What is my legal recourse if a dealership failed to properly get my car insured and now a claim as been denied?

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2015

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2015Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is my legal recourse if a dealership failed to properly get my car insured and now a claim as been denied?

I bought a car 2 years ago. When I bought it the dealership said they would change over the insurance. I got the tags, taxes and all other requirements from the DMV. My wife was in an accident recently and the car is in bad shape… and not paid for yet. The insurance company says it was never changed over from vehicle I traded in 3 years ago. The claim was denied. So apparently, I have been paying for insurance for those 3 years on a vehicle that I don’t even own anymore and they denied my claim. Can I get the money spent back to help pay for my car that was in the accident? Can the dealership be at fault for the claim denial?

Asked on June 27, 2015 under Insurance Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The insurer has done nothing wrong if no one notified them of the change over, so you cannot recover money from them. You may be able to recover compensation from the dealership for having negligently (carelessly) failed to accomplish the change over, but you will run into a significant problem assuming that you received statments, bills, policy renewals--basically anything--from the insurer over the last two years, which items described, named, identified, etc. the car being insured. If you did, the law puts the onus or obligation on you to *read* such documents and see that the wrong car was insured, then take steps to correct that. So if you did receive anything from the insurer, you will most likly only be able to recover (e.g. premiums paid) from the time of the error the time you received the first communication that should have put you on notice.

If you did not receive any communications putting you on notice, you may be able to recover either premiums paid or the cost of the current claim (whichever is greater) from the dealer for their error.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption