What Can I Do If My Insurance Claim is Denied?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Raymond Hatcher with Sloan Firm.
Dealing with insurance companies after any kind of accident or injury can be extraordinarily stressful and even feel ineffectual, especially when a claim is denied. A claim may be denied for many reasons, both valid and invalid. If your insurance claim has been denied, it’s important to refrain from the immediate assumption that the denial was fair. In dealing with insurance companies, it’s important to keep in mind that they make their money by denying or reducing as many valid claims as possible in order to keep policyholder premiums in their pocket.
If your insurance claim has been denied, it may be possible to file an appeal against the decision. An appeal to an insurance company is simply a request to have the reasons a claim was denied examined once again for any inaccuracies. When someone files an appeal over a denied insurance claim, a third party may evaluate the decision and decide whether it was fair or not. If your insurance claim is denied, there are several steps it’s important to take before giving up the possibility of receiving compensation for your damages. Additionally, it may be wise to involve an insurance attorney who can recognize signs of bad faith insurance and protect you from any unscrupulous acts on behalf of an insurance company.
Steps to take after an insurance claim has been denied include the following:
- Request a copy of the official policy. Obtain a copy of the insurance policy itself so you can read it in detail and compare it with your situation. This may help to accurately assess whether the denial of your claim was wrongful or not. If the policy is unclear, reach out to an attorney who will be more familiar with the language and can interpret it for you.
- Read the denial letter. Whenever a claim is denied, you should be supplied with a denial letter listing the reasons for the denial. If the reasons are inaccurate or fabricated, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
- File an appeal quickly. It’s important to file an appeal as soon as possible after the denial. There is a time limit after which an appeal cannot be made, so it’s important to be prompt.
- Avoid discussing your situation. It’s important to refrain from discussing your situation, including the harm you suffered and your pursuit of insurance benefits. You never know when your words can be used against you in unexpected ways. This includes refraining from discussing your insurance claim with your doctor until it has been secured as well as posting about it on social media.
- Talk to an attorney. It’s a good idea to talk to an attorney who is experienced in dealing with unscrupulous insurance companies. Attorneys are familiar with the runaround that many insurance providers put their policyholders through, and may be able to nip it in the bud before further harm occurs. Additionally, an attorney may know what kind of evidence an insurance provider wants to see before approving a claim and can help you obtain it as quickly as possible.
To learn more about what to do if your insurance claim is denied, or for help filing a claim, seek legal counsel. Many of the attorneys that handle these cases offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, allowing an injured party and their family to focus on recovery rather than stressing about further financial damage.