How Long Does It Take for an Insurance Company to Pay Out a Claim?
Posted in Lawsuit on May 28, 2019
The length of time that it takes for an insurance company to pay out a claim is largely dependent on the details surrounding your accident, and the volume and quality of evidence that you have provided. Even without any hitches in your case, several factors are involved in how long it takes to process and pay out your claim.
- Evidence Examination – Full examination of the evidence you provide will likely take some time. Details must be clear surrounding how the accident caused your injuries, and then they must assess all the injuries via your documented evidence.
- Company cooperation – Insurance companies may take their time in addressing your claim. Though by law they must respond within 40 days to the proof you’ve submitted, most companies do not rush in sending out their response.
- Legal Process – If the insurance company does not offer you a fair settlement agreement outright, your case will undergo settlement negotiations. If this does not remedy the disconnect between insurance adjustor and plaintiff, the case is sent to trial. This extends the claims process.
Why Is It Taking So Long?
Several factors come into play when determining how long a claim will take to process. Most issues regarding claims processing surround the legal details of the case.
- Proposed Injuries – If you’ve provided evidence that doesn’t seem to add up, it will stall your settlement. For example, if you are claiming soft tissue injuries, but have only submitted chiropractic reports, this might seem odd. Insurance companies only want to pay out verifiable injuries directly caused by an accident.
- Liability – If liability is difficult to prove, the insurance company is not going to push your claim through. If you cannot provide black-and-white proof that driver negligence directly caused your injuries, your case will stall in the claims process.
- Significant Property Damage – Cases that involve considerable damage result in considerable sums of money. Keeping this in mind, it is understandable that insurance companies take their time in addressing all aspects of a case at length before doling out large awards.
There are also several miscellaneous, but valid, factors that could be stalling the completion of your claim.
- Your Treatment Is Incomplete – If you are still receiving significant treatment for your injuries post-accident, this will stall a settlement pay out. This is a good thing, because all medical bills and records are evidence in proving injury and determining compensation in your case. It is wise to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before settling your case.
- Insurance Company – The size and type of insurance company that is settling your claim influences how quickly they can pay out your settlement. Some companies possess claim adjustors that have other cases they need to settle on top of yours, while others have multiple entities review a claim before the supervisor approves it. Either situations will eat into your claims processing time.
Can I Speed Up the Process?
Claims that are already in the hands of the insurance company are completely out of yours. You may need to substantiate evidence or attend settlement mediation, but other than that, you cannot actively speed up the overall processing and approval time. The only way that you could speed up your payout is by settling for less. In situations where you need to access your settlement money in a short amount of time, this is an option. Nonetheless, it will still take between four and six weeks for the insurance company to furnish your check after a settlement has been agreed upon.
Allowing your claim to take as long
as reasonably necessary to process can be a good thing. It typically results in
a clearer picture of the incident and can improve your settlement in the long
run. Although it may take several months for the insurance company to disburse
your compensation, patience is key in reaping your full reward.