Can you ignore your insurance company when you cause an accident?

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My hubby’s sister, in her early 70’s was in an accident a few weeks ago. She was rear-ended by someone so it wasn’t her fault. She heard nothing from the lady’s insurance company until she called last week. The claims adjuster said this woman has a history of being hard to contact and that this was not the first claim against her. She is not returning the insurance company’s phone calls or responding to emails or snail mail. The worse part is that my SIL’s insurance had lapsed and at the time of the accident, she was not insured. So, her former insurance company blew her off when she called them. They will not go after the other company on her behalf. She had an attorney write this lady a letter and guarantee legal action if she did not contact her insurance company. My SIL said today that she still hasn’t heard anything from this woman’s insurance. She said no way can she afford the repairs on her car by herself . Legal fees would be as much as the repairs. Can someone just ignore their insurance company when they cause an accident? What recourse does my SIL have now?

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The lady carries Grange Insurance, coincidentally the same insurance my SIL says she had for almost 30 years. She says her attorney has still not gotten a receipt from USPS that the registered letter was received/signed for, so she said it sounds like this lady is ignoring attempts to notify her by registered mail. Like us, my SIL is “old school” and she says it is beyond her how this lady could totally ignore her responsibility for causing this accident—and apparently get away with it. She said her attorney gave the lady a deadline of today for response. She’s calling Grange tomorrow and not looking forward to dealing with the inept adjuster again.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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The other driver doesn't get to decide if she was at fault!
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Is this a major carrier or one of the small lesser known and less experienced ones? If you don't want to name it publicly, PM me. I dropped one b/c the adjustor was so rude, even if she was experienced. Some carriers are good; others not so good.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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I passed your advice on to SIl and she is very grateful. Luckily, she was not injured. She told me she is hoping that the woman has responded to the attorney’s letter. She said the claims adjuster seemed rather clueless and obviously didn’t have a copy of the police report or any other details of the incident and when she became rather irritated with him, he didn’t seem to have any plan of action and, in her words, “sputtered around” but promised to notify her as soon as this woman decided to acknowledge her responsibility.

Thankfully, she said she signed up for coverage as soon as she discovered her old policy had lapsed.

My SIL said it amazes her that not only is the woman who caused the accident being allowed to “drag her feet”, but her insurance company as well. I have to agree!
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Sister in law should send a copy of all her correspondence and a note that the insurance company is not responding her claim in a timely manner to the Insuance commsion, the attorney general ( for her state) and the customer service division of the insurance company involved

She might try to first contact the customer service line of the insurance company to say that her claim is not being adjudicated in a timely manner.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Ahmijoy, I think the other driver's insurance carrier might have the option of d/c/ing her policy if she doesn't cooperate by addressing the accident, and if a claim is made by your SIL. I suspect there are provisions in the insurance policy that an insured must cooperate with the carrier in the event of a claim.

The carrier would probably ask her to complete an accident report; the carrier will get a copy of the police report. If she fails to provide her own version, I think that's when coverage may be an issue.

Honestly, I've tried to read my own policies and find them better for sleepness nights than for insight. They're really somewhat verbose. So I'm basing my response on what I think would be logical for a carrier.

I think your SIL should (a) get a copy of the police report (b) make a copy and send it to the insurance carrier, with a letter asking what action they propose to take, especially if they are going to cover SIL's repairs) (c) get a few estimates for repairs (d) send the estimates to the other party's carrier, and (e) wait for the response, but (f) be prepared to follow up regularly if the carrier doesn't respond.

Lastly, I think she needs to get insurance ASAP. Some states have made illegal not to carry insurance. A neighbor (a jerk) was incarcerated for driving w/o insurance.

Was SIL injured?
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