How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in Missouri?
Posted in Car Accidents on October 5, 2022
After a car accident, you want to recover compensation for your damages as quickly as possible. However, filing an insurance claim can be a complex and stressful process. In some cases, it can feel like it takes a very long time for an insurance company to investigate your claim and issue a decision about your settlement.
In Missouri, people who file insurance claims have the right to receive a prompt decision about their cases. Although every car accident claim is different, each case follows the same general timeline.
Timeline for Car Insurance Claims in Missouri
In Missouri, insurance companies have 25 days to acknowledge a claim and decide whether or not to issue a settlement. However, there is no specific law that requires insurers to pay out a settlement within a certain period of time. The law only states that the insurance company must make a payment in a prompt manner.
Generally, car insurance claims abide by the following timeline:
- The insurer has 10 business days to acknowledge receipt of the claim and provide the policyholder and claimant with the paperwork that they need to proceed with it.
- The insurer has 15 business days to make a decision regarding the claim after receiving the completed paperwork.
- If the insurer denies the claim, it must inform the claimant and policyholder as soon as possible. If the insurer approves the claim, it must pay the claim out in a prompt manner.
Evidence Needed to Settle a Car Accident Claim
Missouri is a fault accident state that requires drivers to carry liability insurance, which pays for victims’ damages in any accidents caused by the policyholder. To recover compensation in a Missouri insurance claim, you will need to submit evidence that shows that the policyholder caused your collision and proves the extent of your damages.
There are several pieces of evidence that you could leverage to prove your insurance claim and secure a settlement, such as the following:
- Photographs and videos from the accident scene
- Testimonies from witnesses who saw the collision
- Medical records that detail your injuries and treatment
- The police report taken at the scene of the crash
- Reports from experts like accident reconstruction specialists
What to Do If You Suspect Bad Faith Tactics
While Missouri may not have a specific timeline for how soon a claim must be paid, you are still entitled to certain rights during the insurance process. You have the right to recover an efficient settlement and to receive the information that you need to complete the claim. The insurer must conduct a sufficient investigation into your accident and notify you of its decision as soon as possible.
If you believe that the insurance company violated your rights and acted in bad faith, you have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the entity. Bad faith insurance tactics occur when an insurer fails to meet its duties to claimants and policyholders, such as the following:
- Failure to conduct a proper investigation into a claim
- Failure to pay a settlement agreement that a claimant is entitled to receive
- Failure to settle a claim in a prompt, reasonable manner
- Failure to provide justification as to why a claim was denied
In the event that you suspect bad faith insurance tactics, you need an attorney on your side who can help you hold the company accountable. As soon as possible, contact a Kansas City car accident attorney to represent your claim and fight to protect your best interests.