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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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

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Car insurance companies can deny insurance claims if certain conditions are met
  • You can always appeal an insurance denial
  • If your car insurance company refuses to work with you on the claim, you can sue
  • You can find a different car insurance company and policy by using an auto insurance comparison tool

Car insurance companies can refuse to pay out claims, but the denials must have a valid reason. If your claim is denied for no reason or a reason you feel is unfair, you can appeal.

You can also change car insurance companies by using a comparison tool to shop for better coverage with a different insurance carrier.

Try our free tool today to see if you could save. Enter your zip code above to get started for FREE!

Reasons Car Insurance Companies Deny Claims

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Car insurance companies are allowed to deny claims under certain conditions. If your claim is denied for a reason that may not be legally allowed or they take an unusually long time to make a decision, you may be able to appeal the decision.

  • Non-Payment or expired Policy – In order to file a legitimate claim with your insurance company, your policy must be paid and current. If your policy has expired and you did not renew it or you failed to make the payment, your insurance company can deny your claim
  • You Are Suspected of Committing Insurance Fraud – If your car insurance company suspects that your claim is not valid or that you are committing insurance fraud, they can deny your claim.
  • Driver’s License is Expired, Suspended or Otherwise Not Valid – You must have a valid driver’s license in order to legally drive a car. If your license is suspended, revoked or otherwise not valid, your insurance company will not pay your claim because you should not have been driving.
  • Too Many Car Accidents or Claims – Your car insurance company can deny your claim if you’ve filed an excessive number of claims over the past several years.
  • Type of Accident or Incident Is Expressly Excluded – Your car insurance company can deny your claim if the damage to your vehicle was caused by an expressly excluded reason.
  • You Broke the Law Prior to the Auto Accident – Car insurance companies can legally deny your claim if you committed a crime or broke the law prior to getting into the accident. The reasons include speeding, driving under the influence or any other expressly listed crime.
  • Your Car Insurance Company Hopes You Won’t Appeal – Some car insurance companies can be unscrupulous when it comes to denying claims. They hope that you will not file an appeal or will quickly give up the appeal’s process.

This saves your car insurance company money. If you suspect that your car insurance company is being unscrupulous, you can report them to your state’s insurance commission.

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How to Appeal a Car Insurance Denial

If you believe that your claim is being unfairly denied you can appeal as well as take other actions against your insurance carrier. This also applies if your insurance carrier approved your claim but you feel the amount is unfair.

  • Read the Letter – Read the letter your insurance company sent you to determine the reason for the denial.
  • Read Your Policy – Read your policy to see if the reason given is valid. If the damage to your car was not caused by something expressly excluded, you may have the right to appeal.
  • Gather Documents to Appeal – Gather all the documents, witness statements and any pictures you may have taken at the accident scene. When you appeal, you will need to include all of the evidence that supports the validity of your claim.
  • Call Your Insurance Company – Call your insurance company and ask to talk to your car insurance agent or a claims specialist. Some claim denials are mistakes. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you if the wrong code was entered into the system.
  • Keep Detailed Records of All Communication – Document all of your communications with your insurance company. This includes any letters you send or receive and the dates and times of all phone calls and what was discussed during the phone calls.
  • Submit a Letter of Appeal – Submit your letter of appeal with all of your documentation. If your car insurance company still refuses to pay your claim, you may be able to appeal to your state’s insurance commission or hire an attorney. You may also want to switch insurance carriers.

Switching Car Insurance Companies for Better Customer Service

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Many people switch car insurance companies for a better price and better customer service, and if your auto insurance claim has recently been denied, you may be in the latter category.

To start the process of finding a car insurance company with better customer service, you can use a comparison tool to get quotes for liability and collision insurance with a different company.

Once the tool has all your information and the information of the vehicles you wish to ensure, it will return results that match your specifications. This will allow you to view the cost of the policies and the details to ensure that you get a policy that meets your needs.

If you decide to purchase the new policy, you can accomplish the task online. Get started now with our free comparison tool now! Enter your zip code below to get started for FREE!