How Long Do Car Insurance Claims Take to Settle?

There are various types of car insurance claims. Some are  pretty straightforward and car insurance companies don’t take long to pay out and they do it with minimum fuss. And there are cases where things aren’t entirely under the control of your vehicle insurers since there are third party companies involved. Yet it is possible to guess how long does each type of auto insurance claims take to settle.

It is highly advisable to regularly check the progress with your 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 automobile insurance claims and roughly how long each one takes to settle.

Small Claims: Most auto insurance companies are happy to send the check for small claims 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 many companies take to avoid additional cost to investigate every little things.

Medium Claims: They generally deal with larger accidental damage claims fast as well. A claims adjuster may be out the next day after receiving the claim to assess the damages and give a go ahead for the repairs. It is not in the best interest of the insurance company to wait on claim settlements. If they will pay at the end anyway, they may as well please their policyholders by settling a car insurance claim quickly.

Complicated or Dubious Claims: They may take a little longer when there are issues to concern them. It may take even longer if they decide to launch an investigation or they are disputing the claim on the bases of lack of coverage or anything else.

Deciding on Body Repair Shop: It may be quicker for companies to decide on repairs when it is done in an approved body shop. Asking the repairs to be done by a garage you choose may delay things for couple of days. The claims adjuster may have to check that their prices are reasonable and they will do a good job. Remember, the car will probably be insured a little longer by the same company after the repairs. That is why it is in their interest to make sure that repairs are done satisfactorily.

Repairs: How long it would take for the car to be repaired after the insurer gives a go ahead is entirely a different story. If the body shop is busy it may take a week before they start repairs on your automobile. If you don’t know what is going on with your claim it may seem like the insurance company dragging its feet.

Auto Theft Claims: Auto insurers may choose to wait up to a month to settle auto theft claims, 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 repaired. If they are confident that it will never be found they wouldn’t wait to pay.

Injury Claims: They can take a long time to finally settle. For a claim to be closed companies have to determine that the last check they send will be the final one. To get over this problem companies may pay the medical bills as they come and consider it as advancement on the claim.

Claims Made on Third Party Liability Policies: They can take a little longer especially if the at fault third party driver is taking time to send in accident reports. Third party liability car insurance claim settlements can take a little longer. Third party insurers don’t need to impress you by paying quickly since you are not their policyholder. Also, companies may have to negotiate the fault between themselves to decide which one is going to pay how much.

As discussed above it depends on several factors how long does an insurance claim take to settle. At least you can control your end of the equation by providing the required information as soon as possible and regularly contacting your insurer for updates. 

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