Texas drivers must carry insurance, and when you get into an accident, you expect your insurance to cover your claim. However, sometimes claims are unexpectedly denied, either fully or partially.
Buying an insurance policy does not mean that you will automatically be entitled to a claim settlement.
1. Delayed Claims
Waiting too long to file a car insurance claim in Houston can cause it to be denied. Most insurance policies do not have a specific time when claims must be filed, but instead, require them to be timely. It is best practice to file your claim as soon as possible after your accident. You should not wait more than two to three days.
2. Insufficient Documentation
Car insurance claims that do not have the required or sufficient documentation are often delayed or denied. It is critical to provide the insurance company with as much information as possible about the accident and resulting damages. When gathering information, you should imagine that you are trying to prove your case in court. Among the documentation that you may want to provide includes:
• A police report. Under Texas law, you are not required to have a police report to file an insurance claim, but it can be helpful for various reasons. A police report can show that the other driver was at fault, support evidence of your damages, and contain useful information about the circumstances surrounding the accident to speeding up the claims process. If the other driver left the scene, filing a police report is critical. Uninsured motorist coverage will not pay for a hit and run accident if you do not report it to the police.
• Photographs. You should take photos as soon as possible after the accident. Your pictures should focus on the surrounding circumstances as well as the damage to the vehicles. It is helpful to document the weather condition, skid marks, road debris, and how the cars are positioned in relation to one another. In addition, you should photograph any injuries that you sustained as a result of the accident.
• Medical Records and Bills. If you were injured, you should provide a copy of your medical records and doctor’s bills. Before commenting on your injuries to an insurance adjuster, you should wait until you have a complete understanding of your injuries and have been evaluated by a medical professional. If you tell the insurance company that you are fine and feeling good, the insurance company could try to deny coverage for later injuries that present themselves. The insurer will argue that you are filing a claim for injuries that were not the result of the accident.
3. Inadequate Insurance Coverage. Every policy consists of various types of coverage, such as property damage liability, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. Many Houston drivers are unaware of the specifics of their policy coverage and are surprised if their claim is not covered. It is critical to read and understand what is included and excluded in your insurance policy before purchasing it. For example, if you only have limited liability coverage, you will not be covered if your car is stolen.
Additionally, an insurance company will only pay up to the policy limits. If your claim is greater than your coverage limits, you will have to pay the excess. For example, if your policy limit is $10,000 and you suffered $14,000 in damages, you would be responsible for the $4,000 excess.
4. Lying or Withholding Information. Insurance companies will deny claims if you lie or withhold information, either when applying for coverage or when you filed the claim. For your claim to be accepted, it is critical to be truthful and provide accurate information.
If you run into a problem while filing a car insurance claim, you should reach out to a qualified Houston insurance claim law firm, like the Paxton Law Firm. An attorney can help you file an appeal and handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.
If your insurance claim has been denied, call the Paxton Law Firm. Let us review your case and advise you of your rights. The Paxton Law Firm believes in taking the stress of dealing with your legal battles and turning a negative situation into the best possible outcome lady justice allows. We offer free consultations, and you do not pay any legal fees until we recover for you.
Do you believe you have a case? Understand that time is of the essence in getting you the justice you deserve! We would love to hear from you.