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Insurance Claim Denied

What Should I Do if My Stolen Car Insurance Claim Is Denied?

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What Should I Do if My Stolen Car Insurance Claim Is Denied?

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.

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FAQ

Insurance Claim Denied FAQs

  • Why are claims denied?

    It’s difficult to say why your claim was denied because it’s very fact-specific. However, there are some common reasons stolen car insurance claims are denied, including the following:

    • Policy Limits

    All insurance policies have limits on how much they will pay out if you need to file a claim for an accident or a stolen vehicle. If your claim is higher than the coverage limit you purchased, then your claim could be partially denied. The insurance company might agree to pay an amount up to but not greater than the policy limit, but then you could be stuck with the rest of the balance.

    • Policy Coverage

    Another possible reason that your claim might be denied is based on your policy coverage. All auto insurance policies are different, which is why it’s so important to read through your policy, including the fine print, before you decide which one is the right policy for you. If you only have collision or personal liability, and you didn’t choose a policy that included coverage for a stolen car, then you could be out of luck if you end up in that unfortunate situation. 

    • Non-Payment

    Arguably, the most important thing you can do when it comes to your car insurance is to make sure you always pay your premiums on time. If you fail to pay on time, you could be penalized and face increased premiums. Even worse, if you’re involved in an accident but you let your policy lapse by not paying your premiums, you won’t be covered for your loss.  The same is true with a claim for a stolen car. It doesn’t matter if you previously had insurance for a stolen vehicle, if you haven’t been paying your premiums and let the policy lapse, you could find yourself on the hook for the entire cost of your stolen car, with no help whatsoever from your insurance company. 

    • Misleading Information/Failure to Disclose

    It's vital that you keep all of your information up to date with your insurance company. If they believe you lied about something—such as your address or other personal information that could affect the price of your premiums or eligibility—your insurance company could leave you without coverage if they discover this. Even if you’ve been paying your premiums and you had theft insurance, you could end up out of luck if they find out you lied or didn’t disclose important information. 

  • My car was stolen and someone mentioned gap insurance. What is it?

    Gap insurance is an optional addition to your car insurance policy that will help you pay off any excess amount that is owed after your car is stolen or totaled. If your insurance policy won’t pay out as much as your car is worth, gap insurance can help ‘fill the gap’ so that you don’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket. This can be an especially helpful policy to have if you are financing your car. For example, you might still owe $20,000 on your car, but your insurance policy will only pay out up to $12,000. If you have gap insurance, this could cover the $8,000 gap that you’d otherwise be responsible for.

  • Morgan & Morgan Can Help

    If your car was stolen and the insurance company has denied your claim, let us help you. We understand how difficult it is to function without a car. Having proper insurance and receiving a substantial payout on a claim is the kind of outcome our attorneys excel at. We want to make sure that you get everything you’re entitled to should your car be stolen. We handle all of our cases on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to pay us anything until we settle or win your case. Over the years, we have recovered more than ten billion dollars for our clients. We want to help you as well. We have all of the necessary resources to properly investigate and prepare your case. Contact us today for a free evaluation.  

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