About 14% of the complaints received by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) are for denial of a claim by the insurance agency. This makes it the second most filed complaint. Not surprisingly auto and accident insurance get the majority of complaints, followed by auto and life annuities.
Usually, insurance types that deal with accident coverage are the trickiest to handle as the companies will try to delay or refuse payment which is one of the biggest differences when you see term vs whole life insurance. Agencies need time to investigate the circumstances in which the accident took place and they will try to find a clause that they could use to refuse to pay the benefit.
Here are some basic steps which you should take in order to prevent such a thing from happening.
Do not lie on your application. Many people lie on their application form thinking that they are saving some money. One of the most common lies is about smoking. Keep in mind that you are considered a non-smoker if you haven’t smoked a cigarette or any tobacco for at least one year! If you provide false information, it will be very easy for the insurance agency to refuse payment.
Know what you have. In the case of home insurance, it is very important to keep records of your estate. It is even recommended to take pictures or film the interior of your house. Proving that the house contained valuables will raise the insurance claim. Also, when disputing a claim, be careful with whom you talk to. You may give up a valuable piece of information that could be used against you if the insurance company gets its hands on it.
Don’t hurry to court! Suing a whole company takes a lot of resources and time, which you may not be prepared to provide and especially to lose. Taking your agent to court should be the last resort. First, try to talk directly to the company and explain your case. If dialogue is impossible, make sure you know the terms of the policy almost by heart and decide if you have a strong claim.
Hire a good lawyer and be persistent. Don’t be afraid of taking the matter to court if you have been wronged. A good lawyer can help you win and get your rightful money back. Also, be persistent and don’t let yourself get pushed around.