The experience and resources of Travelers adds value for every policyholder that has a claim. By paying only what we owe, we hold down costs. That simple philosophy equates to lower premiums for our customers.
Claim Services' allegiance to that philosophy is evident in Travelers' National Recovery Centers. To make certain we don't miss any opportunity to recover claim payments rightly owed to us by others, we dedicate specialized attention to claim subrogation early in the life of a claim. Travelers manages three national subrogation centers, where subrogation experts employ a combination of high tech tools and specialized teamwork to identify and secure recoveries. Our staff, technology, and process have evolved to make sure we pursue all recovery opportunities with a plaintiff philosophy.
For high severity, complex claims, Travelers also has a specialized subrogation Major Case Unit (MCU) dedicated to managing these cases. The MCU is composed of the industry's most experienced and skilled claim professionals with access to national networks of special investigators, engineers, and legal experts to assist in achieving optimal subrogation results. With an average of 20 years of experience, our team is dedicated by line of business and strategically located throughout the country, where we know and understand local conditions and regulations.
Unless you have been a victim of someone else’s careless driving or suffered a loss due to someone else’s negligence, the word “subrogation” probably doesn’t mean a lot to you. Many times losses are caused by things beyond your control. And when someone or something else is responsible, the party who is at fault should bear the ultimate responsibility for the loss.
A quick example: You are at the supermarket doing your weekly shopping and come out to find someone has backed into your car. You file a claim through your carrier, Travelers, and the damage is paid under your collision coverage. Unfortunately, the total damage estimate is $1300 and you have to pay your deductible of $500, even though this accident was not your fault. You may think the claim is over since your car is fixed but we are just beginning. As part of the Travelers claim investigation, contact may be made with the supermarket to find out if they have any surveillance tapes to help identify who struck your car. Through these efforts, we may be able to identify the owner of the vehicle through the license plates and can now attempt recovery of the entire amount of damage to your vehicle.
Subrogation is the process where Travelers steps into your shoes and seeks to recover from the responsible party. It is important because it holds people accountable for their actions and assigns blame where it belongs. Do you ever think about why your claim happened? What caused your faucet or toilet to leak? Why would a coffee maker catch on fire? Well, we do. It is this philosophy that allows us to recover payment from parties who are responsible for our customers’ losses.
Subrogation is a team effort at Travelers, and you are a very important part of the team. You will be interacting with both a claim professional and a dedicated subrogation professional, who will handle the recovery strategy. They may request some additional information from you to help in their investigation. This could involve securing and sending all relevant evidence, helping to identify the responsible parties and their insurance companies, or even providing a statement of the facts.
The recovery process takes time. For the simple auto rear-end accident, the recovery process often concludes within thirty days. For more complicated accidents, involving multiple parties, the process could take up to a year or even longer. A recent industry benchmark study showed that Travelers subrogation group recovers twice as fast as its competitors!
Subrogation is an important aspect of the claim process. When we are successful in our recovery efforts, we are better able to pass on the savings to you, our customer, both by helping to return your deductible and working to keep your insurance rates down.
The next time you are the unfortunate victim of an accident, take a moment to think about subrogation, and who might be responsible for your damages. Talk to your claim professional about it. Rest assured, we will be thinking and acting upon it as well.