What can I do if my insurance ompany did not pay to the other party even though I had liability insurance at the time of the accident?

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What can I do if my insurance ompany did not pay to the other party even though I had liability insurance at the time of the accident?

In December 2016 i had an accident involving another car. I had liability insurance. We exchanged info and I went to a police station since the police wouldn’t come to the scene because there was no injuries, only property damage. Now, 18 months later, I’ve received a summons for court. The other driver’s insurer is suing me for amount of $3,777. My insurance company did not pay for the claim based on a fact that I did not provide them with info about the accident within first 30 days. What can I do to fight this lawsuit? Can I sue my insurance agent for not providing me with this rule?

Asked on May 24, 2018 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Review your insurance policy, which is a contract. If the policy states that you had to provide this information within that period of time, then the insurer may refuse to pay: you are bound by the terms of the policy/contract, and furthermore, the law requires that *you* read and fully understood it (the person signing an agreement is held to have read and understood the terms, and therefore is bound by them); it is not your agent's obligation to tell you what is in the policy you received and signed.
However, the insurer may not impose additional terms or obligations beyond those in the insurance policy. If the policy did not require the information within a certain time frame, they cannot refuse to pay because you did not provide the information within a period of time which was not stated in the contract. A party to the contract (like an insurer) may not add additional terms to a contract. If there was no contractual/policy obligation on you to provide this information within the thirty-day time frame, the insurer cannot use your failure to do so as an excuse to not pay. In this case, you should be able to sue the insurer for "breach of contract" to get the money they should have paid on your behalf.


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