No one likes to have an accident and filing an auto insurance claim can make it worse. Waiting months for your claim is a deeply frustrating experience for any driver, especially if your car is waiting in the shop.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to resolve your claim as quickly as possible. From gathering the right information to keeping communication open, there’s no reason your claim should take weeks to resolve.
so how long does an insurance claim take? It depends on the policy and the type of accident, but most claims are resolved within a few weeks. Read on to learn more about the claims process and how to speed it up.
How long does a car insurance claim take?
Knowing how long it will take to resolve an auto insurance claim can be tricky. The claim process consists of multiple steps and a team of people – it’s not as simple as submitting a claim and getting paid.
To understand how long it takes to file an auto insurance claim, you must first understand the process. The steps in the claims process are:
- contact an insurance representative. after an incident, you should alert your company. Have relevant information ready, such as who was involved, a description of the accident, and insurance information for other drivers.
- File a police report. Insurance companies require police report numbers for claims after an accident. you can file a report after contacting your insurer and providing the number later.
- Work with an adjuster. Companies assign adjusters to verify your claim and inspect the damage to your car. your adjuster will likely have questions for you; try to stick to the facts.
- get the adjuster’s report. the adjuster’s final decision will include an initial estimate of repair costs. your insurance company will use this estimate to determine how much to pay you.
- accept a payment. once the adjuster approves the final price, you will receive a release to sign saying you accept the settlement of the claim.
- Liability: Liability helps pay for damages you cause to people and property. this insurance covers you if another driver needs to file a claim after he hit you.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage caused outside of an accident, including fire, theft, vandalism, contact with animals, and weather.
- Collision: No matter who is at fault, collision insurance helps fix your car after an accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Driver: Most states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance, but not all drivers follow the law. this insurance protects you against drivers with inadequate coverage.
- Personal Injury Protection: Personal Injury Protection will help pay for your medical bills, physical therapy, and even lost wages if you are injured in an accident.
- names of other drivers, license plate numbers and insurance information
- make and model of cars involved
- time and place of incident
- names and phone numbers of witnesses
- all relevant information about the accident, such as who was driving and what happened
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- car owners
These steps require a lot of communication between several people. any confusion or difficulty communicating can cause delays, extending the time your car remains unrepaired.
A car insurance claim is usually resolved in 30-45 days, although some companies resolve it in a week. however, if you and your insurance company do not communicate well, the process could take much longer.
how can you speed up the claims process?
Speeding up an insurance claim is vital, especially if your car needs repairs before you can get back to work. Unfortunately, auto insurance companies can seem slow in settling your claim.
Below are six tips to quickly resolve your claims process.
understand their policy
Before anything happens, you need to understand your auto insurance policy. While there are many add-ons you can purchase to increase your coverage, these are the standard insurance options most companies offer:
If you try to file a claim, but you don’t have coverage for it, your insurance company will deny you. While liability is generally the only coverage states require, it’s never a bad idea to have more to keep your car protected.
You should also understand how the claims process works for your business. Most major insurance brands accept claims through their website or mobile apps, but you may need to make a phone call.
contact your insurance immediately
The best time to contact your insurance is immediately after an incident. not only will your memory be fresh, but a representative will also be able to guide you better.
The sooner you contact your company, the sooner you can begin the claim process. however, you should not feel that you cannot file a claim if the time has passed. The time you have to file a claim varies by state, but the average period is about two years.
The more information you have from your insurance company, the faster everything will be resolved. try to collect the following information after an incident:
Of course, you should avoid speculation when providing information to your insurance company; guessing why something happened can slow down the process.
Your claim process will be much easier if you can provide photographic evidence of the damage to your car.
A claims adjuster will want to see your photos after an incident to determine what happened and if your car has any new damage.
When taking photos, try to get close and distant shots of your car and any other cars involved in the accident.
keep communication open
See also: Travel insurance – Citizens Advice
Answering your company’s phone calls or emails quickly is in your best interest, as ignoring them lengthens the claim process.
An insurance representative may have questions about information you didn’t intend to give or may need you to clarify part of your statement. For whatever they call you, pick up the phone.
No matter what, you should never lie to your insurance company. In addition to the fact that it is an insurance fraud, it also lengthens the claim process.
If your insurance has conflicting stories between you and the other driver, you need to work it all out and determine the truth. exaggerating or minimizing the facts of the accident can add weeks to the claims process.
Although it is tempting to modify a story, you must resist the temptation. If your business finds out you lied to them, they may deny your claim and drop you as a customer.
Which companies have the fastest claims process?
Although there are things you can do to speed up the claims process, one of the best ways to ensure your claim is resolved is to choose a company with a high level of claim satisfaction.
Below are some of the top rated providers to understand which insurance companies handle your claims with consistent speed.
While these companies have high ratings for their claims process, the speed at which your claim is resolved is more affected by factors other than the company. Although companies have a reputation for being slow or hesitant to pay a claim, most want to resolve a claim as quickly as possible.
find insurance with fast claims today
If your insurance company lets you down with a lengthy claims process, you can always switch to a new company to avoid future problems. in fact, switching to a new company can save you money and improve your service.
If you’re interested in exploring your options, you should compare rates with as many auto insurance companies as possible. Along with the price listed on your quote, you should also pay attention to customer satisfaction ratings.