Car accidents can be painful, emotional, frustrating, and expensive, and if you’re dealing with an insurance denial, the aftermath of an accident can be even more difficult. Luckily, you can appeal the denial, and if you believe your insurer is acting in bad faith, there are other steps you can take as well. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Find Out Why Your Insurer Denied the Claim
First, you need to know why your insurance company refused to pay your claim. That information can help you decide what to steps to take next. Often, insurance denials are for very legitimate reasons including the following:
- You didn’t have coverage related to your claim. For instance, you only had liability coverage and were trying to make a collision claim.
- You are not named on the policy and are specifically excluded from making a claim. This often happens to teen drivers who are expressly excluded from their parent’s policy.
- The damage exceeds your coverage.
- You didn’t pay your premiums. Normally, insurers are not allowed to drop your coverage for a single missed payment, and they must notify you through certified mail that they plan to cancel your policy.
- You forgot to add your vehicle to the policy. If you got a new car and forgot to insure it, this may happen.
If your claim was denied for one of these reasons, there is not much you can do to contest the denial. However, in other cases, insurance denials stem from the fact that insurance companies don’t always want to pay claims. It’s in the best interest of their bottom line to pay as few claims as possible.
2. Dispute the Claim
If you believe the insurance denial was unjust, you should dispute it. Start by calling or writing to your insurer and include documentation to back up your claim. For instance, if you have photographs or accident reports, you should send copies of those to your insurer.
Alternatively, you can appeal to a third party by contacting the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. You can lodge a complaint online or by calling (617) 521-7794 or (877)-563-4467.
3. Consider a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit
In some cases, after you register a complaint with a state agency like the Division of Insurance, your auto insurer may review your original claim and decide to reverse their decision. However, if the company still refuses to address the legitimacy of your claim, you may want to consider a bad faith insurance lawsuit. In this case, you need an attorney who is experienced with insurance coverage litigation. They can help you decide the best route forward.
Note that if you were in an accident and the other driver was at fault, the rules are different. In this situation, you are not dealing with an insurance denial per se, but if the other person’s insurer is refusing to pay the claim, you should contact a lawyer to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
If you are dealing with an unjust insurance denial, contact the Law Offices of Mazow | McCullough, PC today at 978-744-9000. We are the experienced team of attorneys you need when the insurance companies are giving you the runaround.