Having to fight insurance claims has become commonplace during the last few years. With insurance companies facing tough times during the recent past and perhaps even in the coming years, it is expected that insurance claims will get more and more scrutinized as the companies maintain their stance of ‘delay, deny and defend’.
Important aspects of an auto insurance policy
As a consumer you should understand that an initial claim denial is not the end of the story. Rather, it is just the beginning of a battle to win due rights for yourself. Thus, when selecting an insurer for your auto insurance, you should not only be vigilant about the lowest rate, but also be aware of the company’s reputation when it comes to payment of claims and the facilities given for an appeal process in the event of a denial.
Appealing a denied auto insurance claim
One of the first steps in fighting a denied auto insurance claim is to obtain the relevant information pertaining to the denial from the insurance company itself. In general, insurance companies should provide the claimants with a report that indicates the reasons for denying the claim. Once obtained, you should compare the same with the agreement that you have entered into with the insurance company.
In most instances, an error in the claim may have lead to the denial. Such errors should be correctable once the insurance company has been made aware of them. At times, you may be able to rectify the situation just by calling the company’s customer care service and informing them of your concern. However, in some cases there are disputes regarding your understanding and the company policies. When this ocurrs, it is prudent to inform your insurance provder in writing. Moreover, in such cases let them know about your concern and the necessity to re-assess the claim.
Appealing to the insurance commissioner
If the appeal process does not bring a favorable outcome, and you believe that you have been unlawfully denied of a claim that is rightfully yours, then you should make a complaint to the insurance commissioner of your state. The commissioner can bring you and the insurance company to one table and initiate arbitration where both parties put forward their claims. It is expected that such arbitration brings about an acceptable solution to both parties and it gives you a chance to hear the position of your insurer from its representatives themselves.
Filing a lawsuit
In the event that the arbitration process does not take effect and you still believe that you should get a better deal, it is time to initiate legal action. In fact, nowadays many insurance companies believe that their claimants would not undertake this step due to the costs involved and because the companies are backed by high profile lawyers that are experts in the field. However, if you find a lawyer experienced in handling auto insurance claim denials who is willing to represent you, then you should have a good enough chance to win your case if the facts are correct and that there are no obvious obstacles preventing you from gaining your rights.
A denial of an auto insurance claim should not be considered the last nail in the coffin. As mentioned earlier, this is just the beginning of a battle to win what is rightfully yours.