Car accidents are rarely cheap, and it can be disheartening when your insurance claim gets denied. Knowing the five main reasons for car accident insurance claim denials may prevent you from making some costly mistakes.
1. Not Understanding Insurance Policy Coverage
It’s not unusual for people to submit claims for incidents that are not covered by their policies. Let’s face it: Few people memorize the fine print in their insurance paperwork.
For example, your personal insurance policy may not cover your vehicle when it is being used for job-related purposes. So it’s wise to review your policy coverage periodically to make sure it is meeting your needs, especially just before you file an accident claim.
2. Not Having Enough Coverage
If you only carry the state minimum coverage on your car, it may not cover repairs or medical bills in accidents where you are at fault. Even if you do carry more than the minimum, your policy may not be comprehensive enough to reimburse you for more costly repairs, or to accommodate the particular circumstances of your car accident.
3. Not Reporting an Accident in a Timely Manner
Many insurance companies offer drivers a short window to file an accident claim, and you may lose your opportunity to be reimbursed for damages or medical bills if you miss that window. While most people are in shock and overwhelmed after an accident, it is advisable to begin the claims process as soon as possible. There are no advantages in waiting.
4. Dispute Over Liability
Sometimes, the different people involved in an accident have conflicting memories of the incident. At other times, one party is being dishonest. Regardless of the truth, disputes over liability will delay the claims process at best and reward the wrong party at worst. Take care in documenting the damage with photos and witness reports, and always save your receipts to better corroborate your side of the story.
5. Missed Insurance Payments
Another chief reason for an accident claim being denied is missing a payment and having your insurance lapse as a result. Before you file a claim, verify that your coverage is current.
To prevent missed payments in the first place, consider enrolling in an autopay service or programming monthly reminders into your smartphone’s calendar. It is unwise to rely on memory alone to make your payments on time.
It’s not unusual for your car insurance claim to be turned down. When this happens, and you’re in the right, you can file an appeal or switch insurance companies.