When a Car Insurance Claim is Denied - Steps You Can Take
Nothing is more frustrating than having your car insurance claim denied when you have been involved in an accident. Do you give up, or what options do you have? Why was the claim denied? The fact is, you may still be able to pursue the insurance money necessary to pay for any injuries and/or damages that occurred as the result of an accident. The first step you should take if your claim has been denied is to thoroughly read the letter sent to you denying payment of the claim. Only after you understand the reasoning behind the insurance company's decision can you determine whether you may be able to argue your claim.Common reasons for denial of a car insurance claim
Whether or not you can appeal the denial of your claim may be determined by the reason(s) it was denied in the first place. While it is important to understand the insurance provider's reasoning, there are many reasons for denial of payment. Some of the most common include:
- You caused the accident. Depending on the fault laws in a particular state, your claim may be denied if you were at fault in the accident. Perhaps you don't agree you were at fault, after considering the insurance company's reasons and your own version of what happened/the evidence.
- You were not on the contract. Only those who are named on an insurance policy will be covered; if you were not a named party, your claim will be denied.
- Missed filing deadline/lapsed coverage. When you fail to pay your premiums, your policy may lapse, meaning you no longer have coverage. It is also important to note that there are deadlines in place for filing a claim; if you miss the deadline, your claim may be denied.
- The limits of your policy are exceeded by the damages. In this case, your claim may not have been denied, but limited instead. An insurance company may still decide to deny your entire claim, however.
- The type of coverage you purchased does not cover the accident. Most auto accident insurance polices offer coverage for liability, collision, and other coverage types. You claim will be denied if the accident falls under a type of coverage you did not buy.
Appealing the denial of an insurance claim is fairly simple. Once you thoroughly understand whey the claim was denied and have decided you do not fully agree, review the evidence you submitted with your claim. Write a letter to the insurance company clearly explaining why you disagree, and how you feel the evidence contradicts the company's decision. You will also want to include medical records, documentation of physical therapy, police reports, photos, eyewitness accounts, and other information that may support your claim.
If you feel you would have a stronger claim, do not hesitate to consult with a car accident attorney. In addition, you may want to speak with a lawyer if you sustained serious or permanent injury in the crash.
It is important to note that Florida is a no-fault state, and that motorists have a benefit known as Personal Injury Protection, or PIP which pays the initial $10,000 of an injured individual's medical costs, no matter who was at fault in the accident. Because the laws in Florida regarding auto insurance and accidents change frequently, you may want to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure you are up-to-date on the most current legislature.