Car insurance claim rejection: what to do next

Car insurance claims are turned down for a variety of reasons - find out what to do if your claim is refused and how to avoid it happening again.

Amy Smith

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What to do if your car insurance claim is rejected

The most common reasons for your car insurance claim being rejected are:

  • Out of date information
  • Different named driver
  • Accidents caused by driver negligence or an unroadworthy vehicle
  • No proof of the accident
  • Filing your claim too late

Key points

  • Check your documents or call your insurer to find out why your claim was rejected
  • Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service if you’re not able to resolve it
  • To avoid claim rejections, make sure your policy details are accurate
  • You’ll need to tell insurers about previous claims you’ve made when applying for insurance in the future

If you’re not sure why your claim has been refused check your policy documents or contact your insurer.

You can dispute the decision if you don’t agree with the reason why the claim was refused.

Write a formal complaint letter to your insurer - point out the mistake and provide evidence to prove the rejection was wrong. Hopefully it'll renegotiate with you and give you a fair settlement.

You can appoint a loss assessor, to handle the claim and dispute for you, if you aren’t confident doing it yourself.

If you and your insurer still can’t agree, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to review and resolve your claim.

You won’t need a lawyer if you go to the Ombudsman - it’ll handle the case for you. And the best thing is it’s free.

How to prevent claim rejections in the future

Make sure your policy documents have the right details.

Name or address changes are things your insurer needs to know about. They need to have your up-to-date information and might need to recalculate your insurance premium.

Update your details

They work independently and must follow British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) regulations.

That means they need to put you first and find you the best deal they can, both in terms of the scope of cover, and the price.

Regular maintenance

Keep your car in good condition to avoid your claim being rejected due to an unroadworthy vehicle.

Your claim can be refused on grounds of negligence if you’re involved in an accident because your car isn’t safe to drive.

Negligent driving

An accident that’s your fault because you were heavily negligent or broke the law can be refused.

Insurers might reject your claim if your accident was caused by your illegal actions, like speeding or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You could also be prosecuted.

Stay alert and follow the rules of the road to minimise the risk of accidents and keep yourself and others safe.

If you’re involved in an accident, stop as soon as it’s safe to do so and report it to the police within 24 hours. It’s against the law to drive away, no matter how minor the crash

Don’t withhold or give false information

Any information you don’t admit, or forget to tell the insurer about, could invalidate your car insurance, especially if this information would increase the risk of you making a claim.

You must tell your insurer about any medical conditions or criminal convictions you have.

Be honest about who the main driver is. Listing a more experienced motorist as the main driver, when it’s you who’ll be mainly driving, is a type of fraud called fronting.

Timely payments and claims

You don’t have to call your insurer at the scene, but you should tell them as soon as possible if you’re involved in an accident, even if you don’t want to make a claim.

Insurers will usually give you between 24 hours and seven days to make a claim, but this varies - so check your policy details.

You’ll have to give at least your name, address and vehicle registration number to ‘anyone with reasonable grounds to require them’.

If any of the other parties involved in the accident are uninsured, mention this to the police and your insurer. Whether you can make a claim will depend on whether you have comprehensive comprehensive insurance or uninsured driver cover included in your policy.

Make sure you pay your premiums on time otherwise you could find any claims you make being rejected or agreed at a reduced payout.

Telling insurers about previous claims

When you apply for car insurance again, you’ll need to disclose any accidents you’ve been involved in for the last five years, regardless of whether you made a claim or you weren’t at fault.

Insurers check this information, so they’ll find out if you haven’t been honest which could lead to your policy being invalidated.

Your car insurance will cost more if you’ve previously made a claim, so compare a range of policies to find the right cover for you at the right price.

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