Waiting for an insurance payout can be frustrating. You most likely have bills to pay and are wondering how long you will have to wait for it to arrive.
So how long should you wait before taking legal action, and is there any way to speed up the process?
This is everything you need to know about filing an insurance claim for a vehicular accident, property damage, or personal injury.
The Insurance Claim Process: What To Expect
When you file an insurance claim, there are a few steps that the claim will go through before you receive your payout.
Acknowledgement - Within 15 days of filing your claim, you should receive an acknowledgement.
Approval/Denial - Once all information requested has been turned over to the insurance company, they should approve or deny your claim in 15 days.
Extension - The insurance company may file for an extension if they need more information or more time to evaluate. They can extend the decision for up to 45 days if they can show good cause.
Payment - Once the final decision has been made, the insurance company will issue payment within 30 days of the approval.
Each case is unique, so if you don't receive approval or denial within 15 days, it doesn't necessarily mean that your claim has been denied. That said, if you don't receive acknowledgement within several weeks of filing, it's a good idea to reach out to your insurance company to make sure that they received your claim and are processing it.
Issues That May Delay Your Claim Payment
Insurance payout delays can occur for a variety of reason. Some may be linked directly to the claim, while others may be caused by internal issues at the insurance company. Your payment may be delayed because:
- The assignment of the claim may take longer.
- The assigned adjuster could have a heavy caseload.
- Consultation with experts or counsel may be required.
- The claim is complex and involves a lot of data.
- The adjuster is having a hard time receiving information back.
How To Prevent Delays When Filing An Insurance Claim
There are steps you can take to speed up the processing of your claim, to help reduce the risk of extension, and to prevent delays. These are 3 best practices you can follow to receive an insurance payment as quickly as possible.
Provide Documentation. As soon as an accident or event happens, take photos of everything that will be applicable. Cell phones are a great way to quickly document everything as well as making them easy to send.
Be Detailed. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for the insurance company to come to a decision. Being vague could lead to repeat follow-ups and longer extensions while the insurance company gathers all the required information. Be sure to include time, dates, and contact information for witnesses, repairmen, etc.
Maintain Communication. Follow-up with the insurance company and make sure to return their calls in a timely manner. Failing to follow-up can cause significant processing delays and endless games of phone tag.
When It's Time To Hire An Attorney
If you have filed a claim but haven’t received payment, your insurance company may be at fault. Experienced legal counsel can not only help to make sure you get the settlement you’re entitled too, but also help you navigate the claims process and get your payment in a timely manner.
If several weeks have passed since you filed your claim, and your insurance company hasn't responded or hasn't sent you compensation, it's time to take action. Contact the experienced lawyers at Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. for a consultation today.