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Can an insurer deny my car accident claim?

Television ads portray insurance companies as advocates for your best interests, standing up for you at your most vulnerable moments. You certainly want to believe this, but the truth is that insurance companies are like any business whose goal is to bring in as much money as possible and pay out as little as possible. Unfortunately, those vulnerable moments are the worst time to discover this about your insurer.

If you have been injured in an accident in West Virginia, you will likely contact your own insurance company for coverage as well as pursuing coverage through the insurer of the other driver. You have a better chance of getting faster results from your own insurer while waiting for a settlement from the other company. However, what happens if your insurer denies your claim? You will need to find out if the denial is legitimate or just a way to avoid paying what they owe you.

Can an insurer deny my claim?

When you are lying in the hospital or recovering on your sofa from injuries resulting from a car accident is the wrong time to wonder if your insurance will cover your injuries. Insurance is something most people don't think about unless they need it, and then it may be too late to fix mistakes you may have made, for example:

  • Allowing your coverage to expire by missing payments
  • Making inaccurate or fraudulent statements on your policy application, such as concealing violations on your driving record or lying about your car's mileage
  • Driving a vehicle whose insurance policy does not include your name, such as when you borrow a friend's car
  • Missing the deadline for filing an accident claim
  • Failing to accurately document the accident scene
  • Failing to seek medical attention for your injuries

A denial may also result if the circumstances of your accident are excluded from your policy. The policy document will outline many exclusions, such as using your personal vehicle for work purposes or being in an accident with an uninsured driver. If you do not understand the exclusions on your policy, it is wise to ask your insurance agent to explain them before you ever need to file a claim.

If your insurer denies coverage on your valid policy for a claim you feel is legitimate, you may be a victim of one of the many schemes insurance companies use to avoid making payouts. You would do well to seek legal advice at any time following your accident to ensure you have protection for your rights.

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