Auto insurance is meant to protect you financially if you are in a vehicle accident or suffer some other vehicle-related loss (like theft). In fact, many state laws, including North Dakota and Minnesota, require you to carry a minimum limit of insurance coverage on your motor vehicles. However, if your policy has inaccurate or missing information, your auto insurance claim could be denied, leaving you responsible to pay for the damages or loss.
Is the vehicle information on your auto policy accurate (i.e. year, make, model, VIN)? Do you have all of your vehicles on the policy? It is not uncommon for individuals to purchase a new vehicle and fail to notify the insurance company within the allotted timeframe to add coverage. Or some individuals may choose to remove coverage when parking a vehicle for period of time and forget to add coverage back when they decide to start driving it again.
The drivers listed on your auto policy are always covered with no restrictions. But issues can arise if an accident should occur with someone else driving your vehicle. While often times, someone driving your vehicle with permission is covered, there are some insurance companies that will deny your claim since the unnamed driver created an unknown risk to the company.
Not only are the names of the drivers important, but their locations are as well. If you have a child that is in another city or state for college, and they are driving one of your covered vehicles, it’s important to let your insurance company know. There may or may not be changes that need to be made to your policy to ensure that a claim in that location would be paid.
It is not uncommon for drivers to only carry the state minimums for their auto insurance coverage, but in many cases, these limits are not sufficient. If you carry the $25,000 North Dakota state minimum for property damage, but you are responsible for an accident that causes $30,000, you will be liable to pay the remaining $5,000 yourself.
When insuring your vehicles, it’s important to know your title information. If you file a claim with your insurance company for a vehicle that is on your policy, but not titled in your name, your claim will likely be denied. For instance, if you bought your vehicle from a friend or family member, but never had the titled transferred to your name, you cannot collect on a claim for that vehicle since you are not recognized as the owner.
Unfortunately, a common reasons that a claim will not be paid is due to a lapse in coverage for non-payment. We understand that mistakes happen, or things get busy, but it’s so important to remember to pay your auto insurance premiums on time. Not only could a lapse in coverage result in a claim not being paid, but also legal fines and/or penalties since there are state minimum requirements.
Take some time to review your auto insurance policies and make sure the information is up-to-date and accurate. If you need to make any changes to your policy, our account managers are here to help. Just give us a call!