Legal Question in Insurance Law in California

Auto Insurance Question

Can my automobile insurance company resolve/payoff a claim against them or me regarding an accident I was involved in without my consent?


Asked on 2/22/00, 3:43 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: Auto Insurance Question

Yes.

OK, I'm oversimplifying just a little bit. Your insurance policy will contain an explanation of the circumstances in which the insurer can settle, but I would be surprised if your policy did not give the insurer the authority to settle with or without your consent. The insurance company is entitled to try to reduce its expenses, and is free to offer a smaller sum where it believes fighting the case will cost a higher amount. You are not entitled to tell the company to wage a fight it does not wish to wage.

On the other hand, the company can only make such an agreement where the settlement amount is within your policy limits and where the insurer pays.

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Answered on 2/24/00, 9:16 pm
Michael McDaniel Countryman & McDaniel

Re: Auto Insurance Question

Dear Edward,

Sorry, the answer to your question is generally "Yes." The right to settle is spelled out in your insurance policy. Only professional liability policies (as for doctors & lawyers) give the assured the right of consent.

Many thanks,

Michael S. McDaniel

CargoLaw@aol.com

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Answered on 2/25/00, 12:38 am


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