How Should I Handle a Denied RV Insurance Claim?

Owning an RV is certainly an expensive venture, especially if you’re just getting started as an RV owner. You probably took out insurance to help protect you in the event of an unexpected situation, but what happens when your RV insurance claim gets denied? This can sometimes be more of an issue than the accident itself. 

Knowing what to do when your RV insurance claim gets denied can help you to get the support that you need as soon as possible. When your RV insurance claim is denied, you do have options available to you and one of the first is to figure out why your claim was denied in the first place. This can help you figure out how you want to proceed. 

Getting RV insurance is an important first step to protecting your big investment, but unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as getting your claim approved to get the payments you need. 

Understanding Insurance

Many people purchase insurance for the purpose of protecting themselves in the event of a worst possible outcome. Unfortunately, too many RV owners find out after the fact that their RV insurance does not cover everything. 

Understanding Common Reasons for Denial

Once you get the news that your RV insurance claim was denied you need to investigate why the claim was denied in the first place. There are many different reasons why the insurance company might deny your claim and some of these may be legitimate in nature. Of course, you want to read through the specifics of your RV insurance policy as soon as you take it out but it's also worth taking a second look at this RV insurance policy after your RV insurance claim is denied. The first reason that your claim can be denied is due to poor maintenance. 

The insurance company expects that you will perform regular maintenance on your vehicle in order for the insurance to remain intact. You need to go beyond typical oil changes and checking tire pressure but you also need to make sure that all of the seams throughout the RV coach have maintained proper sealant. If you overlook these important maintenance steps, there may be fine print in your contract that leads to your RV insurance claim being denied. 

You could be held personally responsible for any other damage and the insurance company will not pay out anything in your claim. This leaves you to foot the bill for what could be extensive damage. Another reason for your RV insurance claim to be denied is consequential damage. Check to determine whether or not consequential damage is covered in your personal RV policy but in the vast majority of cases, it isn't.

Consequential damage can be defined as any losses or damage that are caused indirectly. One of the only ways to fight back when this RV insurance claim is denied is to argue that the damage that was done is direct. It's important to understand these issues before you count on everything in your claim being covered. 

If you fail to keep appropriate insurance on your RV, you can expect that your claim will be denied. If there was a lapse in RV insurance coverage this is one of the first lines of defense the insurance carrier will use to deny your claim. For many people who need motorhome repairs, a lapse in coverage could make a big difference in their ability to pay for the necessary repairs. Make all of your premium payments and calendar them so that you don't miss a date. If the company has argued that you've had a lapse in coverage you may need to provide proof of all of this.

Finally, inadequate RV insurance coverage is another reason for your RV insurance claim to be denied. You might have basic insurance coverage on the vehicle but it doesn't cover all the possible scenarios that could land you in the repair shop. Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of worst case scenarios and educate yourself about common breakdowns and problems with RV insurance so that you can determine what you can afford to pay out of pocket when it comes to repairs. It can be very frustrating to discover in this situation that your RV insurance claim was denied but it can be even more frustrating to realize that your policy didn't cover the appropriate support in the first place. Some of the most common reasons to file RV insurance claims include tire failures, animal infestations, failure to retract awnings or steps, hitting low bridges or over hangings and fires. 
As many people have learned by having an RV insurance claim denied, not all insurance companies are created equal. Too many insurance companies that only dabble in the RV market do not realize how RVs are different from passenger vehicles. This means that some companies aren't interested in learning more about the difference and are only interested in avoiding their responsibility to make a payout. 

What to Do to Support Your Denied RV Insurance Claim? 

Most insurance companies have an appeals process that you can use if your RV insurance claim was already denied. If you are not one of the lucky people who has been able to go over the entire life of their RV without filing an insurance claim, you should still educate yourself about what to do in the event of this process so that you can have a hassle-free claim. 

Always retain receipts and take photos as soon as possible after the damage occurs. The adjustor cannot make a realistic assessment of the damage to your RV unless you have receipts or other documents backing it up. Also, get into a good habit of keeping any receipts from major operates made to the RV. Keeping photocopies is really important because the ink on your receipts can fade. If you already have these photocopies stored in a file folder, it'll be that much easier to find them. After the damage has happened, take photos after the fact and get any post damage receipts too. This might help to tell the overall story with visuals. Estimates and receipts for work done can be some of the strongest things to support your RV insurance claim. Photo documentation is critical if you have an accident or incident that doesn't restrict the mobility of the rig. Be honest throughout the application process and make sure you understand the specifics of your claim. If you are unsure of what kind of coverage you need to get, ask the person quoting you to explain what each of these smaller statements means. On the phone, with a sales representative, it's easy to assume that you don't need many of these coverages. 

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney? 

There are some circumstances where you might wind up hiring a lawyer to help you when your RV insurance claim is denied. The support of an attorney can be influential in helping you to present more compelling documentation and evidence to increase your chances of getting what you need. The support of an experienced lawyer can help guide you through this process and answer many of your most common questions.       

If you have already tried to resolve things on your own and have been unsuccessful in doing so, this is where hiring the right lawyer makes a world of difference. If you believe that the insurance company has violated your rights or engaged in something called bad faith, you can use this information to file suit against the insurance carrier. In this case, you’re not only arguing about the base facts of the entire case, but you’re claiming that the insurance company wrongfully delayed or denied the benefits due. This is a serious matter of bad faith and one that might not only protect your interests in this claim but can also help you hold insurance carriers accountable for their actions. 

A denied RV insurance claim puts you as the responsible party for an incident you didn’t expect. The only way to protect yourself is to respond with the help of a lawyer to make sure you get the support you need. Your lawyer will look at your individual claim and tell you more about how to plan and how to move forward, including whether or not you should keep talking to the insurance company. Your lawyer can help you fight for that owed compensation, too, which can make a big difference in your case outcome. 

No one should have to be alone when dealing with a denied RV insurance claim. Thankfully, you can find a lawyer who knows the lay of the land. 

If you’ve been denied your claim and are ready to take your first steps toward getting what you are owed, contact Morgan & Morgan to receive a free case evaluation.

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