An accident can be a scary ordeal. They’re unexpected and seemingly come from nowhere — that’s why they’re called accidents. After the dust settles, a million questions run through your head: Why did this happen to me? Is everyone okay? What kind of damage has been to my vehicle? One of the most common calls we receive at Brave Law Firm for our Auto Accident Attorneys, are from people asking us why the insurance company hasn’t paid them yet. Insurance timelines for claims and payments can be confusing. How soon should I file an insurance claim? How long will it take for the insurance company to pay for damages? What’s the process?
What to Expect on Your Insurance Timelines:
First of all, any insurance claim needs to be appropriate to the accident. No matter which side of the coin you’re on, when you file your claim do not exaggerate its value to try and obtain a larger settlement than you deserve. It is important to realize that your claim is going to be investigated by the insurance company. You will have to back up all your damages with appropriate documentation.
The Kansas Insurance Commission has available on its website model regulation for unfair claims settlement practices. This model regulation sets out a general timeframe that you should reasonably expect the insurance company you are dealing with to follow. The following deadlines are from that regulation.
After your claim is made, the insurance company has 10 working days (which excludes weekends and holidays) to acknowledge receipt of the claim unless they decide to pay you within those 10 days. If they do not pay you after acknowledging receipt of the claim, the insurer needs to give you all the necessary claims forms, instructions, and provide you with reasonable assistance within 10 days so that you can comply with the policy conditions and the insurance company’s reasonable requirements.
The insurer then has 30 days to complete an investigation after the claim is filed to decide what financial restitution should be paid to the claimant. If the insurer needs more time to decide, then they have 15 days to contact the claimant with their reasons for the delay.
If you provide the insurance company with a “properly executed proof of loss” then the insurance company needs to pay it within 15 working days after it receives that or else tell you exactly why they are denying the claim and specifically point out why this denial is warranted under the policy.
One of the key provisions in the model regulations says “Insurers shall not continue negotiations for settlement of a claim directly with a claimant who is neither an attorney nor represented by an attorney until the claimant’s rights may be affected by a statute of limitations or a policy or contract time limit, without giving the claimant notice that the time limit may be expiring and may affect the claimant’s rights.” In other words, the longer the insurance company can drag out the process the likelier they are to be able to deal with you directly. That, of course, works to the insurance company’s benefit and harms you. That’s where Brave Law Firm and our Auto Accident Attorneys come in. If you have any problems with an insurance claim, contact our professional Auto Accident Attorneys so you can win the settlement you deserve. If you have additional questions regarding the timeline of insurance payments, please contact our office for more information.