Can I appeal an auto insurance claim? (How to Dispute and Win an Appeal)

Wondering if you can appeal an auto insurance claim? The short answer is yes, you can, if you can provide an appeal letter and sufficient evidence to prove the denial wrong. Learn more below.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

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 Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 26, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • You have the option to appeal your auto insurance claim if you don’t agree with it
  • The appeals process involves gathering evidence, writing an appeal letter, and in some cases, hiring an attorney
  • Winning a claims appeal depends on the reason for the denial and your ability to prove it wrong

Getting into an auto accident and going through the process of filing an auto insurance claim can be a major headache if you don’t have all your ducks in a row.

Even worse is finding out you won’t have the coverage you need, and your claim is being denied. Claims can be denied for a lot of reasons, but the good news is that you can appeal. So what happens when you dispute a claim? We’ll explain below.

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How do you appeal an auto insurance claim that’s been denied?

If you’ve had a car insurance claim denied by your insurance company, you may wonder what your rights are, and how you can appeal.

There is a list of steps you can take to appeal your auto insurance claim. They include the following:

  • Review your claim denial or settlement offer letter. It’s important to understand the insurance company’s stance on your claim. Usually, it’ll point out why they made the decision they did and it might give you a starting point for refuting the denial or lowball settlement offer.
  • Research your auto insurance claims rights. Knowing your rights will put you in a better position to appeal your claim.
  • Write a Claims Appeal Letter. Once you’ve reviewed the information contained in the auto insurance claim denial, start gathering the information you need to dispute the insurance claim and write your claims appeal letter.

Once you’ve written your claims appeal letter, it’s time to provide all of your evidence to dispute your claim.

Each state has a different statute of limitations. Let’s look at a summary of the statute of limitations of every state.

Statute of Limitations for Auto Insurance Claims by State
StateBodily InjuryProperty Damage
Alabama2 years2 years
Alaska2 years6 years
Arizona2 years2 years
Arkansas3 years3 years
California2 years3 years
Colorado3 years3 years
Connecticut2 years3 years
Delaware2 years2 years
District of Columbia (D.C.)3 years3 years
Florida4 years4 years
Georgia2 years4 years
Hawaii2 years2 years
Idaho2 years3 years
Illinois2–3 years5 years
Indiana2 years2 years
Iowa2 years5 years
Kansas1 year2 years
Kentucky1 year2 years
Louisiana1 year1 year
Maine6 years6 years
Maryland3 years3 years
Massachusetts3 years3 years
Michigan3 years3 years
Minnesota2 years6 years
Mississippi3 years3 years
Missouri5 years5 years
Montana3 years2 years
Nebraska4 years4 years
Nevada2 years3 years
New Hampshire3 years3 years
New Jersey2 years6 years
New Mexico3 years4 years
New York3 years3 years
North Carolina3 years3 years
North Dakota6 years6 years
Ohio2 years2 years
Oklahoma2 years2 years
Oregon2 years6 years
Pennsylvania2 years2 years
Rhode Island3 years10 years
South Carolina3 years3 years
South Dakota3 years6 years
Tennessee1 year3 years
Texas2 years2 years
Utah4 years3 years
Vermont3 years3 years
Virginia2 years5 years
Washington3 years3 years
West Virginia2 years2 years
Wisconsin3 years3 years
Wyoming4 years4 years
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You see how the statutes are different for each state. If you’re ever in an accident out of your home state, research the statute of limitations in case your claim is denied or if you have to pursue legal action.

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Evidence for Disputing Insurance Claims and Payouts

Once you’ve gathered enough evidence, you’ll need to provide it to the insurance company to dispute your claim. Some of the evidence might include:

  • Dates
  • Receipts
  • Physical and digital copies of documents related to your claim
  • Photos of property damage and injuries
  • Invoices from medical providers and auto repair shops

The more information you have, the smoother the claims process will go. Sometimes, a claim is denied solely because of missing information. So make sure you have all of the information you need to submit to the insurance company to dispute your claim.

Common Denial Reasons

  • The claim exceeds the policy limits
  • You weren’t named on the insurance policy
  • You missed a payment or filing deadline for the claim
  • You were at fault in the accident

Make sure none of this applies to you before you file an appeal.  

To prevent your claim from being denied, you can do the following:

  • Choose a higher coverage level
  • Add drivers to your policy
  • Update your auto insurance company with any changes

Doing the above can help decrease the chances of your claim being denied.

When you enroll in an auto insurance policy, you’ll have something called a coverage limit or coverage rule. Each coverage limit varies by state. The Insurance Information Institute lists these coverage limits on its website, and we’ll summarize that information in a table below.

Minimum Auto Insurance Liability Requirements by State
StatesCoverage TypesCoverage Limits
AlabamaBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/25
AlaskaBodily injury and property damage liability50/100/25
ArizonaBodily injury and property damage liability15/30/10
ArkansasBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection25/50/25
CaliforniaBodily injury and property damage liability15/30/5
ColoradoBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/15
ConnecticutBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist protection25/50/20
DelawareBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection25/50/10
Washington, D.C.Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist protection25/50/10
FloridaProperty damage liability and personal injury protection10/20/10
GeorgiaBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/25
HawaiiBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection20/40/10
IdahoBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/15
IllinoisBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist protection25/50/20
IndianaBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/25
IowaBodily injury and property damage liability20/40/15
KansasBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection25/50/25
KentuckyBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist protection25/50/25
LouisianaBodily injury and property damage liability15/30/25
MaineBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; medical payments50/100/25
MarylandBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage30/60/15
MassachusettsBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection20/40/5
MichiganBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection20/40/10
MinnesotaBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage30/60/10
MississippiBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/25
MissouriBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/25
MontanaBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/20
NebraskaBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/25
NevadaBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/20
New HampshireFinancial responsibility only25/50/25
New JerseyBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage15/30/5
New MexicoBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/10
New YorkBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/10
North CarolinaBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage30/60/25
North DakotaBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/25
OhioBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/25
OklahomaBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/25
OregonBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/20
PennsylvaniaBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection15/30/5
Rhode IslandBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/25
South CarolinaBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/25
South DakotaBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/25
TennesseeBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/15
TexasBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection30/60/25
UtahBodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection25/65/15
VermontBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/10
VirginiaBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/20
WashingtonBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/10
West VirginiaBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage25/50/25
WisconsinBodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; medical payments25/50/10
WyomingBodily injury and property damage liability25/50/20
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Notice a lot of acronyms? Here’s what they stand for: BI stands for bodily injury, PD is property damage, Liab is liability, PIP is personal injury protection, medical payments are labeled as Med Pay, UM is uninsured motorist, and UIM is underinsured motorist.

When a Claim is Denied by an Underinsured At-Fault Driver 

In some cases, you might face a situation where you’re not at fault and the other party’s insurance denied the claim. In that case, you’ll want your insurance company to go to work for you.

Claims might be denied because the at-fault driver’s car insurance coverage doesn’t cover bodily injury or property damage. That’s when underinsured motorist insurance kicks in.

Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) pays costs for you, the no-fault driver when the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough to cover the damages. If your claim is denied by the company of an underinsured at-fault driver then your auto insurance company can often work with you to help appeal the auto insurance claim decision.

Learn How to Appeal an Auto Insurance Claim 

It is possible to appeal a decision from your car insurance company if you’re not satisfied with their settlement offer or if they have denied your claim for reasons you don’t think apply to your situation. You will need to gather documents and information to support your appeal, and you may need to engage a lawyer. 

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