@Progressive Blog

What Is Subrogation?

Posted by Allison Ruuska on 12/10/2007 at 1:00 PM

What happens after your insurance company pays for a loss that's not your fault?

Using your own auto insurance for a claim that's not your fault can leave you feeling a bit frustrated, but sometimes that's your best option to resolve a claim quicker so you can return to your normal life. If you've been in this situation, then you've probably heard of subrogation.


Believe it or not, your claim doesn't end once repairs are complete and the bills are paid. If you had to use your insurance for a claim for which you weren't at fault, you and your insurance company are still entitled to receive the money paid on the claim. The process to recover that money is called subrogation.

When Does Subrogation Occur?

When your insurance company covers a loss that's not your fault, they may pursue the at-fault party, which often is the other insurance company, to recover payments made for your damages and injuries. Insurance companies can only subrogate other parties if their customer is not at fault for an accident.

For instance, let's say Joe rear-ends your car but his insurance company is taking too long to get back to you. Your car isn't drivable, and you don't want to keep asking friends to chauffeur you around town, so you decide to use your own insurance (from Progressive, coincidentally) to repair your car. You pay your $500 Collision deductible, fix your car, and are back to normal in a couple of weeks.

However, you still paid $500 out of pocket and your insurance company paid thousands of dollars for an accident that wasn't your fault. In situations like this, your insurance company will subrogate Joe's insurance company to recover the money paid for the accident – and that includes attempting to recover your $500 deductible for you.

What Happens During Subrogation?

At Progressive, your claims adjuster will send your file to our subrogation department (often called "subro") once his portion of the claim is closed.

When subro receives your claim, they continue the attempts to contact the at-fault party or insurance company to resolve the claim. This may be a simple matter of calling the other party's claims adjuster and determining when payment will be made, or it may involve repeated attempts to contact the at-fault individual if that person didn't have insurance at the time of the accident.

Subrogation representatives will work closely with the other parties to negotiate payment of the claim. In some cases, subrogation claims may go to court if Progressive thinks — and you agree — a lawsuit is the best option to take to recover payment.

A successful subrogation claim means our reps were able to negotiate a settlement and receive payment for the claim. At this point, we'll be able to give you back your deductible, too.

Why Subrogation Is Important

Subrogation is a very important last step in our claims resolution process — and an important aspect of our business. The successful recovery of money we've paid on claims allows us to pass the savings to you, in turn helping to keep your insurance rates down.

The information in this blog may vary based on your particular state or situation. Always refer to your insurance policy for your specific coverages.

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I want to thank you for this clear and precise article. My insurance agent was unable to explain this term to me, but you sure did a terrific job. Thanks a million!
Posted on 12/28/2009 at 10:47 PM by Wray Anderson
@Wray Thanks! Glad you found it helpful.
Posted on 12/29/2009 at 9:09 AM by Brittany R.
I don't know why you don't post the contact number of the subrogation department. I cannot find it anywhere. I don't think it has to be confidential information. I have been a Progressive customer for years and sometime you guys are so hard to contact.
Posted on 1/16/2010 at 10:43 PM by Dale
@Dale--I'm sorry to hear you've had a hard time contacting us. The reason we direct people to one of Progressive's general phone numbers (even for specific questions or issues) is so we can route you appropriately based on your location, issue, etc. If you still need assistance with a subrogation issue, please contact our claims team at 800-274-4641.
Posted on 1/18/2010 at 12:13 PM by Brittany R.
How will the toyota recall effect subrogation? Are there any company plans for a large subrogation event? Thanks for the information! Mary Anne Medina
Posted on 1/30/2010 at 12:46 PM by Mary Anne Medina
@Mary Anne Thanks for your question. Progressive has not seen any impact from the Toyota recall on our subrogation unit.
Posted on 2/1/2010 at 2:53 PM by Brittany R.
Dear Sir: I had an accident and was not at fault. My Insurance covered the cost of repairing my car [ over $15,000] . I paid the $500 deductable. The Insurance Co at fault refunded my deductable and all other Bills and I have no Problens with the at Fault Ins. Co. Now, my question. My car was 8 mo old and only 5000 miles at time of wreck. My car is worth $ 7000 less money on trade for a new car because it was wrecked .Is there any way to collect differance in value of ny car because it was wrecked. ^Thank you for any information you can give me about this Problem Shirley Pittenger
Posted on 4/30/2010 at 11:53 AM by Shirley Pittenger
My car was total loss. they insurance company is taking a 500 deductable and 400 because I wanted to keep the car. why are they taking so much money. I hadnt finish paying for the car, why is the payment being made to the car dealership instead of me.
Posted on 5/4/2010 at 6:36 PM by Angela
great article for a beginner....excellent example
Posted on 5/12/2010 at 5:11 PM by nagaraj
@Angela, Thanks for your question. It would probably be best to contact your insurance company's claims department directly to resolve your concerns, since they will know the full details about your claim. If you have a Progressive policy, you can reach one of our claims reps at 1-800-776-4737.
Posted on 5/13/2010 at 12:11 PM by Brittany R.
What are my options if the cost to repair my car is under my $500 deductible? I am told Progressive won't go after the uninsured (hit and skip) driver since, obviously, they have no financial interest in recooping monies which they have not spent. Am I left on my own? Any advice, at least? Can a citizen bring subrogation herself to the uninsured driver? I'm in Ohio.
Posted on 4/16/2011 at 10:58 PM by megan burkholder
My daughter got into a accident last weekend. The lady that hit her admitted that it was her fault for the accident. But my daughter car might not be driveable and she is in another state going to college where the accident happen. Now should she talk to the ladie's insurance company if they call her or not? Plus if her car need to be fixed will she get a rental car until her car is fixed? How about the medical situation how does that work. She ended up with a concussion and her neck and shoulder hurt. Just concern thank you for your time....... John
Posted on 4/18/2011 at 12:47 PM by John
Regarding subrogation, if Progressive accepts liability and makes an offer to settle a claim with a person who is not a Progressive insured/customer, and the person elects subrogation by their own insurance company (say Farmers), and Farmers cannot beat Progressive's offer, can the claim revert back to Progressive? If so, does Progressive's original offer hold, or does that person have to start over with the claims process?
Posted on 4/21/2011 at 1:24 PM by Eric
@John, We need more information to answer your question. Please give us a call at your convenience: 1-800-776-4737.
Posted on 4/22/2011 at 1:45 PM by Progressive
@Megan, Please give us a call at 1-800-776-4737, so we can learn more about what happened and answer your questions.
Posted on 4/22/2011 at 1:53 PM by Progressive
@Eric, Please give us a call at 1-800-776-4737, so we can learn more and answer your specific questions.
Posted on 5/17/2011 at 2:25 PM by Progressive
what happens when the unisured at fault person cannont pay (no job, assests) And offers a payment plan that the sub. rudley declines and there is no other way to draw up the money? Can the sub department sue? and If how long is the process and how can they get claims back when the uninsured has nothing in their name?
Posted on 5/22/2011 at 6:26 PM by kk
@kk, The answers to your questions vary based on the situation. Please call us at 1-800-776-4737, so we can get more details and help you decide next steps.
Posted on 5/31/2011 at 4:07 PM by Progressive
We were hit from behind. Other driver's fault, leaving a small scratch. Will we pay deductible of our Progressive Massachusetts auto insurance, or will the at -fault party's insurance cover it? The cost to repair would likely be less than our deductible.
Posted on 8/7/2011 at 8:15 PM by adam
@Adam, Generally in situations like this, the at fault driver's insurance would cover damage to both cars. However, if that person doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough to cover the damage to your car, then you might use your own. Please give us a call so we can get more information about the accident and let you know how the damage to your car might be covered.
Posted on 8/12/2011 at 3:34 PM by Progressive
I got into an accident and I was not at fault. I have minimal damage to my car. Do I have to pay the $500 deductible? I don't mind waiting for the other insurer to pay for the damage. I just do not wish to pay anything out of pocket at all and I am willing to wait.
Posted on 8/22/2011 at 12:08 AM by John R
I was involved in an accident during an unknown lapse in insurance. I admitted fault and agreed to pay the damages. Progressive filed to have my driver's license suspended until I paid the damages, which is fine. I have paid them and the check cleared my bank account, yet my license is still suspended, even though the BMV waived the penalty since the lapse in insurance was the insurance company's fault, not mine. There is still a security suspension on my account. Does Progressive tell the BMV that the damages were paid off? In OHIO. If so, how long does it take to notify the BMV?
Posted on 9/1/2011 at 9:31 PM by Viola
@Viola, I recommend getting directly in touch with the adjuster who handled the claim. If you do not their have the contact information, you can call 800-925-2886. This will get you to a rep who can look up your claims and provide the necessary contact info. I hope this helps.
Posted on 9/12/2011 at 9:08 AM by Progressive
@John, We can’t answer this definitively . . . but your Claims adjustor can. I highly recommend getting touch with your adjuster. That said, there can be differences by state and complexity of the incident... But typically, the at fault party’s insurance covers the damage for both parties. Since the at fault party’s insurance is handling the claim, they pay their deductible to have their vehicle repaired. The not at fault party does not pay out of pocket.
Posted on 9/12/2011 at 12:38 PM by Progressive
i was in an accident insured by progressive, it was state minimal just to be covered by law, i was at fault and hit a car that was declared total but the problem was my policy only covers a certain amount but not enough for the total loss, of course the other party had to go thru their insurance company, which is going to file suborgation for the difference by law how long do they have to finalized the claim and amount they are after?
Posted on 9/21/2011 at 5:12 PM by pete
@Pete - For this, you should work with the adjustor that handled your claim. If you don’t have the adjustor’s contact information, you can call our Claims department to get it. 800-925-2886.
Posted on 10/3/2011 at 9:19 AM by Progressive
How long does Progressive take to pay when they are at fault in subrogation? It has been two months since invoices were submitted for reimbursement, was told over two weeks ago that I would be getting my out of pocket expenses back but still no money yet. This accident was over 3 months ago your insurer was at fault, Progressive accepted full liability and I am the one out the money.
Posted on 10/22/2011 at 8:06 PM by Katrina
a person hit my car over a year ago, and he lied to his insurance that it was my fault. progressive did not win in subrogration so i paid the deductable/rental car fees. however, i faught this in court, and he admitted guilt to the judge. i am now going to small claims court for the damages i lost. is that driver allowed to have the subrogration details for court? i know that i am not allowed to have it. i just want to ensure he is not armed with info i do not have for court. i lost in subrogration due to fraudulent statements by the other drivere and do not want to lose in small claims court too. thanks
Posted on 11/5/2011 at 4:40 PM by jim
I was involved in a not at fault accident August of this year, the only thing I'm waiting on is my deductible to be refunded. About how long on average should the process take, thanks
Posted on 11/14/2011 at 11:15 PM by chris
does the subrogration process consider court proceedings. for instance, if a person hit my car and they plead guilty in court, will the subrogation process consider this fact (even if they say the accident was my fault to their insurance company)?
Posted on 11/20/2011 at 4:30 PM by jim
@Katrina: Please call 1-800-776-4737 and press 1 to connect with someone on our claims team. Then, we can better understand your situation and resolve your questions.
Posted on 12/19/2011 at 11:43 AM by Progressive
@Jim: Please call 1-800-776-4737 and press 1 to connect with someone on our claims team. Then, we can better understand your situation and resolve your questions.
Posted on 12/19/2011 at 11:43 AM by Progressive
@Chris: Please call 1-800-776-4737 and press 1 to connect with someone on our claims team. Then, we can better understand your situation and resolve your questions.
Posted on 12/19/2011 at 11:44 AM by Progressive
@Jim: Please call 1-800-776-4737 and press 1 to connect with someone on our claims team. Then, we can better understand your situation and resolve your questions.
Posted on 12/19/2011 at 11:45 AM by Progressive
I was involved in a hit and run with a Progressive customer on January 2nd...she left the scene, and subsequently totaled her car down the road and left that scene. She had also had a warrant out for her arrest, and had let her policy lapse by 2 months. I was told by my insurer, MetLife, that they would be going through subrogation with this girl, and so far my medical bills and damage to my car are in excess of $12,000. I read in another post here...that Progressive had filed to have someone's license suspended...I'd never heard of that. So am I to understand if this girl is sued by MetLife that her license can be suspended until she pays off the $12,000?
Posted on 1/18/2012 at 10:03 PM by Kat in Texas
@Kat in Texas: Only your claims investigator can accurately answer this question, since each company has a different method of subrogation. If you'd like to speak with someone about how our subrogation process works, please give our claims department a call at 1-800-274-4499.
Posted on 1/23/2012 at 12:08 PM by Progressive
I was in an accident. The car was a total loss. Do I still have to pay the 500 dollar deductible. If so is it collected before or after being given the cost of the car. Or is it deducted from the check.
Posted on 1/25/2012 at 4:13 AM by Albert
@Albert: Since your question is about a claim, we recommend that you contact our Claims Department directly for clarification. To do so, please call 1-800-274-4499.
Posted on 1/30/2012 at 11:06 AM by Progressive
I am trying to go thru the subrogation process but the medical claims adjuster I was assigned to gave me a number that has been disconnected . Numerous phone calls left on her voice mail go answered ( over a month now) . I'm currently still getting biils that progressive should have paid and am afraid it will be turned over to collections soon. What are my options??? I'm about to report this whole incident for investigation to Department of Insurance. HELP ! I just want SOMEONE to return a phone call and give me some answers
Posted on 4/10/2012 at 9:23 AM by Amy
Help! We have a pending claim from December of last year. I am assuming this process isn't working because the guy was homeless and is unresponsive to attempts to contact. So, Progressive, how can we get our deductible back?!
Posted on 5/2/2012 at 3:27 AM by Tiffany B
@Tiffany: We'd be glad to help you; however, we need more information. Please give us a call at 1-800-776-4737.
Posted on 5/3/2012 at 2:24 PM by Progressive
What is the effect to the party who is not at fault (when his/her insurance company subrogates against the other party for auto physical damage) with regard to his/her claims record and future rates?
Posted on 5/7/2012 at 5:43 AM by rita donnelly
@Rita: It's difficult to predict the exact impact a not-at-fault accident would have on your insurance rates. Every policy is different and may be adjusted differently.
Posted on 5/7/2012 at 3:32 PM by Progressive
will the process still be called subrogation if you need to obtain a discharge form from the a third party insurer if a vehicle insured by your company causes damage to T/P vehicle and you repaired the damages to the T/P's vehicle.
Posted on 5/24/2012 at 5:25 AM by Abdelmajid Mustafa
@Abdelmajid: Claims questions like yours are best answered by our claims department. Please contact your adjuster directly if you already have a claim number, or call 1-800-274-4499.
Posted on 5/24/2012 at 9:26 AM by Progressive
Why when presented with over whelming evidence that a progressive customer hit my car and left information required by law does this low moral company feel they have no need to pay for damages and give me the run around. Is it just Progressive that lacks ethics or is this endemic in the entire industry?
Posted on 6/13/2012 at 11:44 AM by Louis WIlson
A subrogation claim has been filed against me. At the time of the accident I had no insurance and my son was driving. Now a claim has been filed against me. Do I have to pay, or will I have to go to court to fight the matter?
Posted on 6/15/2012 at 7:52 AM by Glenda
Subrogation determined I was not at fault and I was reimbursed my deductible. I had to pay out of pocket for the rental car, and the other company is refusing to reimburse. How to I get that money back?
Posted on 6/22/2012 at 1:46 PM by Christine
@Christine: We're sorry to hear about your accident. You'll want to speak with an adjuster about reimbursement for your rental vehicle. Please call us at 1-800-776-4737.
Posted on 7/5/2012 at 12:45 PM by Progressive
How does subrogation work if I have disinstructed my insurance company?I wasn't at fault and I've been dealing with the other party through my soliciter .this has been going on for two years and I'm getting kind of fed up with all the disregard .
Posted on 8/1/2012 at 6:12 PM by ayesha
I'm a customer through Progressive and if a claim is listed as "closed" does that include the subrogation process?
Posted on 11/6/2012 at 3:35 PM by Brian
I have a subrogation claim against Progressive but you are not responding or returning Allstate's calls. What do I do as a person who is out their deductible and Progressive is dragging their feet. For information my claim involves a dog that jumped out of a truck on the interstate hitting my vehicle. Obviously not my fault and completely the fault of the Progressive insured party. IIt's been two months with no resolution.
Posted on 12/2/2012 at 2:05 PM by Edward Severson
What bank does progressive use when paying a claim? And the amount given to me when my car was determined a total loss was less than the value kelley blue book is telling me my car is worth?
Posted on 12/5/2012 at 9:52 AM by Diva
Still another couple of weeks with no response from Progressive about my subrogation claim against them. The question now is, do I sue the individual and Progressive? Does it need to get to that point? It has been over 70 days since the dog hit my car and caused the damage. This is easily solved but Progressive is still not responding to Allstate's attempts to contact them. Frustrated to say the least.
Posted on 12/12/2012 at 11:38 AM by Edward Severson
@Edward: Please give us a call at 1-800-776-4737. We need your claim number in order to look up your information and give you an update.
Posted on 12/17/2012 at 3:04 PM by Progressive
Thanks for such a great explanation of subrogation re: car insurance. It lit the understanding light bulb for me, finally ^^
Posted on 2/6/2013 at 1:51 PM by SamHII
My son was in an accident and it was determined he was the at fault party. He was under insured. Progressive paid out to the other party to the limits of my sons policy for vechicle damages. The other insurance company has covered the remaining costs. Now the other insurance company is sueing my son for the amt they paid out to cover the claim. My son is unemployed and has been seeking employment for over 1 year. He has NO money. The other insurance companies lawyer just called and said they are ready to file suit, does my son want to make a payment arrangement with them to avoid litigation. I am worried that this will be hanging over his head for many years to come.. Progressive told us to call them and let them know if they serve us. I am unsure what to tell my son who is 21, to do. How aggressive are the insurance companies in if they know the party is penniless. Will they lay in wait?
Posted on 2/8/2013 at 6:59 PM by Lisa
Is pain and suffering included in a subrogation
Posted on 2/17/2013 at 11:46 PM by Michael
@Michael: For more information about your claim or our claims process, please contact our Claims Department directly at 1-800-274-4499.
Posted on 2/19/2013 at 4:33 PM by Progressive
I didn't have rental car coverage, an oversight on my part. But my claim will go through subrogation as it was their fault and their company is dragging their feet. I'll get my $500 deductible back, but can my additional out of pocket rental car charges be submitted as part of that process and be recovered on my behalf as well? The general number folks don't seem to have the answer.
Posted on 3/10/2013 at 8:27 AM by Jay Stephens
The Subrogation department for Progressive are a bunch of cowards. In an accident where a pedestrian (cyclist) ran into the side of my car while I was parking, where he was also riding on the wrong side of the road, weaving in and out of other parked cars, admitted to the police he saw my turn signal, and listed at fault in the police report subrogation at progressive is unwilling to pursuit getting back my deductible. Their reasoning is that according to their statistics that 90% of pedestrian/auto accidents side with the pedestrian, that the 20 year old hipster pizza boy threatened a countersuit, and that they're afraid to lose. This punk is riding around on a brand new $4000.00 bike, badmouthing me all over town, and bragging that he isn't paying for #$%@. Progressive is so scared of the potential suit from an at fault individual that they've instructed me not to pursuit it either, but said if I was adamant that it's highly likely that I'd win in Magistrate court. They're trying to convince me that if he files a counter suit to my small claim that it wouldn't be covered by my policy even though they were my insurer at the time of the accident. End result Progressive wants me to take the risk and do all the leg work for what amounts to a $700.00 claim (an amount that is far less than my first 6 month premium with them 6 years ago). Progressive has told me at this point that I have been reimbursed to the fullest extent of my policy and that I should be happy with that, well guys $167.00 for nearly $700.00 in repairs and having my name drug through the mud while you sit on the sidelines and refuse to acknowledge me for 7 months has made this decision easy. Take my policy and cram it where the sun doesn't shine.
Posted on 3/13/2013 at 6:13 PM by James Stafford

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