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How to Appeal a Car Insurance Claim Decision
If you are curious about how to appeal a car insurance claims decision because you have already received a result or notification from your insurance company that you will not get the benefits you need, the sooner you can take action and consult with a lawyer the better. It is not easy to navigate this process on your own and even though you might have started the initial insurance claim process on your own, now that it's time to figure out how to appeal a car insurance claim decision, you might want the support of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer.
You might assume that your car insurance company is there to protect you and to support you in the event of an accident. After all, you've been a paying customer and especially if the accident was not your fault it can be confusing to realize that you now have to figure out how to appeal a car insurance claim decision. There are many different reasons why a car insurance company may deny your initial claim but you need to educate yourself about how to respond so that you can fight back. Some people might assume that they have no other options available to them and give up immediately but once you know how to appeal your car insurance claim decision, you may be able to submit additional evidence that helps you to get the support that you are owed.
What to Know About the Process?
After you were in a car accident and potentially sustained an injury, you expected to have your medical bills paid and your vehicle repairs addressed. This is because you contacted your insurance company to file a claim right away. However, auto insurance claims can be denied by an insurance company and policyholders may believe they have few options and might get concerned about the financial expenses of having to take on these situations yourself. One of the first and most important steps you can take after educating yourself on how to appeal a car insurance claim decision is to open the appeal. You can do this by notifying your insurance company and contacting the agent on your case. Most insurance carriers have an internal appeal process for policyholders to fight back against decisions they believe were wrong or unfair. In your letter, you will need to illustrate how your evidence goes against the insurance company's decision. You may need to provide further details or more in-depth explanations of the information they missed in the initial review.
For example, you might pull together documents like eyewitness reports, photographs, medical records, and police reports and connect every piece of evidence in your car insurance claim to the argument you are making against the adjuster who made this decision. If your appeal is still denied you can also file a complaint with the state insurance department. Since this can be overwhelming, trying to figure out how to appeal a car insurance claim decision, many people hire a lawyer to help them with it. There are a couple of things you should know before opening an appeal with your car insurance claim decision and most of these have to do with the common reasons why car insurance claims are denied.
Driver Not on the Policy
If the person who caused the accident isn't named on the underlying insurance policy, the adjustor can deny the claim. One common way in which this can occur is if a teenager who had a learner's permit was driving with the parent and caused an accident. Even if the parent was in the front seat as a passenger, this accident might not necessarily be covered. You'll want to read through the fine print of your policy and see any details that were referenced by the adjuster when they denied your claim about this. Anyone who is driving the vehicle at all should always be listed on the insurance policy on the chance that they may get involved in an accident and you don't want to have your entire claim denied for this reason.
Your expenses associated with an accident can be substantial but you need to educate yourself about your policy limits before appealing a denied claim. If you didn't have enough coverage in the area in which your claim was classified, the insurance company is within their rights to deny it. For example, perhaps you only had a $50,000 limit in property damage but your $80,000 vehicle was totaled. This means you would have to pay the difference between the policy limit and the totaled car's amount to purchase a new vehicle. Make sure that you have a good understanding of your underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage in these circumstances. The at-fault driver's insurance will likely be used to identify this property damage limit so it can be very frustrating to learn that the other driver did not have appropriate insurance. Having the underinsured and uninsured coverage on your policy gives you the peace of mind that no matter what happens to your vehicle, you are carrying the right insurance.
Coverage That Lapsed
It goes without saying that you should always pay your car insurance premiums on time but what happens if the at-fault driver didn't have insurance coverage? If the policy is no longer active then that driver might not be covered. If you had your own car insurance policy and you submitted your claim to them, and your policy was active, you should be able to recover the compensation that you need. However, if you miss the deadline to renew your insurance or to file a claim, you should never expect that your insurance carrier will notify you about missed or upcoming deadlines. You should always be prepared to file a car insurance claim as quickly as possible after an accident. This can help you avoid figuring out how to appeal a car accident claim decision in the first place.
If you don't tell your car insurance company that you're using your vehicle for business purposes, but get involved in a business-related accident, you may not be covered for this process at all. You should hire the help of an experienced lawyer if your insurance claim has already been denied so that you can better understand the language given to you by the insurance company about the denial itself. Once you know this, you may be in a better position to gather the evidence and to fight back with getting the support that you need.
Understanding the reasons your car insurance claim was denied is critical to appealing the insurance company's decision so if you don't initially get helpful information in this way, contact your insurance company and ask for a written letter detailing why the overall claim was denied. The car insurance denial letter can help you reflect back upon your policy and determine whether or not the grounds they acted on were fair or not.
Most car insurance companies will hope that you disappear after they deny your claim. But there are also laws in place to help to protect you as a consumer. In these situations, you'll want to have the support of an attorney as soon as possible. If you believe that the insurance company has violated their obligations to you as outlined in the contract or have broken any laws, this could become the basis of a bad faith insurance lawsuit. When this happens, you'll want to have the support of a lawyer who has been in this position before and who can help advise you about the impact of bad faith. Insurance companies can be held accountable for instances in which they have violated your rights. You'll need to have plenty of evidence indicating that the insurance company has denied your claim in bad faith. The evidence that you have supporting your underline claim as well as any communication you have had with the insurance company can be used to help tell the story.
Most car insurance companies will have their own process in place for you to appeal the claim and you can ask the adjustor the steps you would need to take to dispute it. When you can show why the evidence that you collected contradicts the insurance company's decision, you might also choose to contact a lawyer if you are uncomfortable in disputing this on your own. In all of these circumstances, having a lawyer to guide you through the process can make it that much easier for you to get the support that you need. Recovering from an accident and trying to go back to work or get back on track with your life as normal post-accident is never easy but by having the right car insurance in place in the first place and having a lawyer to support you with your claim denial, you will dramatically increase your chances of success down the line. For more information about how to appeal your car insurance claim, reach out to Morgan & Morgan today for a free case evaluation to get started.