Responsibility for covered damages

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Responsibility for covered damages

Insurance company calls and informs me that due to
some misinformation that was given to them by the
driver at fault we decided to cancel his policy so I
would be responsible for the damages. I ask the man
from the claims department since the at fault driver
has been insured since July how is it now after you
guys have to payout his insurance is magically
fraudulent? No straight answer after that. What
should my next step be?

Asked on September 19, 2019 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the at-fault driver for any damage, costs, injuries, etc. you incurred. But you can't take action against his insurer. His insurer is his insurer, not yours--it has no duty or obligation to you, including to pay your claim. It's duty is to its insured, to defend him in court and/or pay or or settle claims for him so as to protect him from liability. He could try to take action against his insurer (e.g. file a complaint with the state dept. of insurance; sue them for breach of contract) if he feels that their cancellation was improper and they should defend him or settle for him--but you can't, because they are not your insurer and you were not their customer. All you can do is sue the at-fault driver; if you can prove in court that he was at fault, you can get a court judgment requiring him to pay. Of course and unfortunately, that will not help you if he has no money, since a successful lawsuit does not make money appear where there is none.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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