We’re all required to have auto insurance, mostly because we never know when we might get into an accident, but as all automobile-owners know, insurance isn’t cheap. The cost of insurance has increased steadily over the last decade, and New Jersey is the sixth most expensive state for car insurance, with average expenditures totaling $1,385.61 annually in 2018, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
When you’re paying premium rates to be insured, when it comes time to file a claim, you want to know that your insurance company has your back. But the unfortunate reality is insurance companies will look for any excuse to deny your claim, so having strategies to challenge the denial is crucial. With the help of a Northern New Jersey car accident lawyer from Buttafuoco & Associates, you may be able to get the insurance compensation you need for auto repairs, medical bills, or other expenses covered by your insurance plan. In this article, I’ll describe why your insurance claim might be denied, and what you can do to challenge it.
Why was my claim denied?
An insurance claim can be denied for any number of reasons, and it’s in the insurance company’s financial interest to do so. Some of these reasons are reasonable and clear-cut, such as whether you were driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol or if you were driving with an expired license.
Many reasons, however, are clerical, such as making a payment late or missing a filing deadline. Also, insurance companies often make the case that the damages weren’t covered by your policy or say you didn’t report the accident or seek medical treatment promptly. This is one of the most common tactics they use to cast doubt as to the accuracy and validity of your claim.
In doing so, the insurance company will often make the accident look like your fault, like it’s not their responsibility, or like you’re lying. However, aside from the most clear-cut reasons for denial, such as impaired driving, you likely have room to challenge the insurance company’s assessment with the help of a car accident lawyer serving Northern New Jersey.
How do I challenge the denial?
Before you connect with a car accident attorney to discuss your options, there are a number of steps you can take to challenge an insurance company’s denial. Even if you receive compensation, if it’s less than you filed for, you can challenge the company’s decision.
- Review the reason: In the letter that denied your claim, they should provide an explanation for the denial. If the reason is unclear, get in contact with the insurance company for a more detailed explanation.
- Review the policy: Once you understand why you were denied, review your insurance policy to see if the claim is covered. Don’t just take your insurance company’s word for what is and isn’t included; look at the documents! This also includes learning the procedures and rules for making an appeal to challenge a denied claim. Take note of any deadlines.
- Gather evidence: Based on the reason the company denied your claim, you should gather evidence that challenges that claim. This could include police reports, medical documents, or pictures of the damage. Each situation will be different, depending on the accident and the reason your claim was denied, so a Northern New Jersey car accident attorney can provide guidance for your particular appeal.
- Write an appeal letter: The last step for challenging a denial will be writing the appeal letter. This is where you state your case. It may be tempting to get emotional, but insurance adjusters can only be convinced by the facts; be brief, stick to the facts, and make sure your case directly responds to the reason you were denied.
Need Legal Assistance?
Even if your insurance company denies your appeal, the fight isn’t necessarily over. You can try again. If you’ve made an appeal and already been denied, don’t quit! With guidance from a Northern New Jersey car accident attorney, you can continue to appeal. An insurance company is out for profit, but Buttafuoco & Associates will always look out for your best interests.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation at 1-800-NOW-HURT.