It is never easy to deal with a car accident and the aftermath that come with it — whether that’s in the form of medical bills from the hospital, car damage, or a totally upended lifestyle. This is made all that much worse, then, when your car insurance claim is denied. It might seem like a moment when everything comes crashing down, but you should not despair. If you know what to do after your car insurance claim is denied, then you’ll be able to move forward with confidence.
In this article, we’ll go over understanding why your claim was denied, how you can verify that the denial was valid, what goes into appealing the decision, and whether or not you need to acquire an attorney.
Car insurance companies survive, like any business, by making more money than they pay out, and the primary way that insurance pays out is through claims. You don’t need to think they are cheating you out of money, but if there is a way for the car insurance company to deny your claim within the boundaries of the law and your policy, you can bet it will happen.
Step 1: Understand why your claim was denied. Car insurance companies don’t just deny your claim because they feel like it; rather, there is a process they follow.
Since there is a rational process which they use to make a decision on your claim, you should be given a clear reason which will tell you why your claim is denied. This means that you can possibly identify a mistake on the insurance company’s part and rectify the situation.
There are many reasons the car insurance company might give, and it is hard to predict every single one of them, but you can look for a few common patterns and common reasons your claim might be denied.
The simplest could be that you filed a claim for something that was not covered. For instance, if you only have liability coverage and not comprehensive, then if you filed a claim that would involve something beyond minimum liability coverage, your claim would be denied.
Likewise, if you have uninsured motorist coverage on your plan, and you filed a claim with that protection in mind but it turned out the other person had coverage, your claim would be denied. You may not have coverage because you did not follow policy guidelines involving adding cars or making payments.
There could, again, be other issues out there, but these are some you may run into.
Step 2: Verify that the insurance company’s reasoning is valid. Once you know the reason why you were denied a claim, you can verify whether it is true or not.
If, for instance, you were denied a claim because your insurance coverage says that you lapsed in payment, but you are sure you did pay, you can provide proof of this in a number of ways, for example, by showing a bank statement.
At any rate, the point is that you have recourse to any proof disputing what the car insurance company is saying, which allows you to protect yourself and have your claim fulfilled. Remember, an insurer can make a mistake just like anyone else. Don’t assume the carrier is correct until you have verified the situation for yourself.
Step 3: Appeal the decision. Provide the proof that the claim was wrongfully denied to the insurance in writing or by contacting the proper state agency.
States have insurance commissioners which can provide assistance in some way. Hopefully, however, providing the proof in writing will be enough to get the ball rolling.
Step 4: Get a lawyer. If nothing else works, then you can hire a lawyer to help you get what you believe is rightfully yours.
Legal representation can provide you with the necessary advice and, if necessary, help you sue the insurance company so you can receive what belongs to you. This might be a drawn-out process, but may be what is required to have your claim accepted.
Knowing what to do after your car insurance claim is denied is essential. If you are able to respond promptly and determine what the issue is, then you can discover either that your claim was rightfully denied, in which case your mind will be at ease, or you can take steps to rectify the situation.