Would Vehicle Insurers Accept Policy Mistakes & Pay Claims?

What happens when there is a claim and an auto insurer failed to follow customer instructions to add certain coverage on the policy? For example, you wanted to include Collision as well for a vehicle that was in storage because now you wanted to drive it. But they renewed it the way it was without it. What would happen if you end up in a crash?

It is a very interesting situation and probably there are a few lessons to learn from it. Generally, car insurance companies will not accept fault or responsibility at arranging coverage. The basis is that you ask for it and they quote. The point is that they would have wanted to sell you the Collision if it was up to them.

The fact of the matter is that you had several opportunities to correct an error. First of all, they would have sent you a new quote that included Collision in this case. If they didn’t you were supposed to pick up on that. For example, the premium would be noticeably higher with additional protection. If it wasn’t and you said nothing that means you are assumed to accept the quote as it was.

Secondly, you are expected to check your schedule and inform the insurer of any error. If you have just filed it without checking or never bothered to look at it you failed a basic obligation and you are expected to face the consequences. In any case, a company would maintain that you should have noticed automobile insurance mistakes and do something about it. Unless you tell them they cannot know that there is something to be corrected.

Besides, renewals are electronically generated and policies are stored on the computers. So, it is unlikely that a human would have gone through and noticed anything wrong with it on the other end.

Usually, they word standard policies to say that they are not responsible for “errors and omissions” and hold it as true unless corrected by the policyholder. Therefore, it is highly important to check it carefully and confirm that it meets the requirements and you are fully satisfied with it. Now, having no Collision coverage is not a small issue and you should have noticed if you looked at your schedule a bit attentively.

It may be that they made a mistake. But this doesn’t take away your responsibility to check it. It is like a manager in a business. He cannot pass the buck because he told an employee to do something and employee didn’t do it. It is still the responsibility of the manager as it is his job to make sure that the job is done. He cannot turn around and blame the employee for it. That would only make the employee and manager both guilty and manager is the one with ultimate responsibility. You are the manager in this case.

It really doesn’t matter that you told them and they didn’t do as you requested. They would say that you had a chance to put things right unless you haven’t seen it yet. This would happen if you had an accident within the few days of renewing.

Furthermore, if vehicle insurers start accepting blames in this fashion there would be thousands of people coming forward and claiming that they had things included there even though they pretty well know there wasn’t. So, nobody can blame them for sticking to their guns in such situations.

Also, they usually record these things and may look at the tape recordings to see if they made a mistake. Then, it is up to them to own up to it or not. They are unlikely to hand over the tapes to you in any case unless a court demands them. They would argue that they keep the records for their own use.

So, either you have to take the case up in the court or accept their word for it. We don’t see what else the company could do for you.