Made Whole States

The subrogation doctrine of making the insured whole prior to taking any reimbursement for the carrier is common throughout the states, although the definition may change depending on what state the loss occurred in. 

I gave additional information on making the insured whole after the chart. Be sure to check that out. 

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This chart is current as of the date I wrote it, but adjusters should be familiar with their state’s rules. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the list. Because laws and regulations can change without notice, an attorney should be contacted if there are any questions regarding this chart. These materials are provided for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions because I am not an attorney.

State
Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine
Does Not Adhere to the Made Whole Doctrine
Consult with Subrogation Attorney
Alabama
X
Alaska
X
X
Arizona
X
Arkansas
X
California
X
Colorado
X
X
Connecticut
X
X
Delaware
X
X
District of Columbia
X
Florida
X
Georgia
X
X
Hawaii
X
X
Idaho
X
Illinois
X
X
Indiana
X
X
Iowa
X
X
Kansas
X
X
Kentucky
X
Louisiana
X
Maine
X
Maryland
X
Massachusetts
X
X
Michigan
X
X
Minnesota
X
Mississippi
X
Missouri
X
X
Montana
X
Nebraska
X
X
Nevada
X
New Hampshire
X
New Jersey
X
X
New Mexico
X
X
New York
X
North Carolina
X
X
North Dakota
X
X
Ohio
X
Oklahoma
X
Oregon
X
Pennsylvania
X
Rhode Island
X
South Carolina
X
X
South Dakota
X
Tennessee
X
Texas
X
X
Utah
X
Vermont
X
X
Virginia
X
Washington
X
West Virginia
X
Wisconsin
X
X
Wyoming
X
X

Alabama

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses; all sources of reimbursement must be considered in order to determine if the insured has been made whole. This applies to liability and property damage claims. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply. The insurer must determine if the insured has been made whole. 

 

Alaska

It does not appear Alaska adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel. 

 

Arizona

It does not appear Arizona adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel. The 9th Circuit Court made the doctrine into a federal common law concerning health care insurance. There is no mention of liability or property insurance. 

 

Arkansas

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. Unlike Alabama, the insurer cannot circumvent the doctrine with policy language. Note: The insurer should determine if the insured has been made whole prior to sending a subrogation demand to the at-fault party. Arkansas believes even a subrogation demand by the carrier is attempting to obtain reimbursement before the insured is made whole. 

 

California

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply. Note: The doctrine applies even for non-covered claims. Therefore, the insured must be whole reimbursed by the at-fault party for losses he sustained that the insurer did not cover before the insurer can obtain reimbursement for its payments. 

 

Colorado

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. C.R.S. § 10-1-135 codified the common laws surrounding subrogation claims, but there are few court rulings interpreting the statute. Therefore, it would be wise for the adjuster to consult with a subrogation attorney. 

 

Connecticut

It does not appear Connecticut adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel. The doctrine has been mentioned in bankruptcy cases. The Connecticut Court of Appeals opined, in one case, the insured must be fully reimbursed for his loss before the insurer can pursue subrogation.  

 

Delaware

It does not appear Delaware adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel.

 

District of Columbia

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply.

 

Florida

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. 

 

Georgia

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine which it calls the “Full Compensation Rule.” The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. It was codified in 1998 § 33-24-56.1. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply; however, the Georgia Supreme Court stated this was against public policy. Adjusters should discuss the case with subrogation counsel. Note: Subrogation for medical expenses and disability payments is not allowed. 

 

Hawaii

It does not appear Hawaii adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel. Courts state insureds should be made whole before an uninsured auto insurer may seek reimbursement from the at-fault party. Conversely, Hawaii has not applied the doctrine in a routine subrogation case. 

 

Idaho

It does not appear Idaho adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel. The 9th Circuit Court made the doctrine into a federal common law concerning health care insurance. There is no mention of liability or property insurance. 

 

Illinois

It does not appear Illinois adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel. However, Illinois does recognize subrogation clauses in insurance policies. Note: The legislature passed § 23/50. 2012 IL Legis. Serv. P.A. 97-1042 (H.B. 5823) which allows for the reduction of payments by the insured’s comparative fault. 

 

Indiana

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply, but standard wording of a policy may be insufficient to overcome Indiana statute § 34-51-2-19. Adjusters should seek advice of subrogation counsel. 

 

Iowa

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine which it calls the “Full Recovery Rule.” The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. Note: Pain and Suffering does not need to be taken into account to determine if the insured has been made whole. There appears to be some confusion as to the policy’s ability to supersede the Made Whole Doctrine. Adjusters should seek advice of subrogation counsel.

 

Kansas

Kansas has an anti-subrogation statute KS Admin. Regs. § 40-1-20 (1987); therefore, it does not appear Kansas adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. However, if a policy was issued out of state, a question may arise if the statute applies to the contract. Adjusters should consult with subrogation counsel. 

 

Kentucky

Kentucky believes the insured must be fully reimbursed for injuries or damages prior to the insurer seeking subrogation. However, the policy can overwrite the doctrine. Unfortunately, a court must undergo the analysis to determine if the Made Whole Doctrine is applicable. Adjusters should consult with subrogation counsel. 

 

Louisiana

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. Note: It is the insured who must prove he has not been made whole by his settlement.

 

Maine

Maine appears to be conflicted about the Made Whole Doctrine. There is not case law discussing the doctrine, but the state prefers the insured to be fully compensated by an uninsured motorist before the insurer can pursue subrogation. Adjusters should consult with subrogation counsel. 

 

Maryland

Maryland straight up says it does not adhere to the Made Whole Doctrine. 

 

Massachusetts

It does not appear Massachusetts adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel.

 

Michigan

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. Michigan remains silent regarding if the insurer can circumvent the doctrine with policy language. Adjusters should consult with subrogation counsel. Note: The Michigan Supreme Court opined an insurer is not entitled to reimbursement unless the insured is fully compensated including attorney fees and costs. 

 

Minnesota

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine which it calls the “Full Recovery Rule.” The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply.

 

Mississippi

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. 

 

Missouri

It does not appear Missouri adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel.

 

Montana

Montana states its public policy for the insured to be completely reimbursed for all costs, including attorney fees. The carrier may not pursue subrogation until it determines if the insured has been made whole. Medical Payments (MedPay) may not be subrogated in an auto policy. 

 

Nebraska

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The state appears conflicted if a policy can overwrite the doctrine with policy language. Adjusters are encouraged to see information from subrogation counsel. 

 

Nevada

Nevada appears conflicted about the Made Whole Doctrine. The Supreme Court of Nevada declared the insured must be made whole prior to the carrier seeking reimbursement, but a policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply. Adjusters should contact subrogation counsel. 

 

New Hampshire

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine as it applies to health carriers. Adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel. There is no mention of liability or property insurance. 

 

New Jersey

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply, but standard wording of a policy may be insufficient to overcome the doctrine. Therefore, adjusters should seek advice from subrogation counsel. 

 

New Mexico

While New Mexico does not have the Made Whole Doctrine, it does allow for the insurer and insured to split the settlement on a pro-rata basis. Adjusters are encouraged to speak with subrogation counsel. 

 

New York

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. 

 

North Carolina

It does not appear North Carolina adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel. 

 

North Dakota

It does not appear North Dakota adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine in regards to health insurers. There is no mention of liability or property insurers, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel.

 

Ohio

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply.

 

Oklahoma

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply.

 

Oregon

Oregon appears conflicted about the Made Whole Doctrine. The Court of Appeals declared the insured must be made whole prior to the carrier seeking reimbursement, but the doctrine is not the law of the land. Adjusters should contact subrogation counsel. 

 

Pennsylvania

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole which includes attorney fees. 

 

Rhode Island

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. It does not appear the insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply.

 

South Carolina

While South Carolina does not have the Made Whole Doctrine, it does allow for the insurer and insured to split the settlement on a pro-rata basis. However, there is a caveat in that if the insured believes the carrier is being unfair in taking its portion, subrogation would not be allowed. Adjusters are encouraged to speak with subrogation counsel. 

 

South Dakota

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply.

 

Tennessee

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. Note: It is the insured who must prove he has not been made whole by his settlement. The insured may spoil the carrier’s right of subrogation if he settles with the at-fault party, knowing the carrier will pursue subrogation, and the settlement does not make the insured whole. In other words, if the insured knows the at-fault party’s settlement will not fully reimburse him, but he settles anyway, the carrier loses its ability to pursue subrogation from the at-fault party because the insured has admitted he is not being made whole and will never be made whole. 

 

Texas

Texas adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but it is one of the most misunderstood provisions. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply. Note: Texas courts state the party who is filing suit for reimbursement must be the one to demonstrate the insured has been made whole in order to obtain reimbursement. Because this rule is often misunderstood, adjusters are encouraged to speak with subrogation counsel. 

 

Utah

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply.

 

Vermont

Vermont is odd in that it interprets the sole reason for subrogation to make the insurer, rather than the insured, whole. Adjusters are encouraged to speak with subrogation counsel. 

 

Virginia

Adjusters are encouraged to speak with subrogation counsel.

 

Washington

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. Note: The insured is allowed to obtain his general damages (pain and suffering) before the insurer is reimbursed, but the insured must be careful not to do anything that will prejudice the carrier’s rights. 

 

West Virginia

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. The insurance policy can specifically state that the Made Whole Doctrine does not apply.

 

Wisconsin

Adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine. The insurer may pursue subrogation after the insured is made whole. The insured has been made whole when the at-fault party has completely compensated for all of the insured’s losses. Note: There is a legislatively sanctioned subrogation right which overrides routine subrogation claims. This usually involves uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as well as Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage, which was not discussed in this book. Adjusters are encouraged to speak with subrogation counsel.

 

Wyoming

It does not appear Wyoming adheres to the Made Whole Doctrine, but adjusters are encouraged to seek information from subrogation counsel.