When Insurance Companies Refuse to Pay Underinsured ClaimsMar 12, 2020 Car Accidents Insurance Issues Personal Injury
Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
If your insurer is refusing to pay an underinsured claim after a car crash, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. When you file a claim against your insurance policy, you take for granted that the insurer will approve it. Although the law requires insurers to uphold their policies, they often find ways around paying out benefits. Let us help you fight back.
Our Ohio car accident lawyers are highly experienced with uninsured and underinsured motorist claims. We hold insurance companies accountable and fight for our clients to receive fair compensation.
Schedule a free, no-risk consultation about your car accident insurance claim. Contact us online or call 1-800-HURT-NOW.
When to File a Claim for Underinsured Motorist Coverage
You should file a first-party claim against your underinsured motorist insurance policy if you know or believe the total amount of your damages are more than the negligent driver’s insurance limit.
Optional auto insurance coverage in Ohio includes uninsured and underinsured motorist policies. Uninsured motorist policies cover damages when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance and after a hit and run. Underinsured motorist coverage steps in when the at-fault driver’s policy limit is less than your damages. In Ohio, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage must cover bodily injuries.
Your Insurer Might Deny Your Claim
Common reasons insurers refuse to pay underinsured claims:
- Notice: The insurer might claim you failed to provide notice of the collision within a reasonable time.
- Premiums: The insurer might claim your premium payments lapsed, and you lost coverage.
- Coverage: The insurer might claim the underinsured motorist policy doesn’t cover your type of damages.
- Value: The insurer might claim the value of your claim isn’t more than the other driver’s policy.
- Proof: The insurer might claim you lack evidence of your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
What to Do When Your Insurer Won’t Pay Your Underinsured Motorist Claim
If you filed a first-party insurance claim and your insurer denied it, call KNR right away. Refusing to pay an underinsured claim might be valid, or it might be an act of bad faith.
Our team will thoroughly review your circumstances, including the car crash evidence, your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, your medical bills, and your underinsured motorist policy.
We won’t jump to a lawsuit the minute your insurer denies your claim. The first step is to review the reason for the denial, which you should receive in writing. In some cases, we can fix an issue with your claim and move forward with negotiating a settlement.
If it’s not a relatively easy fix, we’ll go through the insurance company’s formal appeal process. Many auto insurance policies have an alternative dispute resolution clause, which typically requires binding arbitration. During arbitration, one or a panel of neutral parties reviews the facts and reaches a resolution.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Insurer
In extreme cases, it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit against your insurer for refusing to pay an underinsured claim. We might file suit based on breach of contract, bad faith, or both.
If we prove your insurance company acted in bad faith, we can ask for punitive damages, which aren’t available in breach of contract claims.
Ohio law allows you to sue for bad faith when your own insurance company refuses to treat you fairly. Bad faith can be many things, from refusing to investigate the claim, doing a poor job of investigating, or using unreasonable delay tactics. Outright refusing to pay a valid underinsured motorist claim without a lawful reason also constitutes bad faith.
Need Help with an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim? Call KNR
You might start the insurance claim process after a crash thinking you can deal with the insurer yourself. Once it becomes clear the insurance company doesn’t want to pay out on your claim, you need to call an experienced car accident lawyer.
Kisling, Nestico & Redick is ready to fight for your recovery. We’ll deal with the insurance company’s red tape, and when necessary, represent you during arbitration or litigation. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free initial consultation. There are no up-front fees and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.