Losing your car to a theft incident can be quite inconvenient, primarily because it is an unforeseen occurrence in most cases. Due to this, you need to recover from your insurance company to help you obtain enough money for a new car purchase. Moreover, the insurance provider can help you cater to damages from the theft incident if the guilty parties caused significant damages. Apart from suffering the loss of your vehicle, you may also lose valuable personal items stored inside the car during the theft. Therefore, having an insurance provider to cover the car loss will alleviate the financial burden of having to replace all your belongings as well.
However, you may encounter several challenges upon presenting your claims to the car insurance company. The most common setback is an insurance denial, whereby the company refuses to release funds for the car theft. After facing the denial, your options will be more limited, meaning that you will have a harder time recovering the money you initially spent on the vehicle. To avoid dealing with the inconveniences of insurance denial, we recommend working with an insurance law firm. This way, you will have the legal assistance of experienced attorneys who understand the technicalities of insurance law. At Stop Insurance Denial Law Firm, we work hard to provide excellent legal services in the field of insurance. Our team is available to help clients throughout the country, so you do not have to worry about traveling to different states for reliable legal assistance.
Responding After Your Car is Stolen
While the sudden realization that your car has been stolen is alarming, you need to act fast. The prompt report will increase your chances of recovering your vehicle and reduce the magnitude of losses in general. Reporting the incident as soon as possible will also eradicate any suspicions that you have engaged in fraud to acquire insurance coverage unlawfully. Thus, we recommend learning of the few important steps to undertake after your car goes missing.
Call the Police and Report the Incident
Informing the police of the car theft is a crucial step because making a timely report can increase their chances of retrieving your vehicle. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact them immediately after realizing that a theft occurred. conversely waiting a few hours or days before reporting the case may be used against you in proceedings against your insurance provider. The defendants may speculate on your involvement in planned fraudulent crimes based on the delayed reports.
Call your Insurance Company and Inform Them of the Issue
Moreover, you want to inform your car insurance company of the incident because they will be responsible for remitting funds to you. If the theft occurred at night after working hours, you can write the company an email regarding the same. This way, you will have proof of having contacted them as soon as possible after the car disappeared.
File a Police Report
After calling the police, they will request you to visit the nearest station and record a statement to initiate a police report filing. We advise you to take your time while providing the details surrounding the disappearance of the car. From the information you give, the insurance carrier and your attorney will have evidentiary sources to rely on in court. As a result, giving well-detailed statements will strengthen your case and increase the chances of persuading the judge to rule in your favor.
File Your Insurance Claim
Lastly, since you will have already reported the theft to your insurance carrier, they will be expecting you to file your insurance claim. As long as you make the initial report, you do not necessarily have to stop by the insurance office on the same day as the car theft incident.
Common reasons for this are that the theft may have occurred at night, after working hours. Alternatively, the theft may have happened outside your area of residence, so you will have to wait until you return home to file the claim. Nevertheless, you should try to present the claim as soon as possible to access immediate assistance.
Understanding How Car Insurance Coverage Works
Learning how insurance coverages work is beneficial because it equips you with the relevant information you need in case of disputes. Using the information, you and your insurance attorney will prepare adequately for a civil lawsuit against your insurance company for unfair insurance denial.
Similar to other types of coverages like health, house, and property insurance, your car coverage should provide a comprehensive option. The first step in acquiring insurance coverage for your vehicle involves identifying a suitable plan that does not exceed your budget. Therefore, you need to identify the type of available agreements and whether they provide appropriate coverage for you.
Determining a suitable insurance plan sets the pace for the subsequent steps to undertake, as each option varies according to your budget. Upon deciding on your plan, you can discuss the terms of payment you need to make.
The best insurance plan available is comprehensive coverage, as it caters to several needs that arise after your car is stolen. You should also note that you will need comprehensive coverage if you use a leased vehicle because the owner intends to avoid possible losses in damages. The requirement also extends to car owners who currently have their vehicles under a loan agreement until they complete all payments.
There are several advantages of comprehensive coverage. Firstly, choosing the package will give you access to funds in case of any car repairs to be done. This often arises after the stolen car is retrieved, but with significant damage. For example, if the thieves broke the mirror on the driver’s door to break-in, you may need to replace a significant section. Thus, you can avoid making steep expenditures thanks to the money from your insurance cover.
Alternatively, you can benefit from comprehensive coverage if you need to replace your car entirely. A car replacement is common after the police are unable to trace the original vehicle after theft. Despite this, the insurance company will allow a specified period to pass before they can allow you to access the sum you requested for.
Thirdly, the coverage will be useful in paying for stolen car parts. Typically, some thieves only intend to obtain specific parts instead of the entire vehicle, meaning that the police may retrieve the car later. However, since the vehicle lacks the stolen parts, you have to purchase new ones, along with making minor repairs for the damage caused.
Replacing the stolen car parts can be quite expensive, especially if your vehicle brand is high-end. Moreover, since you want to replace the parts with original ones, the expenses will be high.
Coverage on Personal Belongings
While the comprehensive coverage should cater to most of your losses after car theft, you should remember that it does not extend to personal belongings. Subsequently, you will have to make your financial arrangements to replace items like your phone, electronics, and money that was stolen along with the car.
Transactions Involved in Comprehensive Coverages
Before you can benefit from comprehensive coverage, you will have to pay deductibles. The deductible payment is the initial transaction you make with the insurance company to secure the coverage. By presenting money out of pocket, the amount will secure your eligibility for the subsequent coverage benefits. You should remember that the deductible fee payable is directly proportional to the insurance plan you settled for.
Moreover, each comprehensive coverage has a financial limit that acts as the insurance company's safety net in extreme cases. By capping the amount you can claim from your insurance carrier, the company stays in business and regulates the different claims. Usually, the insurance limit is calculated from the price of your car.
However, the actual cash price upon depreciation is the preferred option, meaning that the insurance company will estimate the vehicle's market value. The method comes from the common notion that your car depreciates right after you purchase it and start using it.
After deciding on the limit, the insurance company applies a payment formula to help you recover from the car theft. The applicable method in repaying insurance claims includes paying the limit amount minus the deductible amount. Therefore, the total compensatory amount you receive depends on the car's limit value.
For example, if the car's depreciation value is set at $5000 and the amount you paid in deductibles was $700, your compensation will be $4300. Subsequently, you need to understand how the process works so that you can identify an unfair denial if present.
Additional Rules on Comprehensive Coverage
Before raising a claim of insurance denial, you should also learn of the various restrictions on insurance coverage. This way, you will not raise an invalid suit that violates the regulations on the insurance policy. Presenting grievances against your insurance provider without verifying whether the denial was valid may cost you, especially because you will have already spent money on lawsuits and legal services.
Firstly, any custom parts in the stolen vehicle are unaccounted for in the comprehensive coverage. This is because the custom parts exceed the general requirements for an average vehicle similar to your brand.
For example, if you had upgraded your car seats by including a customized leather design, you may not receive an amount proportionate to what you spent during the customization. Nevertheless, you can select a different coverage package that accommodates custom vehicle design covers as well. However, you should be ready to pay extra for the insurance plan.
On top of this, you should note that comprehensive coverages do not cater to any form of interim transportation services. Typically, you will need an alternative means of transport as you wait for the final determination from the insurance carrier. However, the company is not responsible for handling any extra cost you will incur by using public transportation, taxi fees, or carpools. As a result, you should make the necessary preparations yourself to avoid any inconvenience.
Reasons for Insurance Denial
When you file an insurance claim with your company, an insurance adjuster will be appointed to handle your case. He/she will go through the demand letter and depict several weaknesses in your arguments and presentations.
Common insurance denial practices arise because the adjuster is under instructions to make you settle for the lowest amount possible. You may find yourself agreeing to the presented offers, especially if you are alone in the meetings with an adjuster. Working with an attorney will help you avoid receiving an unfair deal, as he/she can identify insurance denials made in bad faith.
After finding sufficient proof on the insurance of unfair denials, your lawyer will then help you develop a case against the insurance company. There are several actions that the insurance provider may undertake in bad faith, to ensure your insurance claim is denied. They include:
Inaccuracies in Car Valuation
Filing a car insurance claim requires the insurance company to conduct a valuation. Based on the retrieved details, the insurance adjuster can then decide on the car limit value to attach in your case. Despite valuation being necessary before recovering compensation for damages, it also paves way for unfair practices.
Among these malpractices is undervaluing vehicles so that the company does not have to remit too much money. For example, if your vehicle was retrieved and valued at $7500 instead of $9500, the insurance carrier will be liable for undervaluing it.
Subsequently, the respective members tasked with vehicle valuation should be answerable for the attempt at reducing the actual price of the car, which would be disadvantageous for you.
Unjustified Delays when Processing your Claim
Soon after reporting and filing a claim with your insurance company for theft, the relevant personnel should look into your issue. Afterward, they should promptly respond to your claim with several possible options on the way forward.
However, some insurance adjusters or companies may decide to take advantage of your patience and delay the processing of your claims. They may do this hoping to discourage you enough to drop the claims and use your own money for a new car.
Sometimes, the delays are not outright but instead comprise repetitive miscommunication, errors, and send-backs in your matter. The same tactic applies here to discourage you from ever receiving your insurance compensation. Eventually, you may be tempted to seek alternative remedies to cater to the losses. The practice is unlawful because it prevents you from lawfully recovering the amount you need, despite paying premiums to the insurance company.
Cancellation of your Comprehensive Coverage Plan
In extreme cases, some insurance providers may attempt to cancel your insurance plan soon after reporting the car theft incident. They may opt for this because they want to avoid fulfilling their obligations towards you and retain the funds instead.
For example, an insurance adjuster may bring up a case of defaulted payment in annual premiums as an excuse for suddenly canceling the insurance plan. If you do not have an attorney present in the meeting, you may give in to your previous defaulted payment and accept the subsequent course of events.
However, you should note that the adjuster should provide a notice for cancellation before doing it so that you will have enough time to make other plans. Hence, a sudden cancellation often indicates a move made by the company in bad faith.
Dismissing your Case Without Reasonable Grounds
Sometimes, the insurance company personnel may go through your filed claim, yet still reject it under uncertain grounds. You may suspect that the rejected claim was done in bad faith, but lack evidence on how to raise the issue in court.
Nonetheless, an insurance attorney may meet the adjusters again and request written grounds for rejecting your claim. If the assigned adjuster fails to provide reasonable grounds backed by justifiable evidence, you will have a reason to file a lawsuit.
Improper Investigation Processes
Further, the improper dismissal of your case may be because the appointed insurance adjusters applied improper investigation procedures. As a result, they are unable to find the true outcome of the car theft, and instead make assumptions regarding your case.
For example, they may ask you whether you locked the vehicle before leaving it in a parking lot, and refute your claims of having locked it based on their assumptions. Consequently, they could use their theories to reach a logical conclusion on why the car was stolen. For example, they may accuse you of carelessness or even attempts to defraud the insurance company.
All these inconveniences arise from the lack of proper investigations, leaving most details to be concluded based on assumptions. You may therefore lose your eligibility to claim for a compensatory amount because of this.
How to Fight an Insurance Denial
If your attorney identifies that you have suffered any or all of these bad faith practices, you will have a valid claim to raise in court. However, you need to make adequate preparations before filing the lawsuit, including the collection of evidence and all important documents relevant to your case.
Normally, you will file a claim against the insurance denial under the Statutory causes of actions. The provision allows aggrieved claimants to file their lawsuits under different areas of law, depending on the nature of their agreement. Since you may have several options available before filing the suit, your lawyer should go through the different common law principles that best suit your matter. Afterward, he/she can settle on one claim.
For example, you may file a case under the field of contract law and raise a claim of breach of contract. The defendant will be your insurance provider, and your lawyer should prove that various elements existed. First, your attorney should present evidence of an existing contractual agreement with the insurance company.
Under the drafted document, the terms should elaborate on the various requirements that both parties must fulfill to each other. You will have to pay the annual or monthly premiums, while the company is obligated to provide compensation in case of unforeseen car damages or theft. Your lawyer needs to prove that the defendant was unilaterally bound to the terms of the contract for the claim of the breach to suffice.
Demonstrating the actions in breach will require your lawyer to rely on the actions that the insurance adjuster or company did in bad faith. From the actions discussed above, your lawyer will then have to include sufficient evidence on each claim.
For example, if your submissions include a complaint on undervaluing your car, you can include the valuation report that the insurance company handed you. You can then compare it to a separate report conducted by an independent valuer. This way, you will have proved your case, and persuaded the judge of your genuineness.
After the presiding judge listens to both sides, he/she will give a verdict depending on the strength of your arguments and validity of evidence. If your insurance lawyer is successful, the insurance carrier will receive orders to pay you the full amount owed to you. This involves the signing of several documents, including a settlement agreement that hands over the car title to the insurance company.
Contact an Insurance Denial Law Firm Near Me
After the shocking revelation that your car was stolen, you may need to recover from your insurance company. Doing this will help you stabilize financially and use the money to plan on your subsequent car purchase. However, most insurance clients have to deal with numerous technicalities and denials from their insurance coverage firms. This is because some insurance companies are more focused on retaining their profits than remitting funds as required. As a result, you can work with an insurance denial attorney who will help you seek legal redress and obtain the necessary insurance coverage.
With the help of the Stop Insurance Denial Law Firm, you will have access to some of the best insurance attorneys in the country. We are dedicated to prioritizing each client’s needs and applying our best efforts to help you receive the necessary monetary support. If you or loved ones require the services of an insurance attorney to fight a denial in any part of the country, call us today at 310-695-5241.