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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 33784
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience in various consumer protection areas
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My neighbors dog was injured while she was visiting me. The

Customer Question

My neighbors dog was injured while she was visiting me. The dog broke its leg after my kid put her down too hard. We accepted responsibility and took the dog to the vet, paid the bills, then made a claim against our ho insurance liability. They offered to settle for the medical bills, but refuse to pay the interest on the amount we borrowed to pay it, nothing for the 480 total miles we drove to take care of the dog, and are threatening to withdraw the offer from what I understand. Verbatim they said this -"payment is made out of the liability section of the policy this means I have the ability to pay partial, whole, or none of the claim being submitted. I can also withdraw my offer upon your rejection. "
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I have read your comments, but I am not entirely sure what your legal question is that I can help with?

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Are you saying that you had to take out a loan with a bank to pay the vet bill?

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Did you immediately submit the claim to your insurer?

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How long did they take to get back to you about the claim?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Basically what I'm asking is, are they responsible for the mileage, the gas on the interest paid on the money that I had to borrow to pay the dogs medical bills? They already offered to pay the dogs bills, so doesn't that mean that they except that they are liable? And if so, is what he is saying true? Does he really have the choice to not pay any of it if I reject the offer and insist on being fully indemnified for my losses?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
They actually never got back to me when I filed the claim-I contacted the Texas department of insurance and submitted a formal complaint because what they told me was that they didn't have to get back to me because what I had was "not a claim". Because I paid the bills upfront, I was the one who submitted the claim, however they said "liability claims have to be made by a third-party, so what you have here is not a claim", when they were contacted by the department of insurance, they insisted that they sent me out a letter, and that was that, no one did anything
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

This is going to depend on what your insurance policy states that they are required to cover. They are able to limit any coverage to direct losses and exclude related, but indirect ones.

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So you would have to review your actual insurance policy to see if those additional expenses are covered. My guess is that they aren't because things like travel costs and interest on money borrowed to pay bills aren't direct damages that were suffered, but rather indirect ones. If you stayed in a hotel overnight and ate out at a restaurant, those too are expenses that are indirectly related to the "injury" but they wouldn't be compensible either..

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But that is what I was going to suggest you do... contact the TX DOI about filing a complaint for "unfair claims practices" and have them investigate the situation. Generally if you get the DOI involved, the insurer will typically jump pretty quickly to settle things. If the DOI hasn't contacted you about any resolution, you need to rattle their cage and follow up with them to see if they can put pressure on the insurer to just pay the claim rather than deal with the investigator..

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As an aside, I used to be a prosecutor for a state DOI so I know firsthand how the DOIs operate and how they can put pressure on an insurer...

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The problem I see here is that you are basically asking for your insurer to reimburse you for you essentially paying the claim for the friend, rather than having the friend submit a claim to your insurer directly for their damages. You decided it was a legitimate claim, incurred the additional costs dealing with it voluntarily, and then paid them on your own. Your insurer might have paid the claim, or denied it, or settled it for some lesser amount. But when you went ahead and paid it out of pocket, you didn't give your insurer the chance to evaluate any claim and potentially settle it for less.

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thanks

Barrister

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