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National General allegedly used information unrelated to claims to drop policyholders

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Insurance | Legal
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A California lawsuit filed against National General claims the insurer terminated policies post-collision for unrelated reasons, leaving claimants to foot the property damage and repair bills.

NBC 7 reports Andy Nguyen, of San Diego, was involved in a collision while attempting a U-turn. Another vehicle hit his, pushing it against a light pole in Oxnard. The crash caused $12,000 in property damage knocking down the pole, and severely damaged Nguyen’s car.

Nguyen told NBC 7 that when he called National General to start the claim process, he was asked who else lived in his household and their dates of birth. He later received a rescission notice from National General for not disclosing all drivers and/or household members. National General is an Allstate company.

“I was mad,” Nguyen told the news station. “Are you kidding? I was mad, I felt like they stabbed me in the back… It’s pretty cutthroat, to be honest, because people get insurance to make sure they’re protected.”

Sergio Preciado, of San Diego, experienced similar treatment when he was allegedly made responsible for $5,000 in vehicle damages.

Preciado reportedly said he caused a collision with another vehicle and his claim was denied because he didn’t disclose his 20-year-old son was living with him.

“What does he have to do with it? He wasn’t driving,” Preciado told News 7. “He wasn’t with me… he didn’t have a license, he didn’t drive when it happened.”

Attorney Justin H. King represents Nguyen and nearly 300 other drivers in a lawsuit he filed against National General, accusing the insurance company of unfairly denying claims, according to NBC 7. Repairer Driven News didn’t receive a callback from King to discuss the case by the publication deadline.

According to King, applicants aren’t given the option to add household members on the digital application, NBC 7 reports. They are populated automatically based on address.

“It doesn’t take you to some page to add them,” King told NBC 7. “It just won’t underwrite the policy, so it has to be answered with a ‘yes,’ and they premarked the answer with the ‘yes.’ They don’t pre-mark very many other answers in the digital application.”

He added that he believes there isn’t an issue with National General’s system and that they know what they’re doing so that policies can later be rescinded based on non-disclosure of other household members.

Insurance broker Marisol Alvarez, an expert witness in King’s case, said the industry standard is typically to name 16-year-olds who might drive an applicant’s vehicle, according to NBC 7. No other company she’s worked with denied coverage to her clients because of someone living at home who wasn’t in the car at the time of a collision, she said.


Featured image: Chalirmpoj Pimpisarn/iStock

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