Red Flagging A Questionable Auto Owners Insurance Company

Usually when you have a problem, dealing with an auto owners insurance company is not too difficult. However, there are times when some insurance companies commit questionable acts or simply refuse to honor their obligation to pay legitimate claims. Therefore, you must do what you can to insure that they follow the law. Here are some steps to help you make sure that your auto insurance company does what they're supposed to, and pays your claim:

Step One - Don't Accept No for an Answer

Some studies show that about 10 percent of all insurance claims are denied without sufficient cause or reason. However, most policyholders do not question these denials. Most policyholders that do challenge the insurance company either win their case or improve their settlement.

Step Two - Demand a Written Explanation

If your insurance company denied claim, demand that they provide you a written explanation for the denial. Most states require the insurance company provide written explanations for any claim that is denied. Failure of the insurer to do so may constitute grounds for a lawsuit.

Step Three - Read Your Policy

It is possible that your insurance company interprets a clause in your policy contract different than you do. You should carefully read and review the policy and make sure you understand it - before you continue. If after reviewing the policy, you still believe there your claim was unjustly denied, then proceed.

Step Four - Filing Errors are Not Grounds for Denial

Although you should always follow your insurance company's instructions for filing the claim, if you fail to fill out a form correctly, or if you happen to miss a deadline for submitting your claim - even if you submit it months late - an insurance company cannot refuse to pay a claim that is otherwise valid. The only exception to this is:  if your insurance company can show that your delay harmed them financially, or prevented them from properly investigating your claim.

Step Five - Do Your Own Research

If you are injured, and your insurance company pays you less than you expected for medical treatment that was provided to you, ask around and check to see what other doctors in your area charge for similar treatment. If other doctors in your area charge about the same, or more, then challenge the amount that was paid to you.

Step Six - Ask Your Insurance Agent for Help

Many times, your insurance agent may have significant influence with the company that provides your policy. This is because; the agent probably writes a lot of policies for the insurance company, and sends a lot of business to the insurer. Therefore, the insurance company might try to accommodate the request of the insurance agent.

Step Seven - Get Outside Help

If you have made a good-faith attempt to resolve the problems with your insurance company, and the insurance company will still not pay your claim or otherwise treat you fairly, you can seek the assistance of outside agencies. For example, you should contact your state Department of Insurance. This is the government body that regulates how all insurance companies in your state do business. In fact, in some states, the Departments of Insurance will actually mediate your dispute for you.

Step Eight - Look for Violations of the Law

If an insurance company denies your claim because of a reduction in coverage, you should determine if you were ever notified about that reduction in coverage. If you were not, then you probably are entitled to your claim; because the insurer failed to notify you of changes in the terms of your policy.

If none of the above helps you with your situation, you may want to contact an attorney. An attorney can advise you as to your legal rights and the plausibility of a favorable outcome in a civil suit. You should always attempt to resolve disputes with a questionable insurance company amicably; however, sometimes you will have no other choice - but to sue the insurance company.
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