Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Many car insurance claims are processed without hassle, but some are denied
  • Some car insurance claims are justly denied because of issues related to your coverage or failing to meet deadlines
  • Arbitration or help from your state’s insurance department may facilitate the claims process in some cases

When you are involved in an accident or you are dealing with other types of vehicle damages or theft, you may need to file a claim on your auto insurance policy.

Car insurance is designed to make related expenses easier to pay for. You may simply have to file your claim and pay your deductible to obtain the compensation you need through your car insurance policy.

However, not all claims are approved, and this can cause stress and financial grief for insured individuals. After all, if your claim is denied, you may need to pay for the related expenses out of your own funds.

If you are concerned about the possibility of your car insurance claim being denied, you may be wondering what steps you can take to improve the chance that it will be approved.

Learn more about auto claims below and make sure to use our free insurance comparison tool above!

Understand Your Coverage


One of the primary reasons why car insurance claims will be denied is because the repairs or other expenses are not included in your coverage. For example, if you have a liability insurance policy, this coverage only pays for expenses for the other party if you caused the accident. Liability coverage will not pay for your own vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and more.

You should review your car insurance coverage with your agent before filing a claim. It is most helpful to understand the coverage you bought before you file a claim. For example, you should know what type of coverage your have and when your coverage may not pay for all of your expenses.

Coverage options can vary substantially, and some drivers are unfortunately unhappy to learn that their insurance coverage did not work as they believed it did. Educate yourself about coverage and the claims process before you file a claim. This will help you to determine if your claim should reasonably be approved or what challenges you may face with the process.

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Pay Attention to Deadlines

Another common reason why an auto insurance claim is denied relates to deadlines. Most car insurance policies have clauses related to timing deadlines for filing claims. In some cases, this deadline may only be a few weeks after the accident takes place. If the deadline has passed, your claim may be denied even if your coverage otherwise would have paid for the expenses.

A smart idea is to contact your car insurance company as soon as possible after an accident.

By taking this step, you will not have to worry about deadlines. However, you will need to pay your deductible soon after the accident occurs.

Some drivers who cannot pay the deductible right away will postpone filing a claim, and some will postpone this process beyond their coverage deadline. When this happens, your claim may be denied. With this in mind, it is wise to always keep an amount of money equivalent to your deductible amount stored in a savings account.

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Learn About Your Consumer Protection Rights

All states have consumer protection laws in place, and these typically extend to your insurance coverage. If you are dealing with pushback from your insurance company related to a claim, take the time to learn more about your state’s consumer protection laws.

In some cases, simply bringing up your legal rights as a consumer to an insurance company can motivate them to act appropriately. Many insurance companies want to avoid legal issues. Because of this, if they see that your matter may escalate into a legal matter, they may be more likely to work with you.

In all cases, it is important to understand how your insurance company is legally required to act when you file a claim. This will help you to more reasonably determine if you need to take matters to the next level through escalation.

Be Prepared to Escalate the Issue


Most car insurance claims are settled without incident or stress, and many people are pleased with how easy their insurer’s claims process is. However, if you do run into an issue with your claim, you should be prepared to escalate the issue accordingly.

For example, you may begin by asking your insurance company for an arbitration meeting or by seeking assistance with your state’s department of insurance. If these steps do not resolve the matter, it may be necessary to consult with an attorney who has experience fighting car insurance companies when claims are unjustly denied.

An attorney may be able to negotiate with your car insurance company to obtain the desired results. In some cases, however, your attorney may pursue justice through a court case. Ensure that you understand how legal fees will be paid before you begin this process.

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Update Your Coverage

Drivers should always ensure that their coverage is up-to-date and that it is fully protective for all of their needs. Reviewing coverage and comparing quotes every six months may prevent you from ever paying more than necessary for the coverage you need. It is also wise to compare quotes for coverage after you file an insurance claim.

Insurance claims can cause your premium to increase, and your current insurance policy may not be the most affordable one available.

By comparing at least three or four different quotes and by updating your coverage in the process, you can rest assured that you will continue to be fully protected without overpaying for your car insurance.

Some insurance companies have a reputation for fighting back against claims and for taking a long time to process them. Others have a reputation for having a fast and easy claims process with excellent customer service.

When you are looking for new insurance providers to get quotes from, spend a few minutes learning about the reputation that each insurer has developed over the years. This will help you to make the best decision possible when you are buying new coverage.

Because many people lack understanding about how their insurance works or what type of coverage they are buying, you should spend time understanding coverage options before making a buying decision. Car accident expenses, and expenses from related events, can cost you thousands of dollars or more, so you need to have a full understanding of your coverage if you want to avoid having pay for these expenses out of your own pocket.

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