Skip to main content

I have a valid and active policy, but my insurance company has the wrong car listed and wont pay a claim from a car accident.

Silver Spring, MD |

I was in a car accident that was incorrectly deemed as my fault. My insurance won't pay any claims because it has no record of my new car on the policy.
I bought the car 2 months ago after my other car was totaled in the snow. My insurance company took possession of the totaled car and paid me the settlement so I could purchase a new car. I went through a dealership, and my new car was tagged, titled, and registered through the state of maryland. The car they DO have on my active policy, is the one that was totaled. I have been making monthly payments for insurance on a car they know is totaled.
I don't know what recourse I have as they are refusing to pay any claim.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. You should gather all of the paperwork that you have from the first accident, the paperwork for the purchase of the second car, and all paperwork from the insurance company and then meet with a lawyer. If you have an insurance agent I would also seek his or her help.

  2. It sounds like an issue between you, your agent and the company. Assuming it's just a typographical error you should be able to correct the issue with a few phone calls. If it's an entirely different vehicle that was not previously insured by you, it's clear the agent and/ or insurance company made an internal error. Worst case contact your state's insurance commissioner. Please keep in mind however, that the policy is a legally binding contract and have a responsibility to confirm they information provided to them is accurate.

  3. In general, replacement vehicles are considered insured for a period of time under the policy for the car it replaced, but you still need to inform the insurance company usually within 30 days.

    I am a personal injury lawyer located in Dayton, Ohio. I am an experienced trial lawyer who represents injury victims against the insurance companies. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. I am not providing any legal advice. I am only licensed in the State of Ohio. You should contact an attorney for legal advice.

  4. In addition to gathering all your information about when you purchased your new car, etc., you need to establish what notice, if any, you provided to your insurance carrier that you actually bought a new car and notified them to add it to your policy. The insurance premium for some coverages under your policy, such as collision, comprehensive and PIP, vary depending on the year, make, model and anti-theft and safety features (side air bags, etc.), of the vehicle. The insurance company appears to be stating that you never notified them of your new vehicle and never formally added the vehicle to the policy. Had you done so, you would have received a new policy declaration page and a new premium. merely paying the old premium for a different vehicle is not the equivalent, and may entitle you to a refund, but it does not answer the question from the insurer's standpoint as to why you never added the new car to the policy. Perhaps there is some basis to argue for coverage, but that may depend on more facts. I would try to get a supervisor on the phone at your insurance company, and obtain at least a waiver to backdate coverage with payment of any additional premium due applicable to the new car. If you have been a long-term policy holder, they should bend their rules. If you can get nowhere with them, then you may try filing a complaint with the Maryland Insurance Commissioner, here: a Complaint Online

  5. If you did not give the insurer the details on the new car, how do you expect it to know what car to have insured?

  6. Generally replacement vehicles are covered automatically for 30 days after purchase. You, as the insured, are responsible for informing your insurance company that you have, in fact, purchased a new car. Simply because you got paid for the vehicle does not put them on notice that you have purchased a new one and what that vehicle is. Insurance rates are determined, in part, by the make and the model of the vehicle you purchase. You need to report this new purchase in order to be covered after 30 days.

    Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

Personal injury topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics