There are various types of automobile insurance claims. Some are pretty straightforward and companies don’t take long to settle and they do it with minimum fuss. And there are cases where things aren’t entirely under their control since there are third parties involved. Yet it is possible to have an educated guess for each type of incidents.
It is highly advisable to regularly check the progress with the loss adjuster instead of waiting to hear. If you know what is the hold up maybe you could do something about it. Also, knowing what is going on may reduce the frustration. So, here are some of the common auto insurance claims and roughly how long each one takes to settle.
Small Incidents: Most of them are happy to send a check for them within 2 – 3 days. They may not even need to inspect damages under $1,000 if you send them estimates and pictures. This is the path they choose to avoid additional cost to investigate every little thing.
Medium Losses: They generally deal with larger accidental damages fast as well. A loss adjuster may be out the next day after receiving the details to assess the damages and give a go ahead for the repairs. There is no reason why they should dilly-dally about it. If they will pay at the end anyway, they may as well please policyholders by settling a vehicle insurance claim quickly.
Complicated or Dubious Ones: It can be hard to guess when there are issues to concern them. It can be for a while if they decide to launch an investigation or they are disputing it on the bases of lack of coverage or anything else. When things are tangled you may want to seek advise from independent handlers and see if you can employ an export to work for you.
Deciding on Body Repair Shop: It may be quicker to decide and give a go ahead when it is done in an approved body shop. Asking it to be done by a garage you choose may delay things for couple of days. The adjuster may have to check that prices are reasonable and they will do a good job. Remember, they will probably continue to insure the car after the repairs. That is why and for other reasons they would want to make sure that they are done satisfactorily.
Repairs: How long before they can return the car to you after a go ahead is entirely a different story. If the body shop is busy it may be a week before they start on it. If you don’t know what is going on it may seem like they are dragging their feet. So, keep asking for updates on the progress.
Auto Theft Claims: Auto insurers may choose to wait up to a month to settle them, just in case the vehicle may turn up. A stolen car that has never been found would be a total loss. However, if it is found with some damages, it may be fixed. If they were confident that it would never be found they wouldn’t wait to pay.
Injury Claims: They can take a long time to finally conclude. For it to be closed companies have to determine that the last check they send will be the final one. To get over this problem they may pay the medical bills as they come and consider it as advancement.
Claims Made on Third Party Liability Policies: They can take a little longer especially if the at fault third party driver is not sending in accident reports. Third party liability car insurance payments can be a pain in the system. Third party carriers don’t need to impress you by being efficient since you are not their policyholder. Also, they may have to negotiate the fault between themselves to determine how they will handle it between themselves. That is why you need to decide how you will proceed with them and if you would have representation or get your carrier involved.
As discussed above the duration depends on several factors. At least you can control your end of the equation by providing the required information as soon as possible and regularly contacting them for updates. In most cases, it is best to get on with the things and make alternative arrangements, especially if you have Rental Car Reimbursement coverage.