When you contact an insurance company and make a claim that you’ve been in an accident, you’d expect them to cut you a check so you can cover your expenses. After all, your car is a wreck, you may even have injuries that you’re dealing with, what more could they possibly need? So, when you hear back from the insurance adjuster that your claim has been denied, it likely comes at a real shock.
Reduce Your Chances of a Denial
You have to be very detail-oriented when filing an insurance claim. This is especially true if you’re hoping to get it approved. When you submit a claim, any inaccuracies or missing information could get you denied. To reduce your chances of rejection be sure you do the following:
– File immediately – The longer you wait to file a claim the harder it can be to get it approved. Evidence can be eliminated, witness accounts become cloudy, and documents can get lost. So, file the moment you’re able to.
– Tell the Truth – Don’t try to trick the insurance adjuster into getting more money by being dishonest. Leaving out key details or blurring the truth in any way could cause your claim to be denied.
– Send in Documentation – Insurance adjusters are not going to go out of their way to contact the police, doctor’s offices, and other professional services to obtain documents as it pertains to your claim. This is your responsibility. Therefore, make sure you’ve gathered all the required documents before filing your claim.
Take Action Quickly
If you believe your insurance claim was wrongfully denied, the time to act is now. There are ways to get your claim reviewed and possibly approved. The best part is, there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances the second time around.
Know Why You Got Denied
The first thing is to figure out why you got denied. There are a number of common reasons including you don’t have the right type of insurance (liability vs. full coverage), the amount of damage exceeds the policy limits, the person driving your car wasn’t an insured driver, or you haven’t paid your premium and the insurance has lapsed. If one or more of these things is true, then your denial was just. On the other hand, the adjusters states your insurance claim was denied because your statements and information provided don’t match the facts, you can appeal the decision.
Send in an Appeal
You have a right to file an appeal. This is often in the form of a letter addressed to the insurance company. The letter should state in detail why you disagree. You should also submit any supporting evidence to back up your statement. The appeal will be reviewed and if the information is accurate, they will negotiate a settlement with you.
Go to the State Insurance Commissioner
If a written appeal does not get you the approval you believe you deserve, you can file an appeal with the State Insurance Commissioner’s office. As car insurance is a regulated product, there are rules and regulations that they must comply with. This is all managed by the State Insurance Commissioner. Once you file an appeal with their office, they will review your claim and all related documentation. If they believe the claim was wrongfully denied, the insurance company will be ordered to comply and offer you a settlement.
Hire an Attorney
There are two types of attorneys that can assist you if your insurance claim is denied. If you were the victim of a car accident that was not your fault and you suffered injuries, an auto accident lawyer can dispute the claim and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. However, if you were at-fault or the accident was the result of incliment weather or some other cause, you can hire a bad faith insurance attorney to help you get to the bottom of things.
Filing an insurance claim may seem as easy as make a phone call and wait for an approval, but that simply isn’t so. Insurance companies are not in the business of writing checks if they don’t have to. Therefore, they comb through every detail of your claim to look for ways to not have to. The good news, however, is that if you are denied, you have a chance to turn things around. Simply utilize the steps provided above to fight for what is rightfully yours.