What can I do if my insurance company denied my claim because my policy was cancelled due to non-payment but I was never made aware of it?

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What can I do if my insurance company denied my claim because my policy was cancelled due to non-payment but I was never made aware of it?

I was in a car wreck yesterday. I filed a claim online and then went onto my account to check on the status later in the day. However, I found out that the insurance company cancelled my

policy back last month due to non-payment. The last time I heard from them (about another matter) was 4 months ago; I never delete my emails. There was no mail notice that my

payment was late, no email notice, or phone call. I was on an auto-pay option so I assumed that I was making payments monthly as I never heard from them . Also, I am leasing my vehicle so the finance company would always call me right away if there is any change in my insurance policy. I never heard from them either. If my claim is denied, is there a way for me to appeal this decision?

Asked on June 4, 2016 under Insurance Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If your claim is denied, you can use whatever internal appeal procedure the policy provides for, if any; and if there is none or that does not work, you can sue the insurer for breach of contract (an insurance policy is a contract), if you believe that under the circumstances and terms of the policy, they should have paid (i.e, your policy should not have been caned). The key will be showing that the cancellation was inproper: either that they did receive your payment, but did not properly credit or apply it; or that under the terms of the policy, in order to terminate for nonpayment, they had to provide you certain warnings or notices, which they failed to provide. If you can show they did something wrong, you should have a good chance of getting the coverage reinstated; but if the fault was yours (e.g. not maintaining a large enough balance to cover the premium, or not properky siging up for autopay, etc.), then it is likely the cancellation will stand.


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