What are letters of representation, and why should you send them?

 

One of the first steps in a personal injury case is determining the amount of available insurance coverage for the at-fault party. The amount of available insurance oftentimes will dictate the amount of the maximum recovery in a case. Some companies and people carry large insurance policies, but there are also situations where they are either uninsured or carry small insurance policies. For example, all drivers of automobiles are required by Georgia law to have insurance coverage of $25,000, but obviously cases involving serious injures, especially ones that require surgery or long-term care, may easily exceed that amount. So a key first step in evaluating a case and your possible recovery involves getting the insurance information. Georgia, unlike some other states, has a law, O.C.G.A. 33-3-28, that requires people and companies to provide this information.

Here is a general template of the letter we send to the at-fault party’s insurance company:

[Insert Date]

SENT VIA CERTIFIED MAIL/ RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

[Insert Address]

RE: Letter of Representation and Request for Insurance Policy Information

Our Client:
Claim No.:
Date of Injury:
Policy Holder:

Dear Sir or Madam:

We have been retained to represent the interests of [Insert Client Name] who suffered personal injuries as a result of an automobile accident on [Insert Date] at [Insert Location]. All future correspondence and communication should be directed to our firm. The purpose of this letter is to notify you that our client may have a claim against any policy(ies) issued by your company depending on the amount of coverage, if any, for the at-fault driver.

Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 33-3-28, we request that you provide us in writing with the following information

a. Any and all known policies of insurance insuring the above-referenced policy holder including, but not limited to any excess or umbrella insurance;
b. The exact name of the insurer;
c. The name of each insured; and,
d. The limits of coverage.

You may provide a copy of the declaration page of any policy in lieu of this information. We trust that you will provide this information within the statutory time period. We are enclosing an affidavit executed by our client for your records. Also, our client expressly withdraws any Authorization for Release of Information or similar type of release. You do not have permission to contact our client’s employers or medical providers.

If you need anything further from us at this time, then please contact me at your earliest convenience.

With warmest wishes, I remain

Very truly yours,

Kevin Patrick

Enclosure: Affidavit

Also, there is usually an affidavit that accompanies the letter:

AFFIDAVIT REQUESTING POLICY LIMITS

STATE OF GEORGIA               )

COUNTY OF [Insert Name]   )

My name is [Insert Name]. I am over the age of eighteen (18) and do not have any legal disabilities.  I was involved in an [Insert Description of Accident] that occurred on [Insert Date] in [Insert Location]. This affidavit is given pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 33-3-28. I request all insurance policy information, including limits of coverage, for all policies of insurance, including primary, excess, umbrella, etc., that may cover the injuries I suffered in this incident. I have a right to this information, and I request that it be produced in a timely fashion in accordance with Georgia law.

                                                                                   

[Insert Name]

The foregoing affidavit was acknowledged before me on [DATE].

                                                                                                                                   

                                    Signature of Notary Public – State of Georgia

                                    Personally known to me            OR Produced Identification                        

                                                                                                                                   

                                    Type of Identification Produced

Obviously, this letter can be modified to the particular facts and circumstances of the case and can be updated to include a person’s own insurance company to find out about their own insurance coverage, such as un/under-insured motorist coverage, because sometimes the at-faut party does not have enough insurance to compensate injured people. Most importantly, feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about legal representation and this type of letter.