How Fast Can Insurance Companies Pay Claims?
After any kind of accident, personal injury, disability, or property damage, you need reimbursement from your insurance company as soon as possible. Medical bills and lost wages may continue to build while you wait for your insurance company’s decision and first check. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies deal fairly with policyholder claims. Insurance bad faith could delay payout. If the insurance company does handle the claim fairly, the timeline for payout may depend on the circumstances.
Different States = Different Pay Dates
Most states have laws in place forcing insurance companies to settle claims and make payments within certain deadlines. These laws will vary from state to state. Arizona Administrative Code, Title 20, states that all insurance companies must acknowledge that they have received a claim within 10 working days of the policyholder initiating the claim. If you have not heard back from your insurance company at all within 10 business days of filing your claim, view this as a red flag. The insurance company may be unfairly delaying your payout.
Arizona statutes also state that the insurance carrier has to provide all necessary forms, instructions, and guidance to help the claimant promptly. The insurer must reply to any claims communications from the policyholder within 10 working days. After the initial response, state law gives the insurance company 30 working days to complete its investigation. The 30-day deadline begins the day the insurer receives the initial claim. After the 30 days, the insurance company must either give a decision or state in writing that they need extra time, along with a viable reason for the extension.
Once the insurance company receives the claimant’s proof of loss, it has 15 working days to affirm or deny coverage. In addition, insurance companies must pay all first-party claims within 30 days of receiving proof of loss. If the first-party claimant is not using an attorney, the insurance company must also provide a notice that the claim may be subject to a statute of limitations 30 days before the end of said deadline. Finally, insurance carriers must respond to all Department of Insurance inquiries within 15 working days.
When to Expect Insurance Claim Payout in Arizona
Arizona sets a time limit that requires insurance companies to acknowledge claims within 10 days, and to pay the claim within 30 days at the latest. If the insurance company needs additional time to investigate the claim, it must provide a valid reason in writing for the extension. As a claimant, you may be able to do things to speed up payout. Providing ample documentation, fully completing all required paperwork, and meeting deadlines can all expedite your insurance claim. Missing information or mistakes on your initial claim could cause payout delays.
Hiring an insurance attorney before the insurance company denies or delays your claim can help you avoid issues before they begin. A lawyer can fill out paperwork and deal with legal legwork on your behalf, ensuring that the insurance company receives everything it needs to start your claim. An insurance company is much less likely to engage in bad faith practices when its policyholder has hired an attorney to handle the claims process. If the insurer does commit bad faith, the lawyer can immediately file a claim demanding compensation on behalf of the policyholder. Using an attorney from the beginning can shorten the amount of time it will take to receive your payout.
Is it Bad Faith?
If your insurance provider has delayed your claim without a good reason, failed to get back to you at all, or failed to pay you within Arizona’s required deadline, contact a bad faith lawyer near you. The insurance company is probably engaging in illegal or unethical bad faith practices to get out of paying you what it owes. A lawyer can step in and help you fight for the payment you deserve.