Non-responding uninsured driver

jmerrettMay 28, 2008

We were recently in an auto accident. The police were on the scene and verified that the other driver was at fault. There was about $3000 damage to our car. The other driver told the police he had insurance but did not have his proof with him. They decided not to ticket him for not providing proof but that is another matter. He listed a home address (not sure if it is valid), and a work phone number. When our insurance company tried to contact him at work, they were told that employees were not allowed personal calls at work. He has refused to pick up notices sent by mail. Our insurance company now informs us that if he will not provide information about his insurance company or sign a document stating that he does not have insurance, then they will not pay the claim - even though we have under/uninsured coverage. They say that they have to have proof that he doesn't have insurance for that coverage to be effective and that this is standard policy for all insurance companies.

My questions/concerns:

What are my options? Is there anything criminal about crashing into someone's car and then just refusing insurance information? If he told the police he had insurance and does not, can he be charged with giving a false statement to the police? Can his license be suspended? What is the process to pursue this in court and what can I expect from the courts? How do you hire a process server? Can I have him served at work? If the courts find in our favor, can I have his wages garnished?

It's really frustrating. The police told us that they estimate that up to 40% of all drivers in Texas have no insurance coverage. There should really be some bite in the legal system and some retribution to the victims of uninsured drivers.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. God Bless!

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You have a police report, follow up with the police and get them to get the information for you. It's THEIR job!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 5:49PM
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I agree with john g for openers. They were sloppy in the first place. If he fails to respond or gave false information, ask about filing a complaint against him...should he ever be found again. In my mind, it's the same as a hit and run. The penalty to him is not your job or your concern though.

As to your insurance company, your agent is being a butt imo. They can go to bat for you or tell you to go pound sand. Guess which way they went with you their valued client in this matter? If it were my insurance company and they failed to pay up, I'd tell them to go to .... and pick another company, and tell them you're telling everyone you know they're a bunch of crooks. You can get bad service anywhere.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 7:36PM
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My adult SS had no insurance and caused an accident, but also did not get ticketed. The victim's insurance company paid the claim, and is now suing SS! We are actually glad, because we told him, told him, told him! He now has insurance, and is paying through the nose, but he always has to learn the hard way!
Shame on your insurance company, I say fight that nonsense!
I am in Michigan, so I don't know TX laws. There must be something in your policy that deals with this "proof" garbage!
I am sorry, this really sucks.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 12:59PM
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I guess after reading this problem our " communist, dictator, insurance we have up here sounds pretty good.
Let me explain. Government no fault insurance. You cannot
drive a car, get a drivers licence, plates, or registration
without insurance up here. If you never register a car or own one but have a drivers licence you are insured to drive anyones car with full coverage. If you have no drivers licence and steal a car the owner of the car is covered and the thief is covered for bodily injury and can
sue against your claim and win out of your insurance. And
those pr&^ks do that. nice system ah. you have one accident that is your fault and your drivers licence goes
up $200.00. Here is the good part. The insurance co. charges you, the D.M.V. charges you, the police charge you,
and the courts charge you. One at fault accident could cost you thousands.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 10:35PM
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**The victim's insurance company paid the claim, and is now suing**

That's the way it worked when my daughter was hit by an uninsured driver. The only signature required by the insurance company was one from us releasing our interest in the case so they could sue the other driver...who also gave false information. So the posters insurance company expects a driver without insurance to volunteer to stick his head in the noose for them before honoring a claim huh? That's going to happen.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:24AM
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Don't know about up north but here in Texas if you get a no-insurance ticket in the Dallas County, You will get a $500 fine plus a $600 "surcharge"(can be paid out in monthly installments). I know firsthand. Never going to make that mistake again.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:51AM
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I'm not in TX but I can give offer some basic "car insurance 101" lessons.

1--Make sure you are dealing with the actual insurance company's claims department rather than someone at the agency which sold you the insurance. 99 times out of 100, the claims adjuster at the insurance company knows more about the claims process than someone working for the sales agent.

2--If you have collision coverage on your vehicle, the insurance company pays for your damage minus your deductible. You pay the deductible. Your insurance company is responsible for pursuing reimbursement (this process is called subrogation) from the responsible party and/or their insurance carrier. Your collision coverage is NOT the same as your UM/UIM coverage; collision pays regardless of fault.

3--Underinsured/uninsured motorist laws vary GREATLY by state. Some states only offer this coverage for bodily injury to a person; others extend it to cover vehicle damage. Again, be certain you are speaking with a claims adjuster for your insurance company. Still unsure? You can look on-line for TX law firms which have a Q&A section on UM/UIM coverage on their website or call the TX insurance commissioner's office and ask them what you are required to do in order for your insurance company to honor the UM claim.

Believe it or not, insurance companies are, by & large, not looking to shaft their insureds. Rather, they pay claims based on the coverage provided by the policy you purchased and the laws on the state in which you live. The claims department is well aware of the consequences of violating the policy or the state law and plaintiff lawyers and the insurance commissioner's office will be happy to point out,a nd follow up on, any malfeasance.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 1:05PM
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It's easy in Minot, ND. No proof of insurance, arrested on the spot, go directly to jail....Ticket???? No such animal.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 6:50PM
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