How Long Does a Claim Take for Insurance?

How Long Does a Claim Take for Insurance?

An automobile insurance claim can be difficult to submit. If it’s your first claim, you could feel more apprehensive because you don’t know what to expect. Most people depend on their cars to function, so it’s critical to have your car back in good shape as quickly as possible. Your satisfaction with your insurance provider also heavily depends on how soon your car is restored. How long should it take to process an auto insurance claim?

Main points

  • The length of time it takes to process an insurance claim varies greatly.
  • Due to the large number of parties involved, even a small delay can cause the entire claim to be delayed.
  • How long the process takes can also depend on the kind of claim.
  • Making sure you communicate promptly and fully is the best thing you can do to hasten the claims process.

You Need a Team

It could take longer than you anticipate for an insurance claim to be processed. This is due to the fact that insurance claims aren’t reliant on a single party. A team is involved in the process. You must be accessible to respond to inquiries. The claim adjusters must carry out their duties. Both you and the claims adjuster must be able to work with the body shop. The entire process may be delayed if one of the participants doesn’t cooperate. An unproductive team might cause a claim to drag on.

A Guide to Filing and Not Filing

Determine whether you should even file a claim in the first place before you worry about doing so. You should unquestionably file an insurance claim if someone was hurt or if it’s not clear who caused the harm. Additionally, some insurance policies require that you inform them of possible claims.

Get a repair estimate before filing your claim, though, if it’s a single-vehicle accident involving just you and your car. Failing to do so could end up costing you money down the road. It could be simpler to pay out of pocket than to submit a claim if the cost of the repair is less than your deductible. Make sure you understand the details of your insurance because some policies also increase the fees for making a claim.

What You Need To Do

An example of a car accident with instructions on what to do at the scene before making a claim.

The Situation

Take these sensible measures to safeguard yourself in case you need to submit a claim.

Compile evidence

Take pictures of your car, any wounds, and the accident location. Obtain a physical examination from a doctor if you are hurt. This proof will make sure that no one tries to change the truth about what happened.

Recognize the time limit.

The time frame for submitting a claim following an accident or occurrence varies between states and plans. Make sure you are aware of yours and file it by the due date.

Report to the police.

Report the incident to the police if there is a second motorist. If not, the opposing party can try to hold you accountable. 

‘Deny any guilt.’

Let the cops and the insurance company decide who is in charge. The representatives of your insurance company will function as your champions; let them go about their business.

Understanding the Type of Claim You Are Filing

The type of claim has an effect on how long it takes to settle as well. Here are some predictions for the most common claim types.

Claim for Roadside Assistance.

Towing claims are simple to submit with many insurance companies. Some companies will handle the claim without requiring you to make any out-of-pocket payments. When you submit your receipt for reimbursement, it can take two weeks or longer to get a check in the mail.

Window Claim

It is also possible to handle glass claims promptly. You can most likely arrange a glass business appointment for repair on the same day or within a week after the claim is lodged. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) glass may require a bit more time to acquire and get from the glass supplier. However, the real insurance claim should be processed immediately.

Physical Injury

The complexity of the claim submitted determines how long it will take to fix any additional physical damage to your car. Within one to three days of submitting the claim, you should get in touch with the insurance adjuster for the first time. It can take a few extra days if an adjuster needs to examine the damage. It may be quicker to use a body shop that has been authorized by the insurance company. A straightforward physical damage claim should be finished in one to two weeks. This entails scheduling repairs and coordinating with a body shop. You may drive your car up until the repair date if it is operable.

Claim for Total Loss

Sometimes it’s hard to come to an agreement on a compensation amount. A total loss claim involves a lot of paperwork. It can also take some time to get the necessary signatures in the right places. It wouldn’t be unexpected for a total-loss claim to take 30 days or longer to be resolved. States often have time limits on how long it can take an insurance company to settle a claim. 

Health Claim

The processing of injury claims typically takes the longest. The initial paperwork should be completed and then it should be out of your hands. Direct communication between the hospital, doctor’s office, and your auto insurance personal injury claims adjuster is recommended. If your health insurer paid the claim first, they will normally submit a separate claim to the at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider to request payment.

Common Causes of Claim Delay

In an ideal world, everything would go smoothly and your claim would be settled right away. Of course, that doesn’t always hold true. Here are a few typical explanations for claim delays:

Communication Issues

You must be readily available, as must the claims adjuster. A claim will be delayed for sure if the phone is not answered. Verifying all of your contact information when you submit a claim is a fantastic idea. Verify the listed phone number, email address, and mailing address once more.

Misconceptions Regarding Coverage

Did you believe you were covered by OEM? Do you have a policy that states you don’t? The claims procedure may be prolonged by coverage inconsistencies.

Unhappiness with the repair

Don’t like how your repair was painted? Does something seem off to you? It’s not a good idea to rush a repair in order to get your automobile back. It is advisable to call out any issues with your repair as soon as possible in order to have them fixed.

Natural Disaster Claim

Has a hailstorm just passed across the region? Is the aftermath of a flood being dealt with by everyone? Natural catastrophe claims frequently take longer because the insurance company and the auto repair service providers will be busy.

Lack of cash

If you lack the funds to pay the deductible, your auto insurance claim will not be processed quickly. At the time of the repair, deductibles must be paid. If you don’t have the money to pay your deductible, prepare to put off the repairs.

You may ensure a simple claims process by selecting a reputed insurance provider with high ratings.

How to Respond if It Takes Too Long

No matter what you do, the claims procedure might occasionally drag out longer than you would like. Developing a backup strategy is the best thing you can do. Here are a few possibilities.

Speak to your agent

The claims procedure may experience many issues, which would slow things down. If there are prolonged delays, speak to your insurance agent (if you have one). Agents frequently don’t deal with claims directly, but they are an excellent resource if something goes wrong. To make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible, an agent can speak with your claim representative or even the body shop on your behalf.

Rent a vehicle

Even though renting a car may not be ideal, there are instances when it’s the only way to travel to work and pick up the kids from school. Many insurers will pay for a rental car after an accident, but you should check the details of your insurance to be sure.

 The least expensive choice is to use a friend’s or relative’s car. You would instantly be covered by their insurance, but keep in mind that if you damage the car, their deductibles will still be in effect. If a loss occurs while you are using their car, paying the deductible would be the correct thing to do.

Questions and Answers (FAQs)

How soon may you make a claim following an accident?

The amount of time you have after an accident to submit a claim varies by state. In certain states, you only have a year; in many others, you have two, three, or even more years. Additionally, the time frame differs depending on whether the claim is for property damage or bodily injury.

What does a claims adjuster do?

An insurance adjuster is a specialist who examines insurance claims and calculates the amount the insurance company will pay. Insurance adjusters, also referred to as claims adjusters, usually conduct a comprehensive investigation, which may involve reviewing police reports, speaking with witnesses, and physically assessing the damage.

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