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disconnected

@snet.net

How Long Does Liberty Mutual Take to pay a MVA claim?

About a week ago, I was hit in the rear in a parking lot. The other driver admited fault openly and we exchanged lic/ins policy data.

Having been hit in the rear just one month earlier by another driver (lots of distracted drivers lately) and having had experience with that driver's insurance (Travelers), I expected that my claim would be well on it's way in 24 hours. Almost a week has passed, and no word from Liberty Mutual so far. I called them twice, left messages, and am still awaiting a call back.
One thing struck me oddly when the Liberty Mutual agent was questioning me: at the end, he stated "...if Liberty Mutual chooses to pay this claim.." and I thought to myself, do they really have a choice? Their client was at fault and this is what liability insurance is about.
Their footdragging has done nothing but increase my concern over the possibility that this might not go as smoothly as with the Travelers claim I had in Februrary, also a rear end collision. That Feb claim took 7 calendar days from MVA to getting my vehicle back from the repair shop. The very next day, their claims adjuster visited me and looked at my vehicle. The experience was pleasant and efficient.
Liberty Mutual, OTOH, leaves me feeling like they are ignoring their duty.
I googled their name and found numerous "bad faith" law cases in which LM was found to be using bad faith practices in settling claims.

I am wondering what should be done, if they try to avoid playing this claim.

My options are to sue the insurance company.
Sue the person who caused the accident.
Get my insurance company involved and perhaps put a little more pressure on LM.

This was a minor bang up and no one was hurt, including my wife and daughter, who were in the car at the time with me, but I do feel I am entitled to a prompt settlement.

Has anyone had experience dealing with Liberty Mutual as a plaintiff in an accident?



takeahike
Premium
join:2005-01-07
Woodland Hills, CA

1 edit

I worked in the insurance business for a long time. Liberty does not have the best reputation even though such judgments are often very subjective. About 20 years ago in many states it was possible to sue the insurance company for "bad faith" even as a third party but much of that has gone by the wayside. You should find out if such a doctrine exists in your state. Right now I would send a letter stating how many times you called and demanding cooperation and stating that you will pursue all your remedies soon if you don't get cooperation. Give a deadline for further action. In any event you almost certainly have to sue the other driver or owner of the other car first.

One thing: adjusters get very busy and many times you're not really being ignored. A little personal contact can work wonders. Find out who has your case and get them on the line and see if you think you're really being jerked around. Believe me, their job is to close files, not let them languish. If you develop a rapport with a reasonable person, your case will get settled quickly, especially if it's only property damage. An adjuster's high is to settle a case fast and reasonably and since you were in the car and are not claiming bodily injury, it's in their best interest to settle this with you fast before you dream up more stuff (e.g. whiplash).


sailor
Premium
join:2003-10-21
Long Island
kudos:6
reply to disconnected

said by disconnected :

About a week ago, I was hit in the rear in a parking lot. The other driver admited fault openly and we exchanged lic/ins policy data.

Having been hit in the rear just one month earlier by another driver (lots of distracted drivers lately) and having had experience with that driver's insurance (Travelers), I expected that my claim would be well on it's way in 24 hours. Almost a week has passed, and no word from Liberty Mutual so far. I called them twice, left messages, and am still awaiting a call back.
Just guessing here but maybe it has taken over a week due to you recently settling a claim for getting also rear ended just one month earlier. While it is unfortunate that you have had the displeasure of two clowns rear ending you lately, the insurance company just might look a bit closer at your latest one to make sure there is no attempt at fraud being committed here..


disconnected

@snet.net

said by sailor:

Just guessing here but maybe it has taken over a week due to you recently settling a claim for getting also rear ended just one month earlier. While it is unfortunate that you have had the displeasure of two clowns rear ending you lately, the insurance company just might look a bit closer at your latest one to make sure there is no attempt at fraud being committed here..
Different car, different insurance companies, so I don't think this was the case. Unless they think that their client is in conspiracy with me?


disconnected

@snet.net
reply to takeahike

I've been assigned a claims handler, but I am still waiting to get that 'rapport' going--the handler has not yet returned my calls.

I am prepared to write letters, and I'm prepared to file a small claims suit against the driver, if needed. I suppose if I got a judgement against the driver, he'd put pressure on LM to pay his claim.

At any rate, I am hoping this DOES get settled and they make me whole again.

Also, unlike Travelers that I dealt with in Feb, LM asked me for a SS#. I really don't like to give that information out to telephone answering pools as I have no idea what these guys may do with the data.

A friend of mine suggested that I get my own insurance company involved, because if too much time passes, the other ins co can claim that the damage was caused after the MVA.



beck
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-29
On The Road
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Stablehost.com
reply to disconnected

I don't understand why you haven't had your insurance co involved already. It's not like they won't find out that someone hit you and you collected.

Call your agent and ask them to see if they can get the process speeded up!
--
It doesn't interest me who you know, or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
- Oriah Mountain Dreamer


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2
reply to disconnected

takeahike is right on point. What you also need to do if the adjuster won't return calls is to speak to that person's supervisor/manager. I have little doubt that this will get the ball rolling. I've been an adjuster for about 15 years now and won't try to justify the adjusters actions but what I will say is that some insurance companies over-load adjusters with claims... and then pile on a few more for good measure. If this is the case, it's the "squeaky wheel that gets the grease". If there is no pressure applied by you, then the adjuster will work on other files.

If contacting the person's supervisor does not solve the problem (which I'm pretty sure it will), file a complaint with your state Dept. of Insurance. Insurance companies _do not like_ to have complaints filed against them and _will_ resolve the matter asap (too many complaints and the DOI may pay them a visit and audit many of their files... which equals fines).

I think doing anything else at this point (filing suit, etc) is like shooting an ant with a elephant gun.



takeahike
Premium
join:2005-01-07
Woodland Hills, CA

4 edits

I wouldn't get your insurance company involved in trying to settle the case. That's not their role. However, if you have collision insurance they will fix your car under that coverage for you and then they will make a claim against Liberty for reimbursement (called 'subrogation'). You will have to probably fork over your deductible but many times your insurance will collect that back for you. If you go this route you might want to ask if making such a claim will affect your policy or rates, but usually it will not if the accident was not your fault.

tcope: Who are you working for? Always good to meet a colleague. I worked for Fremont Indemnity (NYSE 'FMT') in the 80s doing Med Mal and E&O claims. They were a mid-size west coast comp carrier and expanded into other areas. They really took a bath on real estate in the 80s--insured the whole California market at 1/3 million for $65 an agent (what a joke, huh?). They wisely got out of the business and now mainly are a finance company.



disconnected

@snet.net
reply to beck

said by beck:

I don't understand why you haven't had your insurance co involved already. It's not like they won't find out that someone hit you and you collected.

Call your agent and ask them to see if they can get the process speeded up!
Two reasons:

I did call my agent in the Feb MVA. Since it was the other guy's fault, my agent instructed me to call the other ins co and file the claim with them.

The other reason was supported by the auto body repair shop owner: he said that if my ins co handled it, I would be out my deductable for 6-8 weeks. He knows, because he's handled hundreds of repairs in which this happened. Things worked out perfect with that incident, but it's beginning to look like this one is a different story.

I haven't heard back from them still, after a phonecall yesterday. So I am going to call them back in 15 mins again.

Maybe I will call my ins company's 800 claims number instead of my agent.


disconnected

@snet.net

UPDATE: The claims appraiser just visited Friday and looked at the damage. It appears that they are going to pay the claim and issue a check to me.

Meanwhile, I am going to ask the owners at ShopRite to improve their parking lot signage--they need stop signs at the ends of each isle to make people aware that they can't just go smashing into traffic on the through lane.