What can you do if auto insurance regulations stall?
Getting into a car accident can be a major headache, even if no one is injured. But what can you do if weeks turn into months and you’re still waiting for an insurance settlement? (Tuesday Mulia)
Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes
SOUTH JORDAN – Getting into a car crash in Utah can be a big headache, even if no one is injured. You could be out of a car for weeks for repairs, or it could be totaled.
And when you’re not responsible for damage to your car, sometimes it can be a big deal to work with the other driver’s insurance company.
But what can you do if weeks turn into months and you’re still waiting for a settlement?
Mardi Mulia is a physiotherapist at home. He needs his car to reach his clients on the other side of the Wasatch front.
“I walked 400-500 miles a week,” Mulia said of the distances he travels for his job.
He was at a customer’s house in Morgan when a large flatbed pickup slammed into his parked Honda.
“My car was pushed all the way down because it was kind of on a little hill, so it was pushed all the way down and became a total wreck,” Mulia said.
Mulia said it took three weeks for the van driver’s insurance company, Allstate, to admit their guy was at fault. But after nearly two months and many unreturned calls and emails later, he said he’s still waiting for a check and a rental car.
“They (Allstate) told me I could rent a car, but I would have to pay out of pocket,” Mulia said. “I said, ‘Is this going to be refunded because the cops, everyone at the scene said,’ Hey, that should be covered. ‘And they said,’ No, that’s not guaranteed ‘, and they never gave a guarantee. “
Frustrated by the weeks of getting the Allstate runaround, Mulia contacted KSL investigators.
We went to see Jon Pike, the commissioner of the Utah Department of Insurance.
“An investigation needs to be launched by the insurance company,” Pike explained. “They have to interview witnesses. They have to sort through the police reports. They have to look at any video or photographic evidence that there might be, and sometimes there are contradictions. So there is a lot to do. be sifted through. “
Pike said that under Utah law, a person affected by an accident is entitled to a response as to whether their claim will be accepted or denied within 30 days. And once liability is determined, the offending driver’s insurer has 30 days to pay a claim.
“This insurer must pay all undisputed amounts once liability has been determined in a specific case,” Pike said. “And so, that means once the investigation is over and responsibility is determined.”
Even though the value of the car is still in dispute, the insurer must pay at least what they think the car is worth.
“The insurance company should pay at least that amount within 30 days of determining liability has been agreed,” Pike said.
With respect to the rental car, Utah insurance rules require that the “responsible drivers insurance company pay,” for “rental charges reasonably incurred,” “from the date of the rental. ‘accident until a reasonable settlement offer is made’, if they accept liability for a car totaled.
When KSL investigators reached out to Allstate to ask about all of this in the Mardi Mulia case, a spokesperson sent us this: “We have done a thorough review and are working with the customer to resolve this claim. we protect customers and their privacy, we don’t share information about specific claims. ”
A little over a week after our contact, Mulia received two checks: one for just over $ 7,000 for her broken car and one for just over $ 2,500 for the rental car reimbursement.
Tuesday believes the offer is unfair, given high rental prices due to the nationwide car shortage during the pandemic.
“Isn’t their ad ‘You’re in good hands’ or something like that?” ” he said.
So what if an insurer seems to be dragging its feet? File a complaint with the Utah Department of Insurance.
Pike said that while they can’t force an insurer to make the payment if they don’t accept responsibility, their investigation can get answers faster while making sure everything is level.