Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Read the letter sent to you by the insurance company, regarding the outcome of your claim
  • Make sure the letter is correct by reading your policy and looking at the repair or replacement quotes for your vehicle
  • If the amount is too low, you can dispute the claim with your insurance company by writing them a letter and presenting the details of your case
  • If you cannot find a satisfactory resolution, you can hire an arbitrator or a lawyer to work on your car insurance case
  • A comparison tool can help you find a better insurance policy with an insurance company that has better customer service

When you get into a car accident, what you want is for your insurance company or the other insurance company, depending on who’s at fault, to pay your medical expenses and provide you with enough money to get your car repaired or replaced.

What happens when you think the settlement is unfair or the insurance company denied your claim?

When this happens, you need to dispute the findings and potentially start looking for another car insurance policy by using a comparison tool.

Compare insurance companies right now by entering your zip code above!

Disputing Your Auto Insurance Claim


You filed a claim with your insurance company and after some deliberation, your insurance company either presented you with a settlement amount that you deemed to be too low to pay your car accident expenses or your claim was completely denied.

Read the letter sent to you by the car insurance company to find out why your car insurance claim was denied.

Generally, this is either because the accident was deemed your fault and you only have liability coverage, or the accident occurred in a manner that isn’t covered by your policy.

You need to read your policy to determine if the insurance company’s claims are valid.

If your car insurance claim was denied because you were determined to be the at-fault driver and you only have liability insurance, you will need to have some proof that you were not the at-fault driver.

To prove you were not at-fault, you will need a police report that states the driver was doing something illegal while driving, like talking on a cell phone or running a red light, and got a ticket for the infractions.

In this instance, you would dispute the claim and send the insurance company the evidence that proves you did not cause the accident.

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The Accident Isn’t Covered Under Your Policy

To dispute this claim denial, you need to determine the exact reason the car insurance company refused your claim. Then, you need to read the entirety of your policy, especially the exclusions and limitations, to determine if your policy covers your accident.

If the manner in which your car accident or the damage to your car occurred, is explicitly not covered by your insurance policy, there may not be much you can do.

However, if your insurance company failed to act in good faith by delaying the processing of your claim or misrepresenting your car insurance policy, they may be in violation of your state’s insurance laws and regulations.

In this instance, you would be able to appeal your insurance company’s findings, and you can report them to your state’s insurance commissioner.

In addition, you can find and purchase a new insurance policy via a comparison tool that does cover everything you need the policy to cover.

When you get your quotes, simply read through them to make sure it meets your needs so that you do not end up in a situation where your car insurance claim is denied because of the exclusions in your policy.

What to Do if You Are Disputing the Payout Amount


If you are disputing the payout amount on your car repairs or total loss, there are things you can do to help get a fair settlement amount.

  • Talk to the Repair Shop that Quoted Your Car Repairs – They may be able to help reduce your repair bill by using aftermarket or refurbished parts. This is especially helpful if your car repairs are worth more than your car and your insurance company wants to declare it a total loss.
  • Hire an Independent Insurance Adjuster and Get Another Appraisal – The car insurance adjusters working for your insurance company may be motivated to underestimate the value of the repairs or the replacement of your vehicle. Hiring an independent adjuster can help you get a fair and accurate quote that is unbiased.
  • Hire an Arbitrator – If the independent appraisal doesn’t persuade your insurance company to adjust your payout amount, you can hire an arbitrator to help negotiate a different settlement between you and your insurance company.
  • Hire a Lawyer and Go to Court – If all of your attempts to reach a fair settlement do not result in the desired outcome, you can hire a lawyer and go to court against the insurance company disputing your claim.

Finding a New Insurance Policy

If you had to spend time and effort disputing a claim with your insurance carrier while you recover from a car accident, there’s a good chance that you no longer want to do business with that insurance company.

Thankfully, you are always free to shop around for car insurance and purchase a new policy.

To get started, you can use our comparison tool to easily find a new policy with better prices and better coverage.