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My Car Insurance Claim was Denied: Now What?

Posted May 18, 2020 | Uncategorized

There is something truly special about cruising along one of Utah’s scenic byways on a sunny day, with the windows rolled down and a cool breeze blowing through your hair. As a resident of Utah, you’ve probably enjoyed days like this. Tourists come from all over the world to take in Utah’s beautiful landscapes. 

When setting out on a scenic drive or jumping in your vehicle to head to work, one thing you likely don’t have on your mind is getting in a car accident or filing an insurance claim. Car insurance is one of those things you know that you have but don’t really think much about until the time comes when you need it. And if you do have the misfortune of getting in an accident, you expect that you’ll only need to pay the deductible while the insurance company will take care of the rest. 

The frustrating reality is that filing an insurance claim is not always a simple process. Insurance companies in Utah deny claims for many reasons. So why did your claim get denied? And what can you do about it? Let’s find out!

Common Reasons Why Car Insurance Claims are Denied

A denied car insurance claim can leave you frustrated and confused as to what you did wrong. The fact is, insurance companies often have legitimate reasons for denying claims. Let’s consider some common reasons why claims are denied in Utah and how you can avoid these pitfalls in the future.

Missed policy payments

Did you skip a premium payment thinking it was no big deal? Well, it might be. If either you or the party responsible for the accident missed an insurance premium payment, the policy may be canceled. 

This isn’t always evident when exchanging insurance information after an accident. Even when drivers have already stopped paying their premiums, their insurance cards might still have valid dates. This doesn’t mean, though, that accident will be covered. 

You can reduce the risk of missed payments on your end by ensuring that your insurance provider has your current address and banking information on file, especially if you pay in monthly installments.  

You don’t have full coverage

When choosing an insurance policy, you select the type of coverage you want. If you’re applying for coverage that you didn’t purchase, your claim will likely be denied. 

As an example, if you dropped collision insurance on your older vehicle and chose to only have liability coverage, your insurance company is not going to pay to repair the damages on your vehicle. It will only cover the “non-negligent” driver. 

Policy limits have been met

When selecting Utah car insurance options, you also must determine the coverage limits of your policy. Choosing low coverage limits in exchange for lower premiums is a decision you might regret if you’re in an accident. 

For instance, if you have a $50,000 limit on bodily injury and are in an accident where the other driver incurs $75,000 in medical expenses, you may be liable for the extra $25,000.

The accident wasn’t reported on time

Report the crash to your insurance company right after the crash occurs. A delay in reporting could raise red flags as to when the accident actually happened and what the cause was. Your insurer may deny your claim, stating that they didn’t have sufficient time to research it. 

Check your policy; it should tell you how long you have to make a report. Take pictures and send them to your insurer immediately after the collision. Some insurance providers now allow you to submit your claims online, expediting the process.

You were using your vehicle for commercial purposes

When applying for coverage, your insurance provider likely asked you questions about your daily commute and how many miles you anticipated putting on the vehicle. If you answered that the vehicle was being used solely for personal use, but then used it for commercial purposes, or for ride-sharing with Uber or Lyft, your claim may be denied in the event of a collision.

Violating the law

One of the multitudes of reasons not to drink and drive is that insurance providers may be able to deny your claim if they have reason to believe you were doing something illegal and caused the accident. Examples include not only drinking and driving but also: texting, reckless driving, or driving without a valid license. 

Failure to seek immediate medical attention

Even if the accident was seemingly minor, it’s important to consider seeking prompt medical care if you sustained injuries. Medical attention after the accident is necessary to prove that any injuries you sustained were a result of the crash. If your injuries aren’t immediately documented, the insurance company could conclude that they were the result of a prior injury and deny your claim. 

What is the Next Step?

What if you think that your claim was unfairly denied? Should you just give up? Don’t toss in the towel yet! Denial isn’t always the insurance company’s last word. 

There are steps that you can take to fight back and resolve the problem:

  • Request a letter stating why your claim was denied: Finding out why your claim was denied is the first essential step in challenging their decision
  • Gather as much information as possible about the accident and present them to the insurance adjuster: Include photos of the accident scene, medical records, police reports, third-party assessment of property damage, and anything else that might be pertinent to your case
  • File a formal complaint with Utah’s Insurance Department: If it’s gotten to the point where you’ve exhausted all options with your insurance company, then take a look at the state department’s site for more details 
  • Contact a Utah car accident attorney: Dealing with an insurance company after an accident can be stressful, but an attorney can take some of that burden off of your shoulders. The legal team at Fielding Law is experienced with car accidents and denied claims. 

We can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. To find out how we can make this possible, please call (877) 880-4090 or fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Helpful Tips on Filing a Car Insurance Claim

Few people would dispute that being involved in a motor vehicle accident is a traumatic experience. The initial moments after a crash are overwhelming and stressful. 

The last thing you might have on your mind is filing an insurance claim, but keeping in mind the following might save you thousands of dollars:

 

  • Do exchange license plate numbers, insurance cards, registration, and contact information with the driver. You might assume the police officer is going to gather this information, but this is not always the case. The person might decide to take off before the police arrive, so it’s in your best interest to obtain as much information as possible about the other driver before he or she gets the chance.
  • Do photograph the damage done to both vehicles and any property damage. Take photos of the scene of the accident as well. 
  • Do record the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. 
  • Don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance company without consulting with an attorney first. The statement is likely to be closely examined for flaws and inconsistencies, reducing the validity of testimony and thus hurting your claim.
  • Do call your insurance agent right after the accident occurs. Let them know the date, time, and location of the accident.

 

Get Legal Help Disputing Your Insurance Claim

If your car accident claim was denied, the attorneys at Fielding Law in Taylorsville are here to offer legal representation. We will assess your damages and work hard to pursue maximum compensation. 

Contact us at (877) 880-4090 today to set up your free initial consultation. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid until you receive a settlement for your claim.