The 5 Main Reasons a Car Accident Insurance Claim is Denied

Car accident insurance claims may be denied for reasons ranging from not understanding policy coverage to missing an insurance payment.

Elan McAfee
The 5 Main Reasons a Car Accident Insurance Claim is Denied

Car accidents are rarely cheap, and it can be disheartening when your insurance claim gets denied. Knowing the main reasons for car accident insurance claim denials may prevent you from making the following mistakes: not understanding insurance policy coverage, not having enough coverage, not reporting the accident quickly, having a dispute over liability, and missed insurance payments.

Reason 1 of 5: Not understanding insurance policy coverage

It’s not unusual for people to submit claims for incidents which 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 and especially just before you file an accident claim.

Reason 2 of 5: 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 large enough to reimburse you for more costly repairs or the particular circumstances of your car accident.

Reason 3 of 5: Not reporting an accident in a timely manner

Many insurance companies have a short window to file an accident claim, and you may miss your opportunity to be reimbursed for damages or medical bills if you miss that window. While most people are in shock and overwhelmed just after an accident, it is advisable to begin the claims process as soon as possible. There are no advantages in waiting.

Reason 4 of 5: Dispute over liability

Sometimes, the different people involved in an accident have opposing memories of the incident. Other times, one party is plain 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.

Reason 5 of 5: Missed insurance payments

Everyone makes mistakes, and another chief reason for an accident claim being denied is having missed a payment and your insurance lapsed. Before you file a claim, verify that your coverage is current.

To prevent missed payments in the first place, consider enrolling in 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 after filing an accident claim. When this happens, and you’re in the right, you can file an appeal or switch insurance companies.

Read next