If you have not been sued by an insurance company, you likely are unaware of insurance companies’ right of subrogation. The right of subrogation, granted to insurance companies by the Florida Legislature, creates the possibility of exceedingly long term liability for those of us with uninsured or underinsured vehicles that our businesses rely on.
When a driver’s policy has uninsured motorist coverage, that driver’s insurance company will pay out claims not covered by the at-fault driver’s policy limits. However, this provides insurance companies with the right of subrogation against the at-fault driver. Following a few basic rules, insurance companies have the right to “stand in the shoes” of their policy holders, and sue the at-fault party on their behalf.
The Legislature affords insurance companies with some “upgraded shoes”, though. Whereas an individual must bring suit, or waive his right to sue, within four years of an accident involving personal injury, an insurance company’s time limit does not initiate until the final resolution of the uninsured motorist claim. (Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company v. Tepper, 2 So.3d 209 (Fla. 2009) Consequently, it could take years to resolve a personal injury claim.
In short, having your or your business’ vehicles underinsured could lead to extremely long term liabilities, which can be a nightmare, considering such circumstances can be avoided by ensuring your businesses’ assets are adequately covered.
Written by Vladimir DuBovis