Are You Obligated to Give a Recorded Statement to the Other Driver's Insurance Company?

I was involved in an accident and the other driver was at fault. Am I obligated to give his insurance company a recorded statement? The adjuster says that he needs it before he can decide who was at fault, and will not pay my claim unless I do. Tessa, USA

In a word: No. You are not obligated to give the other driver’s insurance company a recorded statement. In fact, you are not even obligated to speak with a representative from the other guy’s insurance company at all.

There are a few reasons why you might not want to give a recorded statement to the other insurance company. For starters, their primary obligation is to act as an advocate for their policy holder; the person that has that contract with their company. That is not you. If there is any dispute as to how the accident happened, they will side with their policy holder. They have no allegiance to you. (Your insurance company would act the same way for you if the roles were reversed.)

The other insurance company does need to verify some facts with you, such as identifying information (including your name, address, and date of birth). They need to verify that you are a real person, especially if a police report was not written, and that you really were involved in an accident with their policy holder. Otherwise, suspicions of insurance fraud may be raised and then the claim will really be put under a magnifying glass.

But ask yourself why you do not want to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company.

Is it because the adjuster was rude? If that is the only reason, just say so: the insurance company will find another one to take your recorded statement. That should not hold up the progress of your claim.

Is it because you have some information about the accident that you do not want to share with the other insurance company? That information will eventually come to light, even if you have an attorney representing you.

Have you already given a recorded statement to your own insurance company and just do not want to go through that process again? If so, then just let your insurance company handle the dispute about whose fault the accident was with the other company for you; that is what you pay your premium dollars for.

This article is written for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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