One of the worst nightmares of an auto insurance seeker is the dark cloud looming above his head in the name of contributory negligence. What exactly does this term contributory negligence connote? It works when a plaintiff on account of his negligence has come to harm. Let us examine why it poses a great threat when you submit the claims on car insurance by citing some horror stories.
There is this young lady in our agency who was on her way to work one day. While driving in her car, she was waiting to make a left-turn, turning on the left indicator. When the approaching traffic cleared, she slowly made her turn to the left when a car from behind suddenly passed on her left, resulting in a terrible collision.
There was no doubt as to who was at fault. The passing driver came from behind in spite of the attempt made by this lady to inform him of her move. She submitted her claim for insurance against the other driver when it was discovered that he was uninsured.
It was found that the other driver was speeding, driving without a license, and car insurance, and passing at an intersection without paying attention to the other motorists. With all these facts in hand, we approached for “uninsured motorist’ coverage. We were sure that this lady will be compensated for the damages and injuries caused by the other driver. But, to her shocking surprise, the insurance company rejected her claim - the reason being contributory negligence.
This legal doctrine states that if the insured is found to have contributed to the loss to any degree, he cannot seek compensation from the other party. The reasons they placed before her were that she should have checked her rear-view mirror to make out if a speeding, unlicensed, illegally passing driver was there ready to make the turn before her! And with that reasoning, her claim was rejected!
Another absurd incidence where the insurance companies make stranger reasoning is cited below:
Generally, a “med pay” coverage of your car insurance policy offers protection from injuries to anyone ‘occupying’ a covered auto. It can be termed as ‘occupying’ if you are in it, on it, getting into it, getting out of it, getting onto it, or even getting off of it.
An incident that was the most bizarre went like this. A boy and a girl had been out on a date when after movie and dinner, they were left with too much of a time in their hands. One thing led to another in the car and soon, the girl found herself pregnant.
With the family not expecting their teenage daughter to get pregnant, they were not covered with any maternity coverage on their health insurance. So, they filed for the boy’s father’s ‘med pay’ coverage claiming that the ‘injury’ was sustained while the girl was ‘occupying’ a covered auto! Much to the surprise of everyone their claim was met with the approval and they received full maternity coverage for pre-natal care and delivery.
So, now do you wonder why we pay such huge amounts as auto insurance premium!