Being a victim of car theft is incredibly frustrating and can have serious negative consequences. Not only is it a major inconvenience, but it could mean not being able to get to work on time—or even at all if you don’t live near public transportation or close enough to be able to afford an uber or a taxi. Even more frustrating is filing a claim with your insurance company and having it denied seemingly for no reason.
If you find yourself in this situation and you need assistance, Morgan & Morgan is here for you. We have been handling these types of cases for decades and we are always available to help you. We have locations and attorneys throughout the United States, so no matter where you’re located, we can easily be reached. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.
What to do after your car was stolen
Report the claim immediately
If your car is stolen, one of the most important steps you can take is to report it immediately. First, call the police so you can document that your car was stolen. Let them know the license plate number, VIN, year, make, model, and color of your car so they know what specific information to put in the report. Then they will know exactly what to be on the lookout for. Also make sure you tell the police if there are any unique or defining characteristics about your vehicle that could help them locate it. You will also want to let them know where you last saw the car.
Contact your insurance company
Next, you should contact your insurance company. Make sure you don’t delay very long – reporting it to them and the police as soon as it happens will increase your chances of having your claim approved, or of finding your car. Also, insurance companies often have rules regarding how long you can wait before filing a claim. If they request additional information from you, make sure you get it to them as soon as you possibly can. Insurance companies can be difficult to work with and often deny claims even when there’s no legitimate reason to do so - don’t give them a good reason to deny yours.
What to do if your stolen car insurance claim is denied
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position where your insurance claim is denied after your car has been stolen, you can take the following actions:
Determine why the claim was denied
In order to fight the denial of your claim, it’s essential that you know why the claim was denied in the first place. The insurance company should provide this information to you in writing. If they don’t, call and find out why the claim was denied. This will help you determine if there’s anything you can do to get them to reverse their decision.
Read through your policy
Once you know why the claim was denied, you can read through your policy and try to determine if the denial was reasonable or if you think it was a mistake. This can be tedious, but it’s important so you can figure out what to do next.
Speak with a lawyer right away
If your stolen car insurance claim is denied, one of the most important steps you can take is to contact an experienced attorney who handles these types of issues. They can help you read through your policy, especially if you had a hard time understanding everything that should be covered. They can also speak to the insurance company on your behalf. If they believe your claim shouldn’t have been denied, they will help you rectify the situation. Once you have legal representation, insurance companies generally change their tune a bit. They know that you’re serious and that they will be less able to take advantage of you.
Appeal the denial
If you and your lawyer believe that the claim was denied incorrectly, you are entitled to appeal the decision. Most insurance companies have their own protocol and policies in place, so you’ll need to determine what the rules are before you can appeal. This is definitely an area that a lawyer can assist you with. The general steps you can take when you decide to appeal your denied claim include the following:
- Collect evidence. Make sure you have a copy of your policy and any other documentation that your insurance company provided to you, including the denial letter. Also make sure you obtain police reports and anything else that can verify that your car was stolen. This could include witness accounts, video footage from a nearby store or house that caught the crime on camera, and anything else your lawyer believes is relevant.
- Draw up an appeal letter. Once you’ve collected evidence, your lawyer can draft an appeal letter explaining why you disagree with the insurance company’s decision to deny your claim. When creating this letter, your lawyer should include the evidence that was collected, and go through each item one by one, explaining why it is important and what it has to do with your claim. It’s also important to reference your actual insurance policy and explain why they incorrectly denied your claim.
If you hire the right attorney who has experience handling these types of issues, they’ll know exactly how to help you.