Insurance providers may times decide to deny claims based on their own investigations. Sometimes, denials can result from bad investigation practices or simply bad faith. And if you’re covered by Shelter Insurance, then this could happen to you after a car accident.
If you want to prepare for this case or it’s already happening to you, then keep reading this guide to learn the main reasons for claim denial and what you can do about it.
What Are the Common Reasons for Shelter Insurance Car Accident Claim Denials?
Shelter Insurance, like other reputable insurance companies, is obligated to handle claims in good faith, adhering to state laws and fair settlement practices. Several reasons may lead Shelter Insurance to deny a car accident claim:
Liability. In most cases, Shelter Insurance won’t cover your car accident damages if you were at fault or partially at fault for the accident. Usually, car insurance policies only protect you against accidents that weren’t your fault, and Shelter Insurance is no different. To determine fault, the company does its own investigation and evidence collection. But there are cases when their conclusions are wrong and you weren’t actually at fault.
Policy limits. All car accident policies have limits and exclusions to certain types of accidents. Make sure you read your policy before submitting a claim to know exactly how much you are covered for and if your accident applies. Otherwise, Shelter Insurance can deny your claim on the grounds that you’re not covered.
Violation of agreement. Each policy has its own clauses that if broken, can result in a denied claim. One example present in all car insurance policies is that you can’t be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This reckless behavior very commonly causes accidents and insurance companies don’t cover them.
Fraud. Another obvious reason why Shelter Insurance can deny your claim is if they suspect insurance fraud. This could be that you caused the accident on purpose or that you’re not being honest about the damages you’re claiming.
What Happens If a Car Accident Claim Is Denied by Shelter Insurance?
In all cases where a claim is denied, Shelter Insurance sends a denial letter. This document includes the reasons why the company decided to not compensate the claim. If the reason is not valid for you, then you can proceed by sending an appeal. This appeal allows you to give your side of the story to Shelter Insurance. It gives you the opportunity to show more evidence and if Shelter Insurance agrees, you can get a fair settlement.
If the appeal is also denied, your recourse is to file a lawsuit.
How To Appeal a Car Accident Denial From Shelter Insurance
Appealing is a straightforward process that you can do on your own but it’s better if you have the support of an experienced law firm like Morris & Dewett. The reason is that you need to develop a demand letter that is compelling enough to change the insurer’s mind. Here are the steps to filing an appeal.
Review the Denial Letter
As we mentioned before, you will receive a denial letter from Shelter Insurance with all the reasoning behind the decision. Here you can learn exactly their motives and start thinking about your arguments and evidence. Just because they made a decision, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change their minds.
File a Demand Letter
You and your lawyer need to craft a compelling demand letter where you explain why their reasoning is wrong and what would be fair compensation for your accident. The support of a team of lawyers is key in this stage.
Negotiate for a Settlement
If Shelter Insurance agrees with your demand letter, then both of you can negotiate for a settlement. They will send you an offer and your lawyers can either accept it or ask for a different amount.
If Necessary, File a Lawsuit Against Shelter Insurance
When negotiations aren’t successful, you can proceed to file a lawsuit. As with any lawsuit, you have to present evidence in front of a judge to try to get your desired compensation.
Does Shelter Insurance Deny a Lot of Claims?
On the Better Business Bureau website, you can find several Shelter Insurance customer complaints talking about problems with their car accident insurance, including denials. But compared to other insurance providers, the company doesn’t have as many bad reviews around this subject. Regardless, it appears Shelter Insurance does deny plenty of claims.
Do You Need a Lawyer To File a Claim Appeal?
It’s not necessary to have a lawyer to file an appeal. It is technically possible for you to do so on your own. But it is not recommended. Without the proper guidance, you will easily find yourself lost in the process and potentially make costly mistakes, such as omitting proper arguments or missing a deadline. A law firm can help you to:
File a strong appeal. A legal team will always be more efficient at preparing and filing the appeal than you will be as an individual. With a whole expert team of lawyers backing them, they will ensure that all necessary documents and evidence are presented to support your case, giving the appeal a strong foundation.
Negotiate fair settlements. In situations where Shelter Insurance may be open to negotiation after an initial denial, an experienced car accident lawyer can skillfully negotiate, knowing exactly how insurers handle these situations.
File a lawsuit. In a lot of cases, a lawsuit is the last way of receiving compensation. And unless you are a lawyer yourself, having legal representation is necessary to go through this process successfully.
Get The Compensation You Want
You also need to be aware that some insurance companies might ignore you or not be as responsive as you’d like. This could be a practice to minimize how much they pay you. For example, after no responses to your claim or appeal, you might give up, and that way they don’t have to pay you. But you need to be persistent and aware of your deadlines.
Better Business Bureau. Shelter Insurance.
Shelter Insurance. What to Expect When You Make an Auto Claim.