For Oklahomans, proper insurance coverage is a foundational aspect of their lives. This is true for property insurance, health insurance, life insurance and more. If there is an accident or an incident and it comes time to recover financially through insurance company payments, it can come as a shock if the insurer denies the claim. This can be done for myriad reasons. Often, it is because of fine print in the policy, a questionable interpretation designed to keep from paying or an overt change after the policy went into effect. For people who believe they are entitled to payment and are denied by the insurer, it is important to understand the available options.
Uninsured motorists at the center of recent Oklahoma Supreme Court decision
A recent case was decided in favor of the plaintiffs when they claimed their auto insurance provider failed to pay the full amount it was obligated to pay based on the policy. An auto accident occurred involving a teenager who was covered under her parents’ insurance policy with Progressive. The accident happened in September 2017 when she and a male passenger were seriously injured. All four people in the vehicle were teens. Through the insurance policy, the maximum of $100,000 was paid to each of the injured teens. However, the company refused to pay an additional $100,000 based on uninsured motorist insurance.
The company asserted that stipulations in the agreement limited what was to be paid based on what the parents had already paid for coverage. Because the company paid beyond the $25,000 minimum for liability, there could be no more payments for the underinsured. According to the plaintiffs, since Progressive was paid premiums for uninsured motorists and later added the exclusion, it conflicted with state law. A district judge ruled in the Progressive’s favor, but the plaintiffs appealed and the Supreme Court found in their favor saying the policyholders are entitled to what they paid their premiums for.
People denied insurance coverage should understand their rights
As this case shows, insurance denials can be complex and confusing. People who are under the assumption that they have certain protections could suddenly find themselves with denied claims and massive bills based on fine print and attempts on the part of the insurer to avoid paying. Regardless of the type of insurance dispute, it is imperative to know how to combat these often frivolous and questionable attempts on the part of insurers to keep from paying what they are supposed to. Whether the case is handled through negotiation or by going to court, it is wise to have experienced guidance throughout the process.