Vehicle insurance policies promise to cover your losses after a car accident and provide peace of mind to the policy holder. However, these policies contain a lot of loopholes, and insurance companies sometimes wrongfully deny claims. Now that Mississippi and Alabama are open after lockdowns and people are getting behind the wheel more regularly, it’s important that you understand how insurance companies try to save money and deny legitimate claims after a crash.
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, our lawyers have stood up to insurance companies for decades. In this blog, we’ll outline common reasons insurance companies deny legitimate claims, and what you can do if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Avoid Paying Claims
The insurance company’s main goal is to make money. So, if there’s a way to avoid paying your expensive property damage and personal injury claims, it will do its best to take advantage of that loophole. Sometimes, these reasons are valid. Other times, the reason the insurance adjuster denied your claim is just a flimsy excuse.
Our property damage and personal injury attorneys frequently see the following reasons for denied claims.
After an accident, you should file your claim promptly. Under Alabama and Mississippi’s laws, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit and demand compensation from the insurance company. The length of your filing deadline will depend on your circumstances. If you miss these deadlines, you may lose out on your right to compensation. If you’re unsure about what to do next or what time limits apply to your case, contact a lawyer right away.
You Didn’t Pay Your Insurance Premium On Time
Without paying your insurance premium, you typically aren’t eligible to claim coverage. However, your insurer may not be able to deny your claim simply because you made a late payment in the past.
There Wasn’t Enough Documentation
After your property is damaged in a crash, the insurance may deny your claim because there wasn’t enough evidence. In addition to taking pictures and videos of your damaged property, a lawyer can help you collect additional information and consult with engineers and other experts.
The Insurance Company Questions Your Credibility
When filing a claim, it’s critical to be completely honest about the extent of the damage to your vehicle and your body. If you exaggerate or it seems like your claim is unsupported by the evidence (like medical records or a repair estimate from the body shop), the insurance company will likely deny it on the grounds that you “lied.”
While we expect the insurance company will take care of everything, insurance policies don’t cover everything. For example, as part of a motor vehicle policy, Alabama only requires $25,000 in property damage coverage. That means that even if your brand-new car or truck is totaled, the at-fault driver’s insurer will only pay up to $25,000 for this loss.
Sometimes, the insurance company may also claim that your property damage wasn’t related to the crash, and deny your claim. If you’re having a tough time “convincing” the insurance company to take you seriously, it’s time to call a lawyer.
The Damage Doesn’t Exceed Your Collision Deductible
If you have collision coverage as part of your insurance policy, you typically have to pay a specific amount of out-of-pocket money before the insurance company will pay any of your expenses. This is your deductible. If the value of your claim is $450, but your deductible is $500, the insurance company won’t cover any of your damages.
Look Out For Insurance Bad Faith
Sometimes, insurance companies and victims get into legitimate disagreements about a claim. However, insurance adjusters sometimes intentionally delay or deny claims that they know are valid, just to save the company money. In Alabama and Mississippi, insurance companies must handle your property damage claims in good faith – otherwise, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
Your insurance adjuster may be acting in bad faith if they engage in the following behaviors:
- Avoiding your calls, emails, and other communications
- Providing intentionally confusing information, so you don’t have a clear understanding of what your options are
- Delaying processing your claim by stalling until the statute of limitations runs out (the window of time in which the victim is eligible to file a claim or a lawsuit)
- Stalling the process until victims give up
- Denying your claim based on your credit score
Filing Property Damage Claims and Avoiding Bad Faith Insurance Claims
When you need help after a terrible accident in which you get hurt and your property is damaged, an insurance claim should provide the support you need. However, many people don’t know what they need to file a successful claim, how to understand the true value of their claim, or what to do if the insurance company denies them in bad faith.
Here are some tips for protecting yourself and your property from bad faith insurance claims:
- Pay your premiums on time to ensure your coverage
- Document the damage by taking photos and videos
- File your lawsuit within the statute of limitations. If you need help calculating your deadline, contact a lawyer
- Call a lawyer if your claim was unfairly denied, the insurance company is dodging your calls, or otherwise avoiding paying your claim
Did Your Insurance Claim Get Unfairly Denied? Call the Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys Team Today
No one should have to deal with the fallout of significant damage and injury on their own. If your insurance company is denying your claim without a good reason for doing so, or if they’re ducking your calls and making it difficult for you to get answers, it’s time to consider contacting an experienced property damage attorney.
At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’re experienced in helping clients handle difficult claims, take a don’t-back-down approach, and have a reputation for success. To schedule a free, private consultation with a member of our team, contact us at 251-888-8888 or complete our online form.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.