When does subrogation occur?

Subrogation may apply when you're involved in an accident for which it's determined another party is at least partially at fault. As an example, you're waiting at a stoplight, and your car is rear-ended. You file a claim under your collision coverage and receive a check from your insurer that covers the cost of repairs, minus your deductible. Your insurer may then act on your behalf to seek compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance that equals the amount they paid to you to cover your claim; this is the process of subrogation. If your insurer is successful, they may use the funds received from the other insurance company to reimburse you for all or a portion of your deductible.

Important note: Insurers aren't obligated to pursue subrogation, but some states require insurers to inform their customers when they decide not to. Customers in those states may then attempt to recover their deductible on their own.

How long does subrogation take?

The subrogation process can take weeks, months, or sometimes years to complete, depending on the circumstances of the accident, the complexity of the claim, and the state where it occurred.