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Auto Insurance Claims/reopening old AAA injury claim



While a student in college, I was in a car accident over 30 years ago and needed dental reconstruction and bridge work as a result. At the time I was covered by my father's AAA insurance policy, which covered all injury expenses related to the accident for life.  I needed further work a few years after the accident, and again 15 years later for implant work, all covered, no cost, no problem.  Now the bridge is failing and must be restored, yet AAA has refused the claim with some tortured logic claiming that it's impossible to relate this condition to the accident, and also said the file is buried at the bottom of the sea.  What's the best way to proceed with them to get this claim satisfied and paid for?

 Hello Jim,

This is a tough one.  

Depending on the jurisdiction, claim files need be retained only for a certain period of time, usually 3-5 years from the time the claim was settled.  So, no, this insurance would not have those records, nor would they be required to have them.  It's amazing they honored the claim 15 years after the original loss.

There could be other issues.  For example, did you exhaust all benefits previously?  Or is it possible you signed some sort of a release document?  Or, perhaps the language of the policy prohibits a claim after such a lengthy period of time.

The point is, without actual documents it will be nearly impossible for you to sustain this claim.  In the unlikely event you still have access to the policy in question, to the payments you received, and to any any additional documentation that connects your injury to the loss, only then could you hold out any hope of further payments.  My hunch is, however, that even with these documents they will not honor the claim.  More specifically, there is probably something in the language of the policy that, in effect, voids any further benefits 30 years later.

Perhaps your best bet is to obtain dental coverage that does include pre-existing conditions.  Believe it or not, many of the discount dental plans do include this, and they are very affordable.  You might want to look into it.


Jane Pytel  

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Jane Pytel


I can answer questions related to auto accidents, auto damage, auto theft claims, or personal injury claims. I am specifically suited to answer questions concerning insurance investigations and the effects of those investigations such as claim delays, claim denials, examinations under oath, or the special investigations unit. I can answer most any question that relates to proper claims investigations, or claims handling procedures and processes. I have authored several ebooks which provide claim guidance for consumers. Those books are available on Amazon Kindle: Power To Profit - will provide you with the knowledge you need to overcome the patterned obstacles that insurance companies will use to delay, devalue, or deny your valid insurance claim. The No Nonsense Guide to Accident Settlement - Teaches you how to manage your claim, how to identify the precise tactics likely to be used against you, and how you must respond.


12 years of experience with 3 major insurance companies. I hold an all lines adjusters license in Florida. I am well versed in claims handling, claims investigations, and industry standards related to both. The bulk of my experience stems from my 10 years as a police officer / detective. Building on that investigative experience, I became an SIU (Special Investigations Unit) Investigator. Accordingly, my unique expertise lies in the investigation of claims. What is necessary and related, what is not necessary and related? What constitutes a fair claims investigation? What recourse is available for consumers who suspect they are experiencing unfair claims delays? During the course of my experience, I became a certified trainer, instructing adjusters and investigators proper techniques for claims investigation and claims handling.

B.A., Communications, University of Miami 350 credit hours of intense investigative training, Miami Dade Police 80 hours of investigative training, various Federal Agencies, Miami, Fl Intensive Accident Reconstruction and Pedestrian Injury Analysis, NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, Oklahoma City, OK 2 weeks Auto Damage Appraisal, Winston Salem, NC Legal Principles Claim Specialist, AEI

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