What is a cooperation clause?
If you’re dealing with an insurance company following a motor vehicle accident, your insurance policy has a “cooperation clause” that states that you must cooperate with reasonable requests from the insurance company. This means that you may need to provide them with medical authorizations, recorded statements, and examinations under oath and be generally available to answer questions. All the requests, of course, have to be within reason, and there are boundaries that an insurance company can’t cross when requesting information. You should carefully review each and every request from the insurance company before simply agreeing to provide what they’re looking for.
No obligation to the at-fault driver’s insurance company
While there is a contractual obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company (and cooperation is also required of any passengers in your car who are seeking insurance benefits through your insurance company), you don’t owe the same obligation to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This is important to understand, because the at-fault insurance company may not tell you that you do not need to voluntarily provide them any information. The insurance company may simply send you forms to fill out and medical authorizations to allow them access to your private medical history and demand that you provide a recorded statement. You are under no obligation to do any of this. Be very wary if the at-fault insurance company sends you documents and asks you to sign them. You could be signing away your rights without even knowing it.
Be aware of the distinct obligations that you owe to the different insurance companies.