What Should I do if my Insurance Claim is Denied?
When you are relying on the benefits of an auto policy claim, a denial can be devastating. Thankfully, you have options when your auto accident claim is denied. In many cases, a successful appeal could result in the insurance company reversing its decision and accepting your claim.
Many car insurance claims are denied due to a lack of proper documentation. Other denials result from a clerical error or mistake made by the insurance adjuster. It is critical to ensure that your claim receives the appropriate consideration. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer could assist you with the appeals process from start to finish.
Steps to take following a denied claim
The first step following a claim rejection is to review the letter carefully. The insurance company is required to supply you with a written denial. While this denial must provide a reason for a claim’s rejection, these letters are often thin on details. Still, even the basic reasoning for your denial is a good place to start.
In many cases, the letter will specify that a certain document that was requested has not been provided. This could be anything from the police report to your complete medical records. In cases like this, supplying the requested documentation could be enough to have the insurer reconsider your claim.
Regardless of the specific grounds of your denied claim, you must write to your insurance company to request the claim be reconsidered. Each policy is different, making it important that you follow the guidelines carefully. In many cases, your insurance company will review your letter and agree to reopen the investigation into your claim. That does not mean they will necessarily reverse their decision. It is not unusual for an insurance company to reopen an investigation only to come to the same conclusion again. If you believe the denial of your claim is unreasonable or does not reflect what actually occurred, an L.A. car accident lawyer could file a bad faith insurance claim against your insurance company on your behalf.
Common reasons for a denial
Successfully reversing an insurance company’s decision to deny your claim starts with understanding the basis of the denial. There are several common grounds that insurers rely on to deny a claim, and it is helpful to understand each of them. Remember: while your insurance company is contractually bound to pay your claims, they will do everything in their power to avoid doing so. Insurance companies will drag out the claims process as long as possible in hopes that it will dissuade you from pursuing a claim aggressively. Some of the common grounds they cite for denial include:
- Lack of coverage. One of the most common reasons for a denied claim is that you were not covered under the policy. This could result from being excluded under the owner’s policy. This also applies if you purchased a new car and failed to add it to your insurance policy.
- Lack of comprehensive coverage. There are many different types of insurance policies, and not all of them protect the insured driver in an accident. If you have liability coverage, it could play a claim brought by a third party. However, it will not cover your own damages unless you have a comprehensive policy.
- Lapsed payment. You only retain your insurance coverage for as long as you pay for it. If you miss a premium payment and your policy lapses, your insurer will not cover you for any accidents that occur.
- Policy limits. Policy benefits are capped. If you reach your limits, your insurer will deny any claim for the excess.
How an attorney could help
If your claim was denied, the reason could be as simple as an incomplete form or a missing document. Sometimes the issue is more complicated. In either case, a skilled attorney from Ellis Injury Law could assist you with the claims process. Our firm has built its reputation on taking on big insurance companies and winning. If we are unsuccessful in our efforts to change the insurance companies’ minds, we could assist you in bringing a bad faith claim against them in court. To learn more about your options, schedule an initial consultation with Ellis Injury Law today.