Insurers do use tricks to deny legitimate auto claims

Most people have never read their auto insurance policy. That is a broad generalization, but we believe many experts would agree that skimming and signing is a typical response when confronted with the prospect.

It's little wonder. Anyone who has really committed to reading an insurance contract from start to finish knows it takes fortitude. Even with that, the average reader likely finds him or herself stymied trying to understand what it all means.

Tricks insurers use

Many states require consumer contracts like insurance policies use plain English. Tennessee is not one of them. But even in the states where the laws exist, insurers still find ways to interpret coverage terms to their advantage, denying otherwise legitimate claims. All in the name of protecting the company's bottom line.

Pointing to exclusions

The use of obscure language is only one trick insurers use, making it hard for consumers to know what is covered and what is not. Another is the list of excluded conditions. These often include:

  • A lack of good faith by the policyholder: Policyholder's are obliged to inform the insurer of a medical condition that might impede driving. Failure to inform the insurer about such a condition is grounds for policy cancellation.
  • Failure to minimize risk: Policies typically require drivers to take "reasonable steps" to ensure safe vehicle operation. That could be taken to mean getting it out of traffic if it stalls or making sure it is up to date on maintenance.
  • Irresponsible driving: Every driver is expected to abide by traffic laws and driver responsibly. An insurer can certainly deny a claim if the accident resulted from breaking the law, but many allege irresponsible driving to explain a denial.
  • Unapproved modifications: Insurers sell coverage on the basis of the car's description at the time the policy is purchased. If changes are made, especially ones that enhance performance, insurers may well declare the policy void if a claim is made after modifications.

No one has control over other drivers on the road. Because of marketing by insurance companies, drivers may believe their provider will be there to cover all their needs after a crash, only to find they must battle for coverage. This is not a fight any driver has to face alone. Initial case assessments at The Gold Law Firm are free, so there's no reason to forego a consultation. 

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