How do you handle an insurance company that admits clients wrong doing but denies coverage due to policy activation?

On August 14, 2017, a young man hit my vehicle with his car door causing a huge dent nearly the size of a baseball. I was notified of the damage several hours following so I later obtained insurance information from him. I took a picture of his insurance card front and back. It stated coverage beginning on August 14, 2017. After multiple delays, his insurance company a month and a half later is now trying to deny coverage claiming that the young man added coverage just after the incident. The damage estimated a total of $1200. Would the insurance company still be responsible, if they provided their client proof of coverage for that particular day. If the young man did activate a policy just after causing the damage, wouldn’t it be the responsibility of the insurance company to place a grace period to the actual start date of coverage? Will I need to take the insurance company to small claims court since their client provided proof of coverage on the date of the incident?

Asked on September 29, 2017 under Accident Law, Arizona


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the at-fault party's insurance policy was not effective until after the accident on the same day, the insurance company will deny the claim.  There is no grace period.
If the insurance was in effect at the time of the accident, you can sue the insurance company on a bad faith claim, but it will be difficult to prove.
If the insurance was not in  effect at the time of the accident, then the at-fault party was uninsured and you can sue him in small claims court for negligence or if your insurance has uninsured motorist coverage, you can file an uninsured motorist claim through your company for the property damage (cost of repairs) to your car.  Your insurance company will then sue the at-fault party for the amount it paid on the claim.
If you sue the at-fault party in small claims court, you can enforce a judgment in your favor with a wage garnishment.

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