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Complaint 6 of 36 in "Claim Denied or Delayed"

Insurance Carrier: Mendota Insurance Corp.
State: California

Consumer Complaint:

1st car accident, not at fault. Had no insurance at exact time of accident but on insurance policy declaration package purchased right after, retro-active dates state I was covered. Both insurance companies spoke and thus entire case collapsed; bills came straight my way and just before claiming bankruptcy decided to take them to court for their glitch giving me the impression I was covered. They've denied reimbursement and have not even apologized for their mistake. Now taking to court 2nd time since 1st judgment was made on bases of lack of documents to show not for being wrong. Court date 1/28/2009. Insurance company has 24 complaints in Minnesota alone. Spent entire 2008, half of 2007 and keep at this early this year, please help and make sure this company is taught better ethics, morals and respect for their policy declaration dates. I'm sure if I'd send them a check with bad dates on it, they would have denied coverage right away and they would have been correct to do so. Though already in litigation, please post my comment/experience reflecting this company and let it be 1st or join other complaints against them.

Insurance Expert Answer:

This is not one we can help you with and although we are NOT judges or jurors this is about as clear a losing case as we have seen in 2009. As bad as the company may be, if you did NOT have a policy in force at the time of the accident with insurance company X, and company X was not the other driver's company, company X has no duty to pay for the accident.

You may have a claim against the other driver, but not company X. It doesn't matter if the policy the company issued erroneously listed a start date before the accident. (The only exception would be if you used an agent, and you applied for coverage before the accident, and the agent told you he bound a policy for you with company X; then in most states company X would be bound, even if the company had not yet issued the physical policy.)

Company X may be stupid. It may have made any number of mistakes in preparing the policy. It may be an awful company. Or it may be a great company. But unless you had been bound before the accident you have no legal right to expect compensation from it.

There would not even be any possible claim of estoppel -- you could not possibly have reasonably relied to your detriment on the fact that you thought you had insurance at the time of the accident unless the company or its agent told you were covered before the accident.