How to Deal With Denied Claims

Appeal a denied auto insurance claim by (1) finding evidence to support your argument, (2) filing immediately, and (3) consulting an attorney.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Things to Remember...

  • There could be several different reasons that an insurance claim could be denied
  • Your insurance policy may not have coverage for the claimed damage
  • The damages you are claiming is over the limits covered by your insurance policy

Your auto insurance claim could be denied for a number of reasons, some of them valid, others not.

Whatever the reason for your claim denial, you will receive a letter noting that the claim has been denied and giving the reason.

Be sure to carefully review the denial letter, and gather documented evidence that proves the denial is unjust.

Review the common reasons auto insurance claims are denied and the actions you should take.

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Coverage Exclusion

Your auto insurance company may claim that you don’t have coverage for the type of damages you are claiming.

For instance, damage to your own vehicle isn’t covered by personal liability or property damage insurance policies.

In order to receive compensation for damage to your own vehicle, the damage must be the result of the other driver, or you must have collision coverage.

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Coverage Limitations

Every auto insurance policy limits the amount payable for certain kinds of claims.

The insurance company is only liable for the first $50,000 worth of damages.

In that case, you may have to go after the other driver for the remainder or make an underinsured motorist claim on your own insurance.

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You Are Not Insured

Perhaps the insurance company claims that you were not covered by the policy in question. In that case, it may be easy to prove them wrong.

If you have your original policy showing the name of the insured and the vehicles along with Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

No matter what the reason for the denial, you will be responsible for taking the next steps.

After an insurance company has denied a claim, they consider the matter settled unless you take action.

Appeal the Decision

The first step you should take is to document evidence showing that the auto insurance claim was wrongfully denied.

You will have a short window of time to appeal the claims decision, and insurance companies are required by state insurance commissioners to provide consumers an appeals process.

Be sure to file an immediate appeal. State your grounds, and provide any evidence you feel is relevant to your case.

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Consult an Attorney

If the insurance company denies your appeal or doesn’t treat you fairly throughout the claims process, you have the right to consult auto accident lawyers who can press the company for a reasonable settlement.

You can also sue the responsible party if the insurance claim denial is valid, but you are still not “made whole.”

There are other circumstances when you may wish to consult an attorney.

If for instance, the insurer doesn’t handle your claim in a timely manner or treats you with disrespect due to your race, religion, etc., you may wish to file suit in order to put pressure on the company to move your case forward and address an issue of discrimination/civil rights.

It may be time to find a new provider. Start with your zip code and compare online auto insurance quotes now!

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