I have filed a third-party claim worth about US$3,000 with the at-fault driver's car insurance in California.
The other driver has been unresponsive to the adjuster. If this continues for another month or so, the other insurance can deny the claim without further justification. The claim would then be treated as an uninsured motorist claim filed to my own insurance, or I can sue in small-claims court.
This got me thinking: what incentive does an at-fault driver have to respond to claims? It seems like nothing prevents them from continuing their noncooperation.
From their insurer's perspective:
- No reason to raise premiums because there hasn't been a payout
- Not incentivized to deny coverage there hasn't been a payout, while the other driver continues to pay premiums
From my insurer's perspective:
- My insurer could pursue subrogation, but this is less likely to succeed as long as the other driver remains noncooperative.
From my perspective:
- In the best case, the small-claims court issues a default judgment. However, I would still have to collect the damages myself. The other driver can continue to be unresponsive.