Travelers Workers Comp

Last January my wife was in a minor car accident. She and her father had just left his house and were on their way to St. Petersburg to visit her brother, who was in the hospital. While sitting at a red light, they were rear ended by a woman in a small truck.

Neither my wife or her father were hurt. Damage to her vehicle appeared relatively minor. The rear bumper had a severe indentation, and the headrests in her car "deployed" by opening up in a clamshell fashion; a safety feature apparently designed to prevent whiplash in just such an incident. It was a safety system we didn't even know we had.

The woman who hit them was flustered, and stated she would just pay cash for the damage as she did not want to involve her insurance company, Travelers Insurance. They exchanged basic information, and in an admittedly colossal error, left without filing a police report.

My wife and I discussed it that evening, and we decided the best course of action would be to handle it through our own insurance company, State Farm. They would take care of the damages and pursue recovery of both their expenses and our deductible from the responsible parties. We've always had excellent service from State Farm, and this wasn't our first subrogation rodeo. About 15 years ago I was hit by a driver who, despite providing proof of insurance to police, was actually uninsured. It took well over 6 months, but I received a full refund of my deductible and rental replacement through State Farm.

As expected, State Farm took care of repairs for the vehicle promptly. The bumper needed replacement, and the headrests had to be reset. Total costs were just over $1, 400. My wife has a very low deductible, just $100, so our out of pocket was minimal.

In April, a representative of Travelers left a message asking my wife to call. I had her first clear it with State Farm before calling them back. She gave her account of what happened, and the Travelers representative said something to the effect of "Oh, that is different from what we have".

That should have been a clue.

Yesterday my wife received a letter from Travelers, informing her that her claim was being denied, as their investigation determined she was "100% liable" for the damages because she improperly backed into their insured.

More:

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