Car insurance can be a truly complicated beast to manage, as every accident comes with its own set of circumstances. Some people might see an accident one way, while others see the same situation in a completely different light. When it comes to filing an auto insurance claim, you're attempting to include countless details on a single form. As you might imagine, it can take a while for the person on the other end to sort it all out.
The most common rule is for auto insurance companies to set a 30-day goal for a claim. This is true no matter what happens to your car. The idea is that not only will the insurance company have made their decision, but they will also have paid for everything they need to pay for. Some states even have laws that require insurance companies to settle and pay within a certain timeframe.
When it comes to paying out the claim, some car insurance companies will give you money immediately for incidental expenses, such as a tow truck. Determining whether you get this depends on your policy and your carrier's protocol.
When Arguments Delay
As you can imagine, not every driver agrees with the auto insurance company's decision. If there are disputes between the policyholder or the other driver, this can end up delaying a claim for much longer than 30 days. Common disputes include the quality of repairs, who was at fault in the accident, and how much money each claimant should get. Injury claims take the longest, because they often require car insurance companies to work with health insurance companies. If there are no complaints whatsoever, the scenario is known as a clean claim.
Other Common Delays
If your town or city went through a natural disaster of any kind, your insurance company is likely to be inundated with claims. Likewise, if you're filing for a wide variety of benefits (e.g., lost wages, medical bills, etc.), then your insurance company will need to work with other parties to settle the decision.
The best way to expedite your claim is to be as responsive as possible. If your auto insurance carrier asks you for information, that information needs to be detailed, accurate, and timely. This can help your insurance company figure out how to proceed so you can put the matter to rest.