Claim denied.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 19, 2012

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Insurance Question from Naperville, IL

Asked on 01/19/2012

Claim denied. When my daughter moved into Chicago, I called our agent to make sure she knew that our car was being garaged in Chicago so that there would not be any issue if something were to happen. I didn't want State Farm to deny a claim because I hadn't told them. My agent changed the billing address and we never recieved a bill. 3 days after the policy lapsed without our knowledge, my other daughter was in an accident and the car was totaled. They are denying the claimbut I think the agent made the mistake.

Answer given on January 23, 2012

You were correct to notify your agent of the change of garaging of your daughter’s car. Insurance rates are based upon the place a car is garaged and registered, so the insurance company needs to be kept advised as to where a vehicle is kept.There may have been a misunderstanding of the mailing address and garaging address. However, if the address you gave is where your daughter resided, she should have received the billings and notices. If she did, then she should have told you she was receiving these ivoices. There is a responsibility of the policyholder to be aware of billings and notices. In addition, you should have been aware that you had not been receiving any bills or notices for that car. You should speak to your agent to see if she can intervene on your behalf by explaining to the company that she misunderstood the address issue. She may be able to convince the company to honor the claim. You should offer to make full payment immediately if she can do this.

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