Dear Attorney Williams:
My friend got into a car accident, and her insurance company won’t pay off the damages to the car. She paid her car insurance premium late, but the policy was still good (and in effect) when she got into the accident.
The company did send her a notice saying that they had canceled the insurance. They sent out another one and told her to disregard the cancellation notice because the payment and notice crossed in the mail. She called them and told them about the letter, and they said they’d have someone call her back. But they didn’t. What should she do?
Your friend should contact the insurance company again and request to speak to the representative who handles claims and billing. Thereafter, she should request to fax and perhaps mail a certified return receipt copy of the statement that retracted the cancellation notice. The retraction should clear up any misunderstanding about the previous missed payment. If this is the case, your friend’s insurer should cover the expenses for the damages done to the car in accordance with the policy that she held with the company. If the company fails to respond to your friend, she may have to secure the services of an attorney who handles consumer cases to address her rights.
Usually, auto insurers allow their insured customers to make late payments without automatically canceling their policies. Tell your friend to revisit her policy to learn her rights under her insurer’s cancellation clause.
If you have a legal issue on your mind, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 7231, Tallahassee, Florida 32314.