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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UPDATED: May 26, 2022
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- 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.
|State||Bodily Injury||Property Damage|
|Alabama||2 years||2 years|
|Alaska||2 years||6 years|
|Arizona||2 years||2 years|
|Arkansas||3 years||3 years|
|California||2 years||3 years|
|Colorado||3 years||3 years|
|Connecticut||2 years||3 years|
|Delaware||2 years||2 years|
|District of Columbia (D.C.)||3 years||3 years|
|Florida||4 years||4 years|
|Georgia||2 years||4 years|
|Hawaii||2 years||2 years|
|Idaho||2 years||3 years|
|Illinois||2–3 years||5 years|
|Indiana||2 years||2 years|
|Iowa||2 years||5 years|
|Kansas||1 year||2 years|
|Kentucky||1 year||2 years|
|Louisiana||1 year||1 year|
|Maine||6 years||6 years|
|Maryland||3 years||3 years|
|Massachusetts||3 years||3 years|
|Michigan||3 years||3 years|
|Minnesota||2 years||6 years|
|Mississippi||3 years||3 years|
|Missouri||5 years||5 years|
|Montana||3 years||2 years|
|Nebraska||4 years||4 years|
|Nevada||2 years||3 years|
|New Hampshire||3 years||3 years|
|New Jersey||2 years||6 years|
|New Mexico||3 years||4 years|
|New York||3 years||3 years|
|North Carolina||3 years||3 years|
|North Dakota||6 years||6 years|
|Ohio||2 years||2 years|
|Oklahoma||2 years||2 years|
|Oregon||2 years||6 years|
|Pennsylvania||2 years||2 years|
|Rhode Island||3 years||10 years|
|South Carolina||3 years||3 years|
|South Dakota||3 years||6 years|
|Tennessee||1 year||3 years|
|Texas||2 years||2 years|
|Utah||4 years||3 years|
|Vermont||3 years||3 years|
|Virginia||2 years||5 years|
|Washington||3 years||3 years|
|West Virginia||2 years||2 years|
|Wisconsin||3 years||3 years|
|Wyoming||4 years||4 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:
- 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.
|States||Coverage Types||Coverage Limits|
|Alabama||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Alaska||Bodily injury and property damage liability||50/100/25|
|Arizona||Bodily injury and property damage liability||15/30/10|
|Arkansas||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||25/50/25|
|California||Bodily injury and property damage liability||15/30/5|
|Colorado||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/15|
|Connecticut||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist protection||25/50/20|
|Delaware||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||25/50/10|
|Washington, D.C.||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist protection||25/50/10|
|Florida||Property damage liability and personal injury protection||10/20/10|
|Georgia||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Hawaii||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||20/40/10|
|Idaho||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/15|
|Illinois||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist protection||25/50/20|
|Indiana||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Iowa||Bodily injury and property damage liability||20/40/15|
|Kansas||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||25/50/25|
|Kentucky||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist protection||25/50/25|
|Louisiana||Bodily injury and property damage liability||15/30/25|
|Maine||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; medical payments||50/100/25|
|Maryland||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||30/60/15|
|Massachusetts||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||20/40/5|
|Michigan||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||20/40/10|
|Minnesota||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||30/60/10|
|Mississippi||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Missouri||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||25/50/25|
|Montana||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/20|
|Nebraska||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||25/50/25|
|Nevada||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/20|
|New Hampshire||Financial responsibility only||25/50/25|
|New Jersey||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||15/30/5|
|New Mexico||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/10|
|North Carolina||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||30/60/25|
|Ohio||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Oklahoma||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/25|
|Pennsylvania||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||15/30/5|
|Rhode Island||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/25|
|South Carolina||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||25/50/25|
|South Dakota||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||25/50/25|
|Tennessee||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/15|
|Texas||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||30/60/25|
|Utah||Bodily injury and property damage liability; personal injury protection||25/65/15|
|Vermont||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||25/50/10|
|Virginia||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||25/50/20|
|Washington||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/10|
|West Virginia||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage||25/50/25|
|Wisconsin||Bodily injury and property damage liability; uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; medical payments||25/50/10|
|Wyoming||Bodily injury and property damage liability||25/50/20|
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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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