PHOENIX — During the past 12 months, the Arizona Department of Transportation has recouped more than $3 million in damage to the state highway system, saving taxpayers from bearing the cost of repairs.
ADOT accomplishes this through its Insurance Recovery Unit that is made up of professionals with an insurance-industry background. These professionals reach out to the party responsible for damaging a highway component as well as the party’s insurance carrier to recover the repair costs, which include labor, equipment and materials. This money goes back into the state highway fund.
The Insurance Recovery Unit processed nearly 1,400 claims over the past 12 months.
“Insurance recovery aids us in being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Ted Howard, safety and risk management director. “This unit helps save taxpayers millions of dollars each year by holding the person who damages state property accountable for the cost of repairs.”
The recovery process begins when law enforcement responds to an incident where guardrail, a bridge or some component of the highway system was damaged. The officer will mark the damaged item with a sticker that has the police report number on it. ADOT maintenance is then notified of the damage and makes the repair. A member of the Insurance Recovery Unit will utilize the police report to contact the party that caused the damage or their insurance company to file a claim.
Since 2009, ADOT has processed more than 9,500 claims.