Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Written by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: May 20, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • Car insurance is there to protect you from financial loss
  • When companies don’t pay their claims, you may have to file an appeal
  • Writing an auto insurance claim appeal letter is the first step

Car insurance is there to protect you from unforeseen financial distress due to an accident, theft, or damage. You purchase car insurance for the purpose of protecting your interests and avoiding huge financial or legal penalties because you would have to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

Filing a claim is the process by which you can get the funds owed to you by the insurance company when you have an accident, property loss, or other issues involving your vehicle. Paying claims is how insurance helps you to move on with your life.

But what if your car insurance company denies your claim? Read one to find out how to write an appeal letter for a car insurance claim that was denied.

The best way to find a company with great coverage and cheap rates is to compare a lot of quotes. Luckily, we’ve made it easy for you.

Compare car insurance quotes today by entering your zip code above if you are unhappy with your current company’s response to your claim.

How do I write an appeal letter to an insurance claim?

Once you have checked to make sure you’ve followed the rules and the insurance company still won’t pay your claim, you should write an appeal letter to refute the insurance company’s decision to refuse your claim. There are many sample letters on how to request reconsideration for insurance claims.

Like the actual application process, you must make sure that you follow the guidelines for refuting denials of claims as well, including making sure that you have sent the appeals letter in plenty of time for the company to honor it.

When you send the letter, make sure it is directed to the particular customer service representative who deals with the denial of claims. Sending the letter to the wrong department can further delay the process.

So how do you write an appeal letter? Here is what you should include in your insurance claim dispute letter:

  • The policy number
  • The claim number
  • The date the request was made
  • The date the application was denied
  • The name of the agent who rejected the claim

Additionally, you should include any documentation connected with the incident along with photos, police reports, or other information. This inclusion of documents allows the claims department to know which incident it concerns immediately when they receive the letter.

You may also want to know: how do I write a letter of appeal for medical claims? The process is much the same and will require the same information.

Purpose of the Appeals Letter

Remember the purpose of your appeals letter when writing it.

You are trying to present a case that you knew your insurance was current at the time of the accident, that you filed the paperwork promptly, and that you are deserving of the claim due to the circumstances of the accident.

You can present as evidence any documents that will further back up your claim and show that you have a legal right to the money.

This proof can include anything that you might present in courts such as police reports, eye witness accounts, or any other assets which may add to the strength of your claim.

Additional information that may be helpful might include statements from independent insurance adjusters or others who can verify that the amount you are asking for is not unreasonable and that the insurance company should pay the claim amount.

Your goal is to convince them that they promised to honor their claims in their policy and that, by law, they must live up to these promises.

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When an Insurance Company Refuses to Pay a Claim

You pay a significant amount for car insurance each year and expect the company to be there when you need them. This table shows the average annual car insurance rates per state.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual
Car Insurance Rate
West Virginia2595.36
South Carolina3781.14
South Dakota3974.12
Rhode Island5003.36
New Hampshire$3,151.77
North Carolina$3,393.11
New Mexico$3,463.64
North Dakota$4,205.11
New York$4,289.89
District of Columbia$4,439.24
New Jersey$5,515.22
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But what if an insurance company refuses to pay the claim?

What should you do then? When you depend on an insurance company paying their claim, and they refuse to do so, you will have to take action to get the funds that you need to pay the damages for your accident or other loss.

The very purpose of insurance is for it being there when you need it, in the form of an insurance claim payout.

When companies do not hold up their end of the bargain, you have a problem. In such cases, you may have to take assertive action to get the money due to you.

However, you should first look into some factors before moving forward with your appeal.

How do I challenge a car insurance claim?

If you would like to send a claim dispute, insurance claim letters are an option. When an insurance company denies your claim, you should first do the following:

  • Payments – The first thing you should check when you are looking into the failure of an insurer to pay your claim is whether you paid on time. If you failed to make even one payment and allowed the policy to lapse, your policy may not have been in effect at the time of the claim. In this case, the insurance company has no legal obligation to honor it.
  • Policy status – Do some checking and see if your policy was in effect at the time of your accident or loss. Even if you paid your late insurance the day before but it was not recorded until after you had an accident, it’s possible you were not covered for the time in question.
  • Deadline for filing a claim – You need to know what the deadline is for filing a claim and see if you filed it on time. You must follow the rules set aside in your policy for the filing of claims and make sure that you honored this to be eligible for a payout.
  • State insurance laws – Check your state insurance laws to see if they apply to your situation and be aware of what the insurance rules state about claims or other details within your state.
  • Filing proper paperwork – You must make sure that you file all of the appropriate paperwork for your claim to get money from the insurance company. Failure to file the proper documents can delay or even negate your claim if you miss the deadline.
  • Check your coverage amounts and limits – It’s important to know that you were carrying the type of coverage that the accident involves, such as liability, comprehensive, or uninsured.

These rules may seem a bit harsh but they are the law. You must always follow both your insurance regulations within your state and the paperwork filing requirement if you are seeking payment for a claim.

Failure to follow the regulations for these requirements will result in non-payment.

How do I fight an auto insurance claim denial?

Once you have sent your appeals letter and you still receive a denial, you may have to resort to speaking with a member of the American Bar Association or ABA. If you plan to dispute an insurance claim letter informing you of the denial, you may want to seek their counsel. Insurance appeal letters written by a lawyer to the company reminding them of their obligation will sometimes help you get your claim.

Lawyers can also help with medical claims, such as an appeal letter to a health insurance company for out-of-network services from a provider, a dental appeal letter for a crown, a provider appeal letter for no prior authorization, or a procedure not medically necessary appeal letter. Legal professionals are a valuable resource to you, as a consumer. Lawyers, who specialize in insurance issues, can help with appeals, contracts, and more.

Insurance companies are there to protect you from financial disaster. The most important way that you can avoid having to fight an insurance company is to carry coverage with well-respected insurers. Start with reading reviews and researching ratings for auto insurance companies.

It’s important to understand the policies of a company. Read about the company, check on their claims rate, take note of how long it takes them to pay, and any other factors related to claims processing and resolution.

By shopping, comparing companies, and reading the fine print, you’ll find the best company for your needs. Shop and compare today by entering your zip code below.