Appealing A Denied Car Insurance Claim
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Company Trusted For Over 25+ Years*
Auto insurance is quite an unusual commodity that almost all people buy. The actual purpose of purchasing coverage is that it will protect or at least cover your financial loss in the event of accidents or anything related to that matter depending on types of coverage. It is clear that auto insurance plays its roles only in some unfortunate events such as car crash or being pulled over by an officer due to any traffic offense. Moreover, filing car insurance claims can be a daunting task since there is always a possibility that your insurer simply denies the claim for certain reasons.
Following an accident, commonly you will file auto insurance claims based on real facts of what happened to you, the car, the other driver, and the other driver’s car. Details about how it happens should be well reported too. You will need to contact an agent or simply file your report to your insurer’s official website (if available). If due to any reason the claims are denied, you can always appeal against the decision, but you must first read carefully the denial letter to understand the problems from the company’s point of view. Let us not forget that the company can make mistakes by overlooking some details in your claims.
If you are incapacity because of injuries or other circumstances, you can have the appeal handled by a lawyer. An insurance company can indeed save money by denying claims, but it does not necessarily mean that your insurer is dishonest. The company can deny your auto insurance claims when in doubt or you indeed provide very few evidence to support your report. The good thing is that you do not have to accept the denial as a final judgment. You are given a chance to file a formal request to a court for the decision to be changed.
Before you rush into your phone to contact an attorney, you must at least understand some of the common reasons that auto insurance claims are denied. This will make it easier for you to review the denial letter and determine if you have strong reasons to dispute the company’s decision. Common reasons for the denial are briefly outlined as follows:
1. Your auto policy does not cover the accident
There are many different types of coverage, and you are allowed to purchase only some of them. Sometimes car owners only buy the coverage to meet the minimum liability requirements by the state. Of course, each state has different rules, but the minimum requirements are always less expensive than purchasing full coverage auto insurance. If the accident simply falls under certain types of coverage you do not have; the company will deny the claims. Your insurer can inform you that you do not have the coverage for your car damages (this is not usually covered by property damage or personal liability policies). Nevertheless, you can still file car insurance claims if you are sure and supported by evidence that the damages are caused by the other driver involved in the accident (you are not at-fault).
2. Lapsed Coverage
If the accident occurs at the time when your auto insurance lapses, the coverage is not considered valid. When the policies meet their deadline for renewal, you are driving without insurance. Instead of getting compensation for car damages and medical payment, you will probably receive a traffic ticket. The company may send you a notice to remind you that your policies are about to lapse, but you cannot count on that. You must remember the deadline. In such case, the denial is appropriate; you do not even have the legal right to file the claims, let alone appeal the denial.
NOTE: If the company sends a letter to remind you about renewal, the letter usually comes a month before the deadline. This gives you a chance to decide whether or not you will want to continue purchasing the coverage or simply switch company. You can use a calculator to compare prices. Car insurance estimate and discounts change all the time, so it is best to do it before every renewal to get the best coverage for your circumstances.
3. You are not a named party
Certain coverage follows the car, while others follow the driver. If you have injuries due to an accident, auto insurance claims for medical payment will be denied if you drive your friend’s car. The owner’s policies cover the car, but you are not unless you have your coverage to cover the medical expense. Medical payment coverage is an insurance that follows the person, not the car.
4. The amount of damages exceeds the policy limits
This is not a reason for denying claims, but a mere limitation on the payable amount. There is, however, a possibility that the insurer denies the entire claim. For example, the driver who causes the accident has a limit of $25,000. He crashes his car into your Ferrari, and the total damage is worth $100,000. The insurer is only liable for $25,000, so you need to go to the other driver for the rest of the amount.
5. At fault
This is one of the most common reasons why you should appeal a denial decision. It can be difficult to determine whether or not you are at fault in the event of an accident. The letter of denial from the company must provide clear explanations about this. You need to review the company’s reasons carefully and compare it with your version of the story. Being at-fault is not a problem if you live in the state where insurance companies do not consider this a factor for denial.
Appealing the Denial
There are a couple of methods to file auto insurance claims. In the past, the only way to do it is to contact an agent and do the necessary procedures. Nowadays, numerous companies allow their customers to file claims via the Internet by accessing the insurers’ official websites; not only major names, but you will find the same things with less familiar names such as Direct Auto Insurance and Rodney D Young Insurance.
Rodney D Young Auto Insurance does not have online reporting, but you can see comprehensive explanations on how to file the claims. Its official website even has a list of things to do and prepare to avoid problems or delay when submitting. Rodney D Young Auto Insurance also provides information about claim process and claim status, so you know what happens to the claim almost any time.
The official website of Rodney D Young Insurance is even better compared to many other insurance companies. The former has more options to allow you to do more things and find more information via the Internet. You can file a claim directly from the website and even verify your coverage. Most companies have the same kind of services, so please check your insurer’s official site to see if it has online claims reporting; this indeed allows you to file claims even during weekends or holidays when agents can be unreachable.
How to do it?
The first thing to do after you receives the letter of denial is of course to check the company’s reasons for making the decision. As previously explained, there are many possibilities so you will need to check the actual ins. Policies you have to figure out if there is any mistake. If you have full coverage car insurance policies rather than only the state’s minimum liability requirements, there should be no problems at all. Auto damages, medical payments, and all the incurred payment will be covered.
There is almost no reason for the insurer to deny your claims. Please read the letter carefully and prepare document evidence showing that your claims are indeed inappropriately denied. All companies are obliged to provide appeal process, but the period for making an appeal against the decision can be very short, meaning you have to file the appeal the immediately. Furthermore, every insurer is obliged to promptly and fairly negotiate the claims in good faith.
Every company always has a process in place for the customer to appeal claim denials. To properly dispute the denial, you will need to consult an agent or attorney about the procedures. If you are currently in this kind of circumstance, please remember the following suggestions:
1. You must see the denial from the company’s standpoint; understand their reasons for denying auto insurance claims.
2. Write a statement or letter elaborating why the insurer’s decisions and your evidence contradict. There are many things you can use as proof such as photographs, medical reports, police reports, eyewitness reports, physical therapy, diagnostic test, medications, etc.
Connect the evidence to support your claim. Also, review the evidence before you send the letter.
3. Ask help from insurance attorney. This can be a good idea if you have no knowledge or experience whatsoever about filing an appeal. If you think the company does not treat you fairly or the appeal is not handled promptly, an attorney can help you to put pressure legally on the insurer and ask to address the issues quickly in appropriate ways.
Please put in mind that filing an appeal does not always mean that the company will inevitably change its initial decision. Nevertheless, you can file a lawsuit to the other party involved in the accident to get compensation for your car damages, medical payment, or any financial loss. Furthermore, you can appeal the insurer’s decision to your state’s Insurance Commissioner. It is even possible to file a lawsuit against the company for bad faith practices or contract violations.
Even when the dispute is finally settled, you are probably disappointed that the firm does not give you the kind of customer service you deserve. It is likely to be the best time to switch insurers and look for one with a better reputation and customers’ satisfaction rating. It is now easy to do this since you can utilize the Internet to find almost everything you need.
Car insurance calculator is now widely available on many websites; you can use this free of charge to figure out the approximation of car insurance estimate you should pay. You will not have to make phone calls to many different companies or make appointments with an agent. Online car insurance calculator is available 24/7, meaning you are allowed to make use of it anytime you need. Even better, some websites use database from many reputable insurers so it should be easy to figure out car insurance estimate from any of them and make comparison. Please note that online car insurance calculator requires some personal data such as age, address, and car model to make accurate approximation.
Regardless of company’s reputation, financial conditions and claim ratio, auto insurance claims can be denied if the report is not convincing enough. You may want to purchase full coverage car insurance to make sure that all incidents, damages, or medical payments incurred by both accident and non-accident causes will be more likely and appropriately addressed without having to file an appeal. You certainly need to spend more, but it is worth the price.