Can an insurance company deny a claim after totaling a vehicle and taking it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an insurance company deny a claim after totaling a vehicle and taking it?

My fiance borrowed my vehicle and had an accident. The accident was her fault but she was a licensed driver. The insurance company adjuster came out and totaled the vehicle and the insurance

company had the car picked up. Almost 6 months later they denied my claim.

Asked on April 18, 2018 under Insurance Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They can, if they discover that there was some reason that your policy was not in fact in effect at the time (e.g. you had not paid your premiums); or that you had committed fraud (which can be used to void coverage), whether on the initial application, in not reporting to them a driver (your fiance) who should have been covered under the policy, or in lying about the circumstances of the accident. In the first case, if you did not have coverage at the time, they clearly do not have to pay you as if you had coverage; and in the second case, as stated, fraud--or lying about something material, or important--provides a basis to void contracts, and an insurance policy is a contract.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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