Comparative Negligence automobile insurance charges you so you pay out-of-pocket when you’re partly at fault in a traffic accident. Some states have Comparative Negligence Laws that allow automobile insurance companies to decide whether they should pay one hundred per cent of an accident claim or only a percentage of your cars repair cost. This is great for the insurance companies and their stockholders because the company can pay less for claims and more in stock dividends by withholding claim money.
The Comparative Negligence Scam
Imagine having an automobile accident where you make a u-turn and are driving down the road when a driver pulls out of a parking lot and slams into the side of your car. Fortunately none of the vehicle occupants get hurt and the other driver has insurance. You survey the damage, call the police, and exchange insurance information. A police officer comes out and does an accident investigation. The cop says the other driver was at fault. This is where you get your car repaired or replaced free of charge right? Hold on! Actually, this is where things go sideways.
Insurance Investigation vs Police Investigation
In a case like this one, Comparative Negligence automobile insurance allows the other drivers insurance company to do their own accident investigation. That will determine how much of the accident claim they will pay. Sometime they do this without ever coming to the scene of the accident. They can use police reports and phone interviews with the drivers to decide how much of a settlement they will offer. Comparative Negligence laws allow insurance companies to do this regardless of who police say was at fault.
Comparative Negligence Won’t Pay For Repairs
If this were to happen to you, an insurance company might only offer to pay for eighty percent of your cars repair or replacement cost. That leaves you responsible for twenty percent of the repair cost. This leaves you with at least three options. One, you can accept the insurance companies settlement. The second option is for you to file a claim with your insurance company. The third option is to pay for the repair out of pocket and off the books.
Comparative Negligence Makes It Your Fault
Accepting the insurance companies offer is where Comparative Negligence automobile insurance could cost you even though you weren’t at fault. If you had an accident and repairs to your car cost $5,000.00, you could be out $1,000.00 with an eighty percent offer from an insurance company and five hundred dollar deductible. You can see why you have to compare accepting the insurance companies offer against filing a claim with your own insurance and paying your deductible.
It may not seem fair but Comparative Negligence is a legal maneuver that automobile insurance companies use to avoid paying one hundred percent of repair or replacement cost. They can do this even if the accident isn’t your fault. A key to this is if there are extenuating circumstances like the u-turn in the example above. Auto insurance companies use circumstances like that u-turn to justify blame shifting. Automobile insurance companies use Comparative Negligence to pay less than your repair or replacement cost by saying the accident was partially your fault. That’s how Comparative Negligence automobile insurance rips you off.