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How Long Does it Take for an Insurance Company to Pay Out a Claim?

After an accident, you will typically be responsible for paying for your own medical bills and property damages until the insurance company settles your claim. It can be difficult to wait to receive your payment, especially when you are not sure how long the wait will be. The timeline for settling your insurance claim and receiving a check will depend on your specific case. However, you may be able to speed things up with help from a lawyer.

Factors That Slow Down or Speed Up the Process

Although each case is unique, most car accident claimants receive insurance settlement checks within three months of filing a claim. The amount of time you will have to wait for a payout can depend on many factors. If you fail to properly fill out the required paperwork or leave out key details, for example, it may take longer for an insurance company to investigate.

One of the most common delays in the insurance process is the duration of medical care. As a claimant, waiting until you have fully completed your medical treatment is necessary for a fair settlement. It may take weeks or months to fully heal from your injuries, however. This will delay your claim. A liability dispute could also slow things down. Your case may have to go to trial to resolve if the insurance company denies liability.

You may be able to speed up the insurance process with a few tips and tricks. The best way to speed things up is to hire an attorney to help you with the claims process. A lawyer knows how insurance companies work and what they look for in claims. A lawyer can handle confusing paperwork for you and provide evidence of your losses for the most efficient process possible.

Lump-Sum vs. Structured Payments

How you decide to receive your insurance payment could also determine when you get your settlement check. If you agree to a lump sum (the most common type), the insurance company will typically send the check for the full amount within 30 days of the date you settle the claim. If you prefer a structured settlement, with payments sent to you in installments over time, the insurance company will pay you monthly or semi-monthly until it has paid your claim in full.

How Long Do Car Insurance Claims Take to Settle?

In most states, an insurance company does not have an unlimited amount of time to respond to a car accident claim. The company must respond to an initial claim based on the rules in the state. In Arizona, an insurance company has 10 days from the receipt of a claim to acknowledge that it has received the information. Then, the company has 30 days to complete its investigation and case evaluation. If you file a first-party claim with your own insurance company, it must respond within 30 days of receiving proof that you suffered a loss.

If an insurance company accepts a claim, it will generally mail a check within 30 days. In most cases, therefore, you will receive payment on your insurance claim within about two to three months of filing. An insurance company could extend the investigative period, however, if it has a valid reason to do so. If the carrier wishes to extend the investigation, it must notify you in writing (with a reason) within the first 30 days. Complicated car accident cases can take 45 days or longer to investigate. A longer investigation could prolong your wait for a settlement check.

When Does a Delay Become Bad Faith?

If your insurance claim is taking longer than expected to resolve, talk to an attorney about insurance bad faith. Sometimes, a delay in payment is a tactic an insurance company uses to intentionally mishandle a claim and avoid paying. A lawyer can investigate the situation and let you know if you have a bad faith claim. If so, your lawyer can help you seek fair compensation.