Car insurance agent wants to record our discussion. Allow it?

A couple of weeks ago I was driving my gf’s truck (she was passenger, I was designated driver) when someone who wasn’t paying attention (his words) pulled out from a stop sign directly into our path (we had the right of way).

The Progressive Insurance agent who represents the inattentive driver called to discuss the accident with me. He confirmed my name, age, address, then said he wanted me to tell him what happened and he would record me. Whoa. I told him I wanted to discuss with my lawyer whether I should consent to being recorded.

So, while I wait for a return call from my lawyer, what say y’all? I’ve never had an insurance agent ask if he could record me. Is this standard practice? Should I consent?

Probably not a good idea. However, it’s also not life or death for a relatively minor accident (and not an uncommon request). I would either talk to him but decline to be recorded, or agree to it on the express condition he provide you a copy of the recording.

PS: Your lawyer will almost certainly tell you to either not consent to recording or not even give a statement.

This is a completely standard practice, often used at the other end for training or monitoring. That said, you are not legally obligated to do it.

As to whether you should do it, a lot of lawyers will tell you not to because you could be held directly to whatever you said, and you are likely not an expert at giving testimony. The main counter argument would be if the insurance company is dealing with you in bad faith, it would be great if both of you had a recording of it.

All that said, do whatever your lawyer says. :slight_smile:

I don’t know about the US but in Canada, that conversation can be recorded without you being advised so in my view, it’s not a big deal.

Well, thanks for the advice, everyone. However, things just became more complicated. My lawyer (a good friend) just called me. Turns out he’d spoken to my gf earlier today and she asked him to tell me to just talk to the insurance guy so that she can move forward with finalizing things.

My lawyer/friend asked me not to tell her that he told me this, but he’s my buddy and doesn’t want to be in the middle of things. So, although his formal advice is to not allow recording, he went over what I was going to say and said it should be fine. He offered to be with me on a conference call, but he said that would be overkill.

You have an insurance company of your own that you pay to provide coverage, right? What do you think that you are paying your insurance company for? To take care of the negotiations with the other parties insurance company like this, that’s what.

Your own insurance company should be looking out for you to get the best deal for you, and for your insurance company. I am not sure that a lawyer should even get involved unless the other party is already suing you.

The other parties insurance wants to get you to make some admission that will reduce their liability for the accident. That is the only reason for the call and recording the conversation. To reduce their monetary liability. You really shouldn’t need a lawyer to figure that out. Anything you say to them cannot benefit you.

I see that it was your girlfriends vehicle. Same advice, her insurance company should be handling this.

I disagree. Your own insurance only steps in if you are making a claim on your policy or another person is making a claim against you. Your own insurer has no role in your claim against someone else.

That depends- my insurance company will only get involved if I’m making a claim under my collision/comprehensive coverage. If I’m not, and I’m making a claim directly on the other drivers policy ( perhaps because I have only liability coverage,) my company doesn’t get involved unless the other driver makes a claim against me.

When I was involved an accident that was clearly the fault of the other driver, I called my insurance company and let them handle it. I had to pay my deductible but eventually got the $500 back.

That’s because you made a claim under your own insurance ( and they in turn made a claim against the other driver) - if you had claimed directly under the other driver’s policy you wouldn’t have paid a deductible.

I went through almost the same phonecall a couple months ago. I consented to the recordimg. The Allstate person had a list of questions that she asked one by one. I wish I’d asked for those questions in writing prior to the recording. They were questions about whether a police report was made (yes) and the weather & visibility conditions at the time (calm & clear). However, she also asked how fast I was going (dunno, 35?) and what the speed limit was (dunno, 35?). The next day (it was on my commute route), I noticed the posted limit is actually 30mph there. I probably would have guessed my speed at the time of the accident a little slower had I known that question was coming and had a chance to refresh my memory.

I went through this a few months ago. Got side-swiped by a guy swinging wide out of an intersection. I saw it coming and was stopped before the hit me. Called cops and made a police report.

I called his insurance company, played some phone-tag getting to the right person to talk to. The agent asked if it was OK to record the call; I agreed. They sent a guy out to assess the damage. I got a check for about $900 and turned check over to the body shop. Body shop called insurance company and told them repairs would cost an additional $250. Insurance company sent check directly to body shop.

End of story. I was as good an outcome as I could expect for an unpleasant experience.

I wouldn’t do it, you have little to gain and a lot to lose from a bad interview. Your GF’s insurance should be taking care of this, not you. That’s what she pays them for.

And that’s where we are at now. I called the other guy’s agent and his questions were actually insulting. He tried to get me to admit to being partially responsible. Meanwhile, the other driver actually told the cop he just wasn’t paying attention. He pulled out from a stop sign directly into my path. I had the right of way.

So, the Progressive guy has me on tape calling hiim a fucking idiot.

Aren’t you glad you agreed to be recorded?

Heh, I’m glad I did what my gf wanted me to do. Now she can deal with her agent like she should have from the start.

That’s frustrating, and hilarious. My motto always is “Insurance companies aren’t in business to pay out claims, they are in business to collect premiums.” They will act nice but if they don’t want to pay the claim they will come up with all sorts of ways to discourage you.

Or even to invest the premium money before it’s eventually paid out. I usually read Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders and he calls this money the “float” and it’s a big part of how Berkshire Hathaway got so big.

Insurance companies start thinking of the premiums they collect as “their money” instead of money they’re holding in trust to pay for injuries and property damage claims. Their job is to promptly investigate any claim, fairly evaluate the information they have, and put the money in the injured person’s pocket as soon as reasonably possible.