Car accidents take us by surprise. However, the one thing that all drivers expect after an accident is that their insurance company will have their back.
Unfortunately, there are ways that we may invalidate or void our own car insurance policies, or at least, things we do that can give them a reason to deny claims.
If you use your vehicle for business purposes, you need to make sure that your car insurance policy allows for such uses. Many car insurance policies have language that specifically disallow these uses, which can including using the car for a rideshare service. Some insurance companies attempt to extend this prohibition to uses like driving your vehicle while on the clock or running errands. For example, if you are driving to a work lunch on the clock, or your boss tells you to run errands, your car insurance company may try to deny claims that arise from an accident that occurred during this time. And, if you take your car to a private track to race it, you may get a claim denied as well because it is being used for entertainment purposes.
Over the past five years or so, there has been a fad for tiny house living, including modifying vehicles to become tiny homes. The so-called #vanlife movement is boosted by television shows, message boards, websites, social media and more devoted to this new craze.
If you have converted a traditional vehicle into a dwelling, your car insurance company could use this as a reason to deny claims. In fact, you may find it hard to find insurance for these modified vehicles.
A surprising exclusion in many car insurance policies is natural disasters, which includes flooding events. If you accidently drive your car into a body of water, you may find that your insurance company denies your claim.
If you drive your vehicle recklessly or intentionally damage your vehicle, and a car accident results, your insurance company may attempt to deny your claim. This is because some insurance policies have exclusionary language for willful damage.
Another common reason for denial is illegal use of the vehicle. The extreme scenario is damage incurred during a police chase.
Can an insurer deny a claim because you were speeding? A good rule of thumb is if they can deny a claim, the insurance company will. When you have a dispute with an insurer, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on your side to fight for you.