Laura Berry is a former State Farm insurance producer and insurance expert.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 13, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • If you receive a decision from a car insurance company that is not acceptable to you, you should not delay before submitting an appeal of the outcome
  • You need to be as specific as possible in stating the reasons for your appeal in the letter to your insurance company, which includes keeping records of all of your expenses
  • If you do not get a timely response from your insurance company, be sure to track it down because the statute of limitations could expire for you being able to file any legal claim
  • If you are still unable to get a satisfactory resolution of your claim and appeal, you may need to involve the state insurance department to oversee the matter
  • Make sure that you never admit fault in the claim appeal letter because this could be used against you later if your case has to go to court

In certain situations, it is necessary to write a formal letter to your auto insurance company to get the settlement of your claim that you think you deserve.

One of these situations includes appealing an adverse decision about a claim that you have filed and have not yet received a reasonable settlement for. As unfortunate as it is, sometimes approval comes only after you’ve had to fight for it.

You’ve no doubt seen some form of consumer complaints online, where someone was denied their rightful coverage. However, there may have been valid reasons for denial, which could have included the person not appealing the decision, or providing all the necessary documentation.

If you have received notice from your auto insurance company that they are offering a settlement amount you think is too low for your claim or are denying coverage for your claim altogether, then you need to immediately appeal this decision.

Do not wait too long to communicate with your auto insurance company so that you do not harm your chances of recovering the full amount for your claim.

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What are the reasons to appeal a decision by your auto insurance company?

If you file a claim through your insurance company, you may receive a notice back stating that your claim was denied. A denial letter can be unnerving, but there’s an appeal process you can follow.

As long as your policy is active and you can determine that you have coverage for the claim that you filed, this decision merits an immediate letter of appeal to your auto insurance provider in response to the denial letter you were sent.

The longer you wait to send an appeal letter to your auto insurance company, the harder it will be for you to actually settle your claim.

In addition, you may receive a settlement offer from the auto insurance company that you think is too low for the actual damages that you have suffered.

Before too much time passes, you want to send an appeal letter to the auto insurance provider that includes clear documentation and explanation of how you have calculated the actual damages that you believe you are entitled to recover from the auto insurance company.

The sooner the better, so that you don’t lose any medical records needed, in case your policy offers covered benefits that involve your health. It’s always a good idea to keep everything written down, or in one place, including any relevant document that would help from your health care provider.

If your policy only covers damage done to your vehicle, then you wouldn’t need anything from your health care provider, but you would still need all pertinent documentation relevant to the claim.

You should never receive a low ball offer on your claim once you receive an approval letter, but you should be prepared to review and back your claim up if it’s not the amount you expected.

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Should you write an appeal for a denial of your claim?

The auto insurance company has a legal duty to negotiate the settlement of all claims in good faith. This means that the auto insurance company cannot simply deny your claim because it does not want to pay your damages. A business that practiced this sort of poor attitude would certainly come under fire from customer complaints, which would mean a loss of clientele.

If you have been denied coverage for a claim but think that your policy actually applies, be prepared to cite the exact provision of your policy that you believe offers you coverage.

If you do not have a copy of your policy handy, you should immediately request this from the insurance company. You may be able to call them to request that they mail a copy to you.

It is always recommended that you become familiar with the types of coverages and limits that you have through your policy so that you know what types of claims will be covered.

What documentation should you include in your appeal letter for a car insurance claim?

Details of the accident

It is important to include the necessary details of your accident when writing your appeal letter to the auto insurance company, such as:

  • location of the accident
  • identities of the drivers
  • result of the accident

It is important that you never admit fault for the accident to the auto insurance company. If you do, this could come back to haunt you if you end up having to go to court over the claim.

Pictures of the Accident

Aside from those details, you may want to include pictures of the damage sustained by you or your car in the accident so that the auto insurance company can see how serious the accident really was.

Make sure that you keep at least one copy for yourself of all documents that you submit to the auto insurance company so that you have a record of your appeal.

You also want to make sure that any pictures that you have taken of your car show the condition that it was in immediately after the accident and before any repair work.

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Several Repair Estimates for Your Car

If you are requesting compensation for damage to your car in an auto accident, you should provide more than one estimate for the repair costs for your vehicle.

The reason for this is that you do not want the auto insurance company to be able to reject your appeal because they think that the quote you provided was unreasonably high.

To prevent this, multiple estimates for repairs will give the auto insurance company a clearer picture of an average estimate to repair your car.

If you are claiming damages based on the current value of your car, one of the best sources for information on this is the Blue Book Market Report.

You can look up the details for your car’s current value online and inform the auto insurance company accordingly about the actual value of your car. The value will be mostly based on the make, model, year and current mileage of your car before the accident.

Proof of Medical Expenses

If you were personally injured in a car accident, you should have detailed records of all medical expenses that you have incurred, because medical treatment is usually covered in your insurance plan as well, unless you opt out. This includes:

  • Doctor or hospital bills
  • Treatment costs of ay medical procedure completed
  • Time and wages lost from missing work
  • Any other expenses related to your physical injuries

You should also include a caveat that your medical expenses continue to accrue if all of your injuries have not yet been fully treated. You want to be able to recover for all possible injuries that arose from the accident and not have to pay out of your own pocket for your medical care. This includes any continued medical service you will need long after the claim has been submitted. You’ll need to document the type of treatment you’ll need, as well as the current treatment you’re receiving at the time of the claim. However, the claim will never cover any pre-existing condition.

How do you choose a reputable car insurance company?

Having to go through the process of settling a claim with an unresponsive or unreasonable auto insurance company is certainly frustrating. If you have a representative who isn’t doing their best to ensure you get the most from your claim, that can leave you feeling despondent.

It is also a good reminder that choosing the right auto insurance company for you matters just as much as getting a good price on your policy. This means asking questions of the agent and finding out if your friends and family have used the company before. Checking out consumer complaints online can be useful too, especially if it uncovers some unsightly reviews.

When you get quotes for different auto insurance companies, take your time in looking into each company so that you know the nature of the insurer that you are about to do business with.

You do not want to regret signing up with your auto insurance company later on because you did not do enough research in selecting a well-established and responsible company.

Even if you get a good rate on the policy, you could end up paying much more out of your own pocket down the line because the auto insurance company does not honor their policy or conduct reasonable settlement negotiations of your claim.

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What are the final points on how to write an appeal letter for a car insurance claim?

It is always a good idea to document your settlement negotiations with the auto insurance company in writing.

The entire appeal process may seem like a lot of work, and that’s because it is. However, it could be financially worth it in the long run. If you have to appeal a decision from the auto insurance company, provide specific details of why you believe your claim should be covered as well as the support for the damages that you are seeking. In the event that you’ve been given a denial notice, gather up as much credible evidence that you can, and figure out what caused the denial. If you were missing information, try to obtain it as soon as possible.

The more documentation that you have to prove your claim, the better. If you still cannot get a reasonable response from your auto insurance company, it may be a good idea to involve the state department of insurance. You can also resolve to leave a complaint online, as long as it’s done in a professional and truthful manner.

If you don’t agree with the original decision that your provider gave you, take action via a formal appeal.

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