What can I do if my insurance company refuses to pay for an accident that I was involved in?

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What can I do if my insurance company refuses to pay for an accident that I was involved in?

I have had full coverage for a number of years. I was involved in an accident but my insurer refused to pay because they said that I didn’t let them know within 30 days that I purchase a car different than that listed on my policy. I’m waiting to hear from the DMV for the date that I purchased the car involved, I’m not even sure if it was within 30 days. Mercury said that even though my premiums were paid I wasn’t covered because I didn’t notify them that I was driving a different car. I always thought that whatever I drove was covered since I had full coverage.

Asked on February 28, 2012 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to look to the terms of your insurance policy. If it required you to notify the insurer that you have a new or different vehicle and you failed to do so, then the insurer may be able to lawfully disclaim, or deny, coverage, because you would be in breach of contract. Insurance policies are contracts; both parties are bound by their terms. You need to review the policy carefully to see what your rights and obligations are. If you violated the terms of the policy, the insurer is often able to not pay; if you were in compliance, then they should pay as required under the policy.


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