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Can I File a Late Claim?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/28/2012

A complicated driving situation does not necessarily prevent a late claim from being filed.

Q: My friend who has a suspended license hit a deer with my car while I was out of the country last spring. Now that I am back, I now have totaled car and no claim pending. Can I even file a claim this late? The driver was also not on my policy and has a suspended license; will that prevent me from filing a claim?

The fact that the driver was not on your insurance policy and has a suspended license will not prevent you from being able to file a claim. Insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver.

However, if you do file a late claim, the insurance company may go after the driver to pay back the money they paid for the claim. They may even insist that you file a police report. This will all depend in your insurance company.

The problem that may complicate this claim is the timing. If it was just this last spring, meaning 2012, there should be little problem. If we are talking the spring of 2011, you may have issues.

Call your insurance company or talk to your insurance agent and tell them the situation. Make sure to explain that you didn’t file a claim until now because you were out of the country. They will be able to walk you through what you need to do for your late claim and how to get your vehicle taken care of.


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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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