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Being a driver, you feel like getting car insurance will give you peace of mind. Aside from the fact that it is mandated by the law to have car insurance in almost all of the states, you also enjoy the feeling of not having to worry about accidents when they occur. As a responsible driver, you choose to pay more than the bare minimum to make sure that everyone who rides with you and the drivers you encounter in the road are protected. But what would you do if your insurance claim gets denied?
The first step would be to review your insurance policy. Take time to read through your entire insurance policy, write down notes and highlight passages that would help you in proving that your insurance claim is valid. If after reviewing your policy you feel like your claim should not have been rejected, you can send a letter to the insurance company and tell them where their mistake is. Provide the necessary documentation to support your claim. Ideally, the insurance company will negotiate and give you a fair settlement.
A denial of your claim is not final, there are ways for you to contest the decision of the insurance company. You also need to understand and take note of the reason why your insurance claim was denied. Understanding the reason for the denial of your claim is important so you can properly determine if the rejection was valid. There are several reasons for denying a claim:
1. Incorrect coverage. – If your insurance policy only has a collision coverage (helps pay for repair or replacement if you car is damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object) and your claim is for comprehensive coverage (damage that is not from collision like vandalism, fire, or falling objects) then the insurance company has the right to deny your claim.
2. Uninsured motorist claim. – You made an uninsured motorist claim on your policy for an accident; however, the other driver involved in the accident has insurance. Your insurance company will deny your claim and you would have to file a claim on the other driver’s insurance company.
3. Your coverage has lapsed. – If you missed a payment on your insurance premium before the set grace period, then you are no longer insured. If you are not the at-fault driver during the accident, the other driver’s insurance might pay for the damages.
4. Excess amount. – The amount of the damages on your claim has exceeded the limits of your insurance policy. The insurance company should still pay for the amount stated on your policy limit, but if they deny the entire claim, you must get in touch with a lawyer.
5. New vehicle. – You bought a new car but did not add it into your policy in the given time frame.
You can also appeal the company’s decision to your State Insurance Commissioner. You can find your State Insurance Commissioner on the National Association of Insurance Commissioner Website.(www.naic.org)
If you have questions about your policy or how to file a claim, contact us today at 951-275-0340. Atchley & Associates is here to serve you. We care.