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  • Beware of the Utica National Insurance Company

    I knew insurance companies were sneaky, but this really LOW!!

    Originally posted by 10NBC / WHEC TV-10
    A Wayne County volunteer firefighter, who was hit by a car while doing traffic control for another accident, is being denied medical coverage by the fire department’s insurance provider.
    Jim Gallaher is a former chief of the Lincoln Fire Department, in Wayne County.
    He's been a volunteer for 30 years. In February he was nearly killed in a hit and run accident while on the job. The suspect has still not been found. Now the insurance company is refusing to pay for his pain and suffering.

    Gallaher still wears a cast on his leg. He has constant headaches, memory loss and he can't drive anymore. In his words, his quality of life is down the tubes.

    “The thing is I can't do stuff myself, I’ve got to rely on my friends, neighbors, relatives to do everything for me,” said Gallaher.

    It all began in late February. A car hit Gallaher as he was diverting traffic from another accident. He woke up hours later at Strong Memorial Hospital. Now, the fire department's insurance provider has denied his claim.

    Gallaher's lawyer, Tony DiNitto showed NEWS 10NBC the insurance company's denial. It said because Gallaher was not physically in a department car and because his name is not specifically listed on the policy, he is not considered covered.

    The case has far reaching implications for all volunteer firefighters whose names may not appear on their department's insurance policy.

    Gallaher has contacted State Senator Mike Nozzolio about the problem, but a lawsuit may be next. “It doesn't make any sense so that's why we're trying to look into it, but they're not budging. They say tough. I'm not a member even though I am a member. It doesn't make any sense,” said Gallaher.

    NEWS 10NBC called the insurance company, Utica National. The company said it does not comment publicly on its claims. In its denial, Utica National said the policy in this hit and run case covers the fire department but not the firefighters. Jim Gallaher says the firefighters are the department.

  • #2
    "Utica National said the policy in this hit and run case covers the fire department but not the firefighters."

    That's like saying the fire department is there to "protect the public, but not the citizens". What a load of crap! I hope a Judge will set them straight.

    What I think of most insurance companies cannot be posted on this board!




    Kevin
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by fireman4949
      "Utica National said the policy in this hit and run case covers the fire department but not the firefighters."
      I wonder if somebody made a nasty mistake here, and didn't buy worker's compensation insurance? With a comment like that, it makes me think the Utica policy is an equipment policy......?
      Omnis Cedo Domus

      www.hinckleyfd.org

      Comment


      • #4
        All I can say is read your insurance policy, ask questions if you don't undestand. I work in a adjustment company. We get hired by the Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Utica etc...to investigate and report on insurance claims.
        Many times people and businesses really don't understand whats in their policy.
        I am sure this fire departments policy had what are called "non-covered" losses.

        And contrary to some TV commercials by "ambulance chasing lawyers", adjusters work for both the "injured person" and the insurance company. Thye just give a non-biased report as to what they find.
        "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
        ********

        IACOJ

        ********

        "Criticism is prejudice made plausible."
        - H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

        Comment


        • #5
          Beginning of each year, we must furnish our insurance company with a list of our membership. Also one for the town which covers our Work Comp stuff. Doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

          In an honest question, if the insurance company does not know who to cover, can the FD just throw anyone's name in as a claim when necessary? What proof of membership would be required to be considered "covered"?
          "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bones42
            Beginning of each year, we must furnish our insurance company with a list of our membership. Also one for the town which covers our Work Comp stuff. Doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

            In an honest question, if the insurance company does not know who to cover, can the FD just throw anyone's name in as a claim when necessary? What proof of membership would be required to be considered "covered"?
            I'd say it must be like when you get a new car? Maybe just call your company?
            Last edited by Resq1scnd2none; 05-11-2006, 09:10 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              OK, here is the deal,

              The fireman that was hit is my father. We are both active members of the Lincoln Fire Department and both past chief's. All of the medical bills are being paid currently by workmans comp. Every fire department in our county is self insured through the county and they pick up all of our workmans comp. That is currently in progress and he receives his $400 a week from the comp board. Let me ask you this, cna you live off of $400 a week when you ahvea mortgage to pay and other bills??? What Utica is shafting him on is our department automobile policy. Everyone that has car insurance is required by law (at least in NY) to have supplemental coverage to cover you in case you are hit by someone without insurance or in this case, a hit & run. Every year the department gives a list of names and driver's license numbers to Utica for review and checks (DWI, reckless driving, etc. do they can adjust their rate). So for them to say that he is not on the policy is pure BULL#(@! Their other point is that was not in the vehicle. He used a department vehicle to get to the intersection, he used a department vehicle to block the road. He was then run down by someone that left the scene. By NY state law, just being hit by the hit & run driver should put this policy into effect.

              What he is looking for is Utica National to step to the plate and take of him under this policy. He is a General Contractor and has been out of work for 10 weeks, and it will be at least another 6-8 weeks before he gets back to work. He is looking for the difference in his lost income as well as something down the line. It is very likely that he will have some sort of permanent disability. They don't know if his head aches will ever go away. He has no sense of taste, he gets disoriented very easily and his left knee will most likely have to go under the knife to repair the ligament damage.

              Utica National and the other insurance companies have no problem collecting our high premiums but they sure get cheap when it comes time to pay out on them. What they are doing is morally wrong!!! Our policy in our department is up June 30th. Needles to say, we are looking very seriously at a new carrier.

              I would recommend that everyone look long and hard at their policies whether it be Utica National or some else's and make sure you have it in writing that you be covered. This is no different than stepping out of a pumper at a fire scene and getting run down and having the care take off. The Firemans Association of New York State (FASNY) and the New York State Chief's are already working on my father's behalf as well as our state senators and assemblyman to get this resolved. I wll let everyone know how he makes out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just a quick response, but my vehicle coverage covers damages to the vehicle, not people standing outside the vehicle.
                "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bones42
                  Just a quick response, but my vehicle coverage covers damages to the vehicle, not people standing outside the vehicle.
                  In New York State, your auto policy covers anything vehicle related. If you are a pedestrian that gets run down by a car and the car leaves or has no insurance, your own auto policy goes into effect. It's probably one reason insurance rates in New York are so high.

                  Here is a link to another news story about the whole story.


                  http://www.wroctv.com/news/local.asp

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There was a similar story on the news last night about one women who was dropped from her homeowners insurance because the risk of hurricanes yet she lives in BROOKLYN. They also stated that a dozen or so people in the area recieved the same letter.
                    NEVER FORGET!
                    9/11/01

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      yankee thanks for the info...............I hope your father makes a speedy recovery............I can appreciate the lack of performance from the insurance industry as far as a homeowners policy goes.
                      IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                      Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                      ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                      RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                      LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                      I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                      "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                      http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Isn't Utica the company that touts the fact they have volunteer firefighters as employees in the ads that they run in trade magazines?
                        IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
                          Isn't Utica the company that touts the fact they have volunteer firefighters as employees in the ads that they run in trade magazines?
                          Correct. They used to have a picture of a small town chief from Central NY (along with 2 other firefighters) on their ads but I believe he recently retired. He was a fire protection specialist for many years there.

                          Yankee, I'm sorry your father has to go through this. I will do my best to make sure that our department NEVER gives these jerks a dime

                          I hope your father has a speedy recovery.
                          Tom

                          Never Forget 9-11-2001

                          Stay safe out there!

                          IACOJ Member

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not to sound odd or anything but I have never heard of being covered by your own auto insurance while walking down the road. Can you find where this is stated in your policy. I am a past president of my vol fire co very close to utica. I have read several policies and have never sean anything about that. I hope your father has a speedy recovery.
                            Stay Safe and live long

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Yankee750
                              In New York State, your auto policy covers anything vehicle related. If you are a pedestrian that gets run down by a car and the car leaves or has no insurance, your own auto policy goes into effect.
                              Huh? That doesn't even make sense. Anyhow, I've gotta say I haven't seen anything yet that tells me the claim shouldn't be denied.

                              But I'm listening.

                              Comment

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