Auto Insurance Claims/Insurance Claim Complications
QUESTION: Hi Jane,
I am in the process of completing an insurance claim for a stolen vehicle. The vehicle is fully insured and registered in my name. Upon investigation of my claim, it was revealed that the name of the seller on the original BOS was fake. The individual who owned the car did own the car and was paid for it. This individual put a fake name in order to avoid the limit on cars he was legally allowed to sell.
Now I am in a peculiar situation, I do not know what to do. This is what I know, the individual did admit to using a fake name, the individual did legally own the car prior to selling it to me, the individual is willing to amend the BOS or complete paperwork to show this.
Can you advise me on my options and how this will affect my insurance claim?
What would the investigators be looking for?
Can my claim be denied if the BOS has erroneous information without my knowledge?
I don't see where any of this applies to your insurance claim. You legally purchased the car and had it registered in your name. Your insurance company agreed to insure the vehicle and accepted premium payments from you. If they are going to contend that you have no "insurable interest" in the car, then they should have determined that from an underwriting investigation when t hey originally insured it.
While this is obviously a matter for the authorities, it has nothing to do with you. No, your claim cannot be denied because other persons had committed fraud without your knowledge. The fact remains - aside from the fact that some shady people were involved in car registrations without your knowledge - you own the car legally and you are entitled to the coverage you have paid for.
Present a claim for a car that you legally owned and which was stolen. If the insurance company wants to investigate into what occurred before you owned the car, so be it. But it is not your job to provide the company with a history of the vehicle. They had a chance to do that before they offered you coverage. If they refuse to pay your claim despite the fact that they have accepted your premium payments, you'll need an attorney.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Jane,
Firstly I would like to thank you for your response it was very helpful. When submitting my Proof of Loss form, there was a section on the form that asked for the previous sellers information and the price I paid for the car. At the time, I copied the information on my BOS and provided that in the Proof of Loss. Now that the information on the BOS is false, does that make me in violation of my oath I took when I submitted the Proof of Loss?
I haven't heard from the insurance adjuster or investigator since the discovery that the seller's information on the BOS was false, how should I approach this? On one hand I feel like I should wait and see what they do and how they handle the situation, on the other hand, I want to get ahead of the problem.
Can I inform them that the fact that the seller's information on the BOS is false does not have any bearing on my claim as I am the legal registered owner of the vehicle?
Lastly, on the BOS the seller's name is incorrect but the rest of the information ie. my information and the vehicle information is all accurate, does that still mean I legally bought the car? I do have a draft saying I paid the guy and neither party is denying that I bought the car from him.
What kind of proof or documentation can I provide the insurance company? If they approach the authorities, does this affect the settlement of my claim? Would I have to wait for authorities to conclude their investigation for me to settle my claim?
Hello again Max,
It is not your responsibility to do the adjuster's job. From the information you have provided, you bought the car legally. You are not responsible to defend what occurred previously. Your local jurisdiction and the insurance company previously determined, through their actions, that you legally purchased the car. You paid for it! Registration was issued.
At this time you do not need to prove documentation other than what you obtained legally, i.e., the BOS and the registration, because what you have provided is apparently proof that you purchased the car legally.
Your documents are legal and I don't see where the prior history is relevant to your claim. And, quite frankly, I don't see why the insurance company would care. What bearing does it have on settlement? Is there some reason why the company could not have the car re-titled to them if it is recovered post settlement? While the dealer might have been involved in some shady practices, I don't see how this eliminates the fact that you are now the legal owner of the car (?)
In this case, if they do require additional information you will need to provide it. In that instance, you can provide whatever data you have, or which they require. But do not stray from the fact that you purchased the vehicle legally without any knowledge of what occurred previously.
Do not act on impulses to "get ahead of the problem". Let the insurance company do their job, Cooperate and comply with all requests.
No. Under no circumstances should either you or your insurance company wait for authorities to conclude a presumed investigation prior to your settlement of the claim. It is improper for an insurance company to avoid a legitimate claim decision simply because authorities are investigating. The insurance company has a duty to investigate, regardless of what the "authorities" are doing. If someone was involved in some sort of fraudulent act, it would be the insurance company's duty to investigate separate of law enforcement and to either deny or pay that claim based on their own investigation.
You have not committed fraud. You were not aware of the vehicle history when you did submit the documents. According to what you have stated here, you have not submitted false statements. One would hope that they can figure out on their own that you are the legal owner of the car - and that you paid premiums on it as well!