Reasons car insurance companies deny claims
Good to know
Car insurance companies may deny claims for various reasons, such as inadequate coverage, policy exclusions, or late claims.
You should keep two deadlines in mind when you file a car insurance claim: your state’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit and the deadline your insurance company sets for submitting a claim. If you wait too long to file your claim, your car insurance company could deny it.
If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an accident, it’s highly likely your car insurance company will deny your claim. Your claim could also get denied if you were driving without a valid driver’s license or valid car insurance.
No medical evaluation
Even if you think you’re fine after an accident, you should still visit the doctor immediately afterward. Some injuries can take a few days or even weeks to become apparent. Without a medical evaluation and the right documentation, it can be difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Lapsed insurance policy
A car insurance company doesn’t have to approve your claim if you weren’t covered by its policy at the time of the accident. In the event there was a lapse in your coverage, your claim will be denied. Additionally, you may face other consequences for driving uninsured, like fines or a driver’s license suspension, depending on where you live. Always make sure your policy is up to date.
When you buy a car insurance policy, the coverages you choose are important. Let’s say a tree branch falls on your car and causes damage. If you didn’t elect comprehensive coverage, your insurance company would deny your claim.
Accident with an uninsured motorist
Most states require basic liability coverage, but not all require uninsured motorist coverage, which protects policyholders who get involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. Let’s say someone crashes into your car but provides fake insurance information or flees the scene. If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, your car insurance company may deny your claim.
To save some money on premiums, you can choose a liability-only policy that meets the minimum car insurance requirements in your state. But if you get involved in an accident that injures multiple people or you hit a very expensive car, you may not have enough insurance coverage to pay for the full extent of the damages.
Sometimes, it’s not obvious who’s at fault for an accident. If your insurance provider doesn’t believe you’re responsible, it might deny your claim and state that the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for covering the damages. Dash cams can offer drivers additional evidence when submitting insurance claims.
Your car insurance company may also deny your claim for what seems to be no good reason in an effort to avoid paying out the claim. This is known as acting in bad faith. Since acting in bad faith is illegal, you can and should take steps to recover your losses (more on that below).