then be a witness and his report wouldn't be hearsay. I don't know everything about it I just wanted to explain how they could have a report but not THE report.

Good Luck.
 
  • #18
Astronuc
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In your case the officer should have verified the VIN number on the registration and then compared it to the VIN number to the one on the vehicle.

We may be ahead of the game here in Az because we have so many illegals swapping plates and using fake ID's.
This is a key point I forgot to make - always get the VIN from the other car, just in case. If the VIN is missing (from the top of dashboard on driver's side), then something's up.
 
  • #19
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Ivan

While it's not my primary career, I'm a licensed insurance agent. SA and Edward made good points.

The Police need to be more accountable in this scenario. They should have checked the license plate, the VIN number, the drivers license and the insurance card.

Before you negotiate any further with your insurance company, consult a personal injury attorney to assess damages (make sure the consultation is free and the work is contingency only). Even if you decide not to proceed with the attorney...drop their name (along with AG and dept of ins) to the insurance company to speed things up.
 
  • #20
Ivan Seeking
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Thanks again. This is all rather ridiculous being that a cop was right there and took the info.
 
  • #21
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You can request your own information on the other driver using the second section of this link.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/faq/genfaq.htm#BM2547

You will need to supply a California State Code number in order for it to be processed.

An appropriate code number can probably be found here:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=veh&codebody=uninsured&hits=20

The above are California State Codes from the Vehicles CODE section and searched using the term uninsured.

They don't make it easy.
 
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