Auto insurance is intended to protect you and other motorists on the road if there is an accident. Typically, insurance will kick in to cover damages caused during an accident that was your fault. This includes property damage and medical bills if the other motorists involved undergo medical treatment. At times, your insurance claim may be denied, and you might be left wondering what protection it really offers. To prevent these situations, it's best to understand why insurance claims may be denied.
If your insurance company decides to deny your claim, you will receive a letter giving you a specific reason for the denial. These are some common reasons that insurance companies use:
- Lapsed coverage - if your coverage lapsed during the time of the accident, meaning you didn't have insurance when the accident occurred, the company will deny your claim.
- New vehicle - whenever you buy a new vehicle, it's important to notify your insurance company to guarantee that the new car is covered under the policy.
- Policy limits - if you file for damages that exceed your policy limits and the set monetary amounts you have in place, then your claim may be denied.
- Failure to seek medical treatment - if you didn't seek medical treatment immediately after the accident, insurance claims can be denied because companies are unsure if the condition was caused by the accident or another issue in your life.
- Avoidable accident - if the accident was your fault or it could have been avoided, such as DUI, unlicensed or uninsured drivers, the claim may be denied by your insurance company.
- Policy coverage - your policy only covers certain things, and your claim may not be covered by the policy you have, and if you don't have it, your insurance won't pay for it.
Having an insurance claim denied can be devastating emotionally. If you are dealing with injuries or illness caused by a car accident and are unable to work, the financial outcome of a denied claim can sit heavy on your shoulders. When you receive a denied claim, you do have a few options:
- Always read through all correspondence with your insurance company to determine why your claim was denied. If you don't understand, talk to your insurer. Some claims are denied because of small errors that can easily be fixed.
- If the facts from your accident don't match the reasons that the insurance company denied your claim, then there may have been a mistake at the insurance company, and you may be able to dispute your claim.
If you are facing the physical, emotional and financial devastation that comes with a denied insurance claim, it may be a good idea to speak to an attorney about your options.