What Happens if My Insurance Claim is Denied?
Going through the process of filing an insurance claim is enough of a stressor on its own. To have it denied in the end is a truly devastating outcome. Fortunately, if this has happened to you, you are not completely out of options for getting help with your auto accident. There are several routes you can take to appeal the denial and receive the assistance you need to heal from your collision.
What to Do When Your Insurance Claim is Denied
According to Ellis Law, a personal injury law firm based in Los Angeles, one of the first things to evaluate after such a denial is to go back and review the documentation you submitted for your claim. Did you record as many details as possible? Was there any information you mistakenly left out that could have supported your case? Oftentimes, simple errors in the documentation are what lead to denial of a claim.
If the error was not on your end, review the police report (which you can also appeal if you don’t believe that your experience of the accident was accurately represented) for any mistakes or inconsistencies. You can also check with the DMV and with your insurance company to gain a thorough overview of the documentation that was submitted and narrow down the cause of denial. Many times, there will be a clerical mistake that was the reason for your denial, so do not be too hard on yourself if you find there was a mistake in the process of filing.
Review the Letter Denying Your Claim
Your insurance company is required to provide you with a written denial. In this letter, you will find the insurer’s reasoning for the denial, although admittedly, these details are typically sparse and/or quite vague. Regardless, this will give you enough to go on to carefully pursue the next steps.
The letter may specify that certain documentation that was originally requested by your insurance company was absent or incomplete. Remember that the documentation for your accident does not stop at the police and DMV reports, but includes photographic evidence, medical records, and, in some cases, a report from highway management authorities as well.
Once you receive this letter and are ready to appeal, you must supply a written request for reconsideration. To do this, carefully review your policy because the way you approach this process may differ based on your insurer. Most of the time, your insurance company will be happy to reopen the claim and investigate further. Keep in mind that your insurer reopening the claim is not a guarantee of approval, however, it is a step in the right direction.
If they deny you once again, whether you provided further or corrected documentation or not, you can still act on this decision. If you believe that the denial was unjust, your next options are to hire a car accident lawyer: They will guide you through the process of further appeal and can conduct a much deeper investigation into the documentation than you can on your own. With the information they can uncover, be able to help you file a bad faith insurance claim against your insurer.
An insurance claim denial is not the end of the world, although, in some cases, it may feel like it. Getting the proper help and reviewing your records as thoroughly as possible are the best steps to ensure the decision on your claim is either reversed and you get the help you need to recover.