How to Appeal a Denied Auto Insurance Claim
Life is stressful enough in the aftermath of a car accident. But if your car insurance company denies your claim, it can feel overwhelming.
But here’s the thing. While insurers usually have common reasons for a denied auto insurance claim, there are also plenty of times when they make mistakes. That’s why it’s so important to know your options—especially if you believe they’re in the wrong.
Below, we cover everything you need to know about what you can do if your car insurance claim is rejected. Let’s jump right in!
Why Was Your Auto Claim Denied
Before you can fight a denied claim, you need to understand why it was rejected in the first place. And, depending on the specifics of your car insurance claim, there could be more than one reason why. From police reports and eyewitness statements to the recreation of an accident, there are multiple variables that can influence the outcome of your claim.
If your car insurance claim is denied, your insurer will send a claim denial letter, explaining why they made the decision not to pay out your claim. Make sure to read your denial letter carefully, since it will outline not only the reasons for the denial, but evidence to supplement the decision, too. Here are the most common reasons why a provider will refuse to pay your claim:
- Lapsed Insurance Policy
If you were without valid insurance at the time of the accident or claimable event, there will be no coverage for the insurance company to use as payment for your claim. That’s why maintaining a policy is so important, even when you’re traveling abroad or not driving as much as usual. To avoid expired insurance, you might want to consider paying the policy term in full or use auto-pay so that you’ll never miss a payment. Plus, a lapse in coverage could also result in fines, depending on the state you live in. If your insurance has expired, you’ll either need to reinstate it with your most recent provider, or find a new insurance company.
- Policy exclusions
Car insurance is a must for protecting yourself on the road, but there are some circumstances where it doesn’t always apply. For example, some policies may not cover an accident if it occurred while you were using your car for business purposes. Or, if you turned down comprehensive and collision coverage because your car is an older model, you might not be covered if you’re the one to cause an accident. That’s why it’s so important to fully understand your policy. When you sign up for a plan, make sure to pay close attention to which coverages are offered and which ones you’ll need most.
- Not Enough Coverage
In addition to not having the right coverage, a car insurance company may also deny your claim if you don’t have enough coverage. You may be tempted to choose the minimum liability limits coverage so that you can save money on your monthly premium, but if you are involved in an accident with several injuries to others or extensive property damage, you may exhaust your liability limits. For example, let’s say you have $30,000 in property damage liability coverage and you’re involved in an accident that racks up $50,000 in damages. In this scenario, your insurer can pay up to the $30,000, but they will deny the remaining $10,000 and leave you financially responsible for it.
How to Fight a Denied Auto Claim
Even if your claim has plenty of supporting documents to act as proof, an insurance company may still issue a denial.But there are some cases when a claim that should be paid out is denied. If you believe that your insurer made a mistake, you can appeal the decision. After all, even if it’s just something as simple as a clerical error in your paperwork, insurers are capable of making mistakes. In this case, appealing the insurance company’s decision can get the decision reversed or an offer made for damages.
Here are the steps you can take to fight back against a denial for your auto insurance claim:
- Gather evidence: When you contact your insurance provider about the denial, make sure that you have all the necessary evidence you need to appeal. This may include police reports, eyewitness information, photographs, medical reports and other supporting evidence that can act as proof that your claim needs to be covered. Make copies of everything you provide to the insurance company so that you can keep the originals.
- Send an appeal letter: This is where you’ll get the chance to explain why you don’t agree with your insurance company’s decision. Make sure to also explain each piece of evidence that you’re sending (such as police reports and eyewitness information) and how it proves that your claim should be paid. Provide as much detail as possible, referencing policy information and the claims denial letter as needed. If you have any questions, you can call your insurance company directly to have them walk you through the process
- Enlist the help of an attorney: If all other options have failed, or if you simply prefer to have an expert’s opinion, you may want to seek professional help to fight your denied claim. This is especially advisable when pursuing a claim that involves a serious injury. An attorney can help you find out why your claim was denied and try to recover any damages associated with the car accident. You can also sue your insurance company for bad-faith practices and breach of contract if your claim was denied based on unreasonable grounds. Be aware that if you decide to sue, there is a time limit for filing lawsuits, which varies from state to state.
Find Out How Much You Can Save on Auto Insurance
Car insurance coverage is important for adhering to the law in your state, but it also protects your health and financial stability—which gives you the ultimate peace of mind. Best of all, choosing a policy doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. We make shopping for insurance a piece of cake, with fast and affordable free online auto insurance quotes to help you plan and save. Get your quote today to get the protection you need.