When your car is damaged where it is parked, you will need to file a claim with your insurance provider so that they bear the cost of repair or replacement. First, you need to determine if your parked car insurance policy covers damage to your vehicle. To do that, review your policy’s coverages and exclusions, or speak with your auto insurer. If the preliminary decision that the damage may be covered is made, the insurer dispatches an insurance adjuster to verify the damage and assess the costs to get it repaired or replaced.
You will need a police report if your car is stolen or vandalized. If the damage is by natural occurrence, you may not need a police report unless otherwise specified. Get an estimate of the cost of repair or replacement. Then you can file a claim with your insurance company which usually involves submitting a notice of claim via a phone call, mail, or online, where applicable. You may also be required to file a claim within a certain time limit. The insurance company can set the time to file, not to exceed two years in Texas.
After the claim has been filed, the insurance company will investigate the matter through an insurance adjuster. It usually takes around 15 days for the insurer to complete its investigation (Title 5, Sec. 542.056). If approved, the insured will be paid the vehicle's actual cash value (ACV) minus the deductible. However, the customer will be responsible for the vehicle’s repairs and replacement costs if the coverage is denied.
Getting the proper help when filing a claim can be challenging for people who are not well-versed in insurance. If you have unanswered questions, seek the help of a knowledgeable state-licensed property insurance agent.
After filing a claim with your insurer, the insurer:
Investigates the claim, usually within 15 days of filing, by sending an insurance adjuster to examine the car and the facts surrounding the loss. Upon the completion of the investigation, the insurer either:
Pays for the loss, if the claim is covered under the terms of the policy, or
Denies the claim, based on the loss not being covered by the policy.
If the insurer denies the claim, it must provide a valid reason. Unsatisfied with the reasons, the insured can file a formal appeal with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) or file a legal action against the insurer in the relevant Texas Civil Court. Use the find a lawyer platform provided by the State Bar of Texas to find insurance lawyers near you.
After the claim for parked car damage (or loss) is approved, the insurer pays the insured. Usually, the insurer will pay the vehicle's actual cash value (ACV) minus the deductible. For example, if the claim value is $7,000 and the deductible is $500, the insurer will provide a cash payout of $6,500. The payment is usually made via a paper check in the mail or electronic payment, directly to the bank account used to make premium payments.
Before filing a claim, make sure that you are fully aware of the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Consult a licensed auto insurance agent in Texas for further assistance.
Yes, an insurance company can refuse payment based on legitimate reasons. Even though an insurance company can refuse to pay a claim, it is still required to provide a reason for the rejection. If it does not provide one, then the insured should still try to get another explanation.
Contact your insurer’s claims department to file a formal appeal for the claim.
Contact the Texas Department of Insurance to make a formal complaint
File a private lawsuit at a Small Claims Court or mediation program.
If the amount of money that's due exceeds the small claims court's jurisdiction, then file a lawsuit in another Civil Court. You can also use the lawyer referral services of the State Bar of Texas to find an experienced lawyer near you.
Usually, when you find yourself in this type of situation, it is best to consult with a licensed insurance agent to help you with the process of recovering your claims from the insurance provider.
A claim may be denied if the insured is not following the terms and conditions of the parked car insurance policy. There are several reasons why claims are refused.
If the claim the insured filed is fraudulent. The insurer has the discretion to file a legal action against the fraudulent insured.
If the claim exceeds the policy's coverage limit, the insurer will only pay the vehicle's actual cash value at the incident. The insured will only receive the actual cash value minus their deductible.
If the information provided by the insured was not sufficient to evaluate the claim, the insurer might not be able to pay the claim. Also, if the vehicle was modified before the claim was submitted, it might be considered fraudulent if the insured failed to notify the insurer. To avoid this, make sure that you inform the insurer whenever you modify the vehicle.
The policy lapsed or was canceled. Since the policyholder was not paying premium for coverage, the insurer is not responsible for covering the vehicle's repair or replacement.
Your claim is not covered under the policy. The damage you submitted in the claim request is not considered an event that triggers the policy's coverage. For instance, if you file a claim to replace a vehicle damaged due to wear and tear, the parked car insurer will not pay this claim.
The insurer will not pay the claim if the vehicle is damaged due to the insured’s own negligence.
If the insurer is unreasonable or unfair, you can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance. You can also consult a Texas-licensed insurance agent for advice.