Can I use insurance company if they have dragged their feet regarding my claim?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I use insurance company if they have dragged their feet regarding my claim?

I filed a claim on 08/28 with my insurance company. I had only been with for about 1 or 2 months. An examiner came out to look at my vehicle on 09/14. I have been calling insurance companyadjuster. They are not returning my call and I have been calling supervisor also not returning my call. My policy cancelled on 09/05. My vehicle is still sitting at the body shop. Can I use them? So that I can get my vehicle repaired since no one is returning my call. It’s been over 2 weeks now.

Asked on October 2, 2017 under Accident Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Why was your policy cancelled? If it was cancelled for something occuring after 8/28 (e.g. not paying a premium due after that date), the insurer should still have to cover you 8/28 claim, assuming that it is the type of claim the policy covered; that is, any claim occuring while your policy was still in effect should be covered by your then-insurer, even if the policy later terminated. In this case, if they will not cover a claim which they should, you could sue them for "breach of contract" to enforce your rights under the insurance policy, which is a contract.
If your policy was cancelled or voided retroactive back to before 8/28, even if the date you notified of it was 9/5, then they don't have to cover you. This typically happens if there was something false on your application, or you failed to disclose relevant information, or you failed to make the initial payments for the policy which you should have (or those payments were returned NSF), etc.
And if they suspect the claim itself is false (e.g. the damage predated the policy and/or did not occur as you claim it did), they may refuse to pay the claim on that basis. If you disagree, if the policy was in effect on 8/28, you could again sue for breach of contract; they would have to show in court  that the claim is fraudulent to avoid paying.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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