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Auto Accidents Newsletters

Assigned Risk Coverage

State assigned risk plans basically operate by creating a pool made up of those drivers who would otherwise not be able to obtain necessary insurance coverage and apportioning the responsibility for providing coverage on the members of that pool among the insurers who write motor vehicle policies in the state. As a consequence of the unique and higher-risk nature of the assigned risk business, state laws covering assigned risk plans often contain detailed provisions concerning application for, participation in, and termination of assigned risk coverage.

Cancellation of Auto Insurance for Acquisition of New Policy

If an insured acquires a new policy covering an already insured vehicle, the original insurer will have an incentive to cancel its own policy to limit its exposure and avoid having to pay a “windfall” recovery in the event that an occurrence calling for payment under the policy should take place.

Limit of Liability Clauses in Auto Insurance

Limit of liability clauses, otherwise called limits of liability clauses, generally provide that an insurer’s total liability to a particular claimant arising out of a specific occurrence will be limited to an amount set forth in the policy, despite the specified limits of any other coverage or coverage on any other vehicle.

Obligation to Cooperate in Motor Vehicle Insurance

Most automobile insurance policies have a clause that requires an insured to cooperate with the insurance company. The cooperation clause, also known as the cooperation and assistance provision, requires an insured to act in a manner that does not obstruct an insurance company’s handling of a claim against an insurance policy. Further, the cooperation clause seeks to stop insureds and claimants from acting together against insurance companies. To breach the cooperation clause, an insured’s obstructive conduct must be willful and must prejudice the insurance company.

Subrogation in Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Cases

When an insurer pays a benefit under a policy provision for underinsured motorist coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, it is in effect paying a debt owed by the underinsured or uninsured driver, the person who is actually liable for the damages arising as a result of the event that led to the insurer having to make the payment. An insurer who makes such payments has a right, the right of subrogation, by which it is permitted to take legal action against the underinsured or uninsured motorist in an attempt to recover as much as possible of the amount the insurer has paid out. The insurer’s subrogation right will only have value, as a practical matter, to the extent that the underinsured or uninsured driver has assets that can be seized by legal process to satisfy the judgment that the insurer obtains against the underinsured or uninsured driver in its subrogation action.