- September 2 2023
- | Insurance
No insurance company is the same as another. It can take one company a week to process a claim while other companies take much longer. It depends on the company and on the individual claim in terms of how long it is going to take for a claim to be filed and completed. So, how long does it take for an insurance company to settle a claim and what does the process look like? Keep reading to find out.
ARE THERE DEADLINES FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES TO SETTLE CLAIMS?
Nevada regulations require an insurer to begin investigating your claim within 20 working days of receiving it. If the insurer needs more information about the claim, it must send you a “proof of loss” request within that 20-day period. This proof of loss may be a request for additional reports, receipts, or statements about the claim.
Once the proof of loss has been received, the insurer has 30 days to accept or deny the claim as submitted. Once the claim has been accepted, and while the claim is being investigated, the insurer must notify you about the investigation’s status.
If an insurance company fails to meet these deadlines, it could mean the insurance company is acting in bad faith and it is a warning sign to you that something is amiss.
In each state there are different timelines and deadlines that insurance companies must follow when it comes to the investigation and settling of claims. The general rule is that an insurance company has 20 days from the time they receive the claim to start investigating.
The insurer can take those 20 days to do an investigation into the accident and into the claim; they can then take this time to request any additional information that they might need to move forward with the claim. For example, say you were in a car accident and your car was badly damaged. You file a claim on the first day after the accident and the insurance company receives it. They have 20 business days in which they can then request any supporting information it might need.
They can request things like the incident report from the police, an estimate of damages from a body shop, proof of loss and so on. They also have that time to collect statements from you and from the other person that was involved. After the 20-day period has expired, or after they have received all the information that they requested, they then have 30 business days to either approve or deny the claim.
These time frames are put in place to help ensure that the claim moves through quickly and the claim does not fall behind and does not get forgotten or pushed back. It is to help ensure that if you are affected by an accident and you need your settlement, you are going to be able to get it in a timely manner and you do not have to wait too long. If you are dealing with a truck accident in Reno, it’s important to consult with a Reno truck accident lawyer to navigate the legal process effectively.
A DEEPER LOOK AT THE CLAIMS PROCESS
What is a Claim and Why File One?
A claim is a formal request for compensation for a loss or injury. In the context of an accident, a claim can be filed against the person or entity that caused the accident. Filing a claim is important because it can help you recover the financial losses you have suffered as a result of the accident. These losses can include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering.
Types of Claims
There are many different types of claims that can be filed after an accident. Some of the most common types of claims include:
- Property damage claims: These claims are filed for damage to your property, such as your car, home, or business.
- Personal injury claims: These claims are filed for injuries you have sustained in an accident, such as broken bones, soft tissue injuries, and emotional trauma.
- Medical expenses claims: These claims are filed for the cost of medical treatment you have received as a result of the accident.
- Lost wages claims: These claims are filed for the wages you have lost as a result of the accident.
How to File a Claim
The process of filing a claim can vary depending on the type of claim you are filing and the laws of the state in which you were injured. However, there are some general steps you can follow to file a claim:
- Gather all of the documentation related to the accident, such as police reports, medical records, and repair estimates.
- Contact the insurance company of the person or entity that caused the accident.
- File a claim with the insurance company.
- Provide the insurance company with all the documentation you have gathered.
- Respond to the insurance company’s requests for information.
- Negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement.
- If you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Contacting an Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can represent you in negotiations with the insurance company or in court.
At Leverty & Associates, we have extensive experience helping clients who have been injured in accidents. We understand the complexities of the insurance claim process, and we are committed to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in an accident, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation.
LACK OF ASSISTANCE THROUGH THE CLAIMS PROCESS
The storms that blew through the Reno area this past winter left many people with insurance claims to file. For some, it may be the first time they’ve had to make a claim for snow or wind damage. The insurance company is supposed to help customers file their claims and provide assistance when needed, but that doesn’t always mean they do.
One issue many clients have with their company is the “rotating adjuster.” It is common for insurance companies to have multiple adjusters handle a policy or claim. This leads to frustration when you have to explain your claim for the third time to a new adjuster and ask for help yet again in filling out your forms.
It is always the duty of your insurance company to assist you through your claims process. They are required to help you from start to finish and keep you up to date with the process overall. If you are dealing with an insurance company that does not help you through the process or that does not openly answer your questions during the process, you may be able to take action against them.
FILING FORMS THE RIGHT WAY
WHAT DO I NEED TO FILE A CLAIM WITH MY INSURANCE COMPANY?
Many insurance claims are denied the first time they’re submitted. The primary reason for the denial is improperly completed forms. You might think that your insurance company would want you to fill out your form correctly the first time, but they often leave you to figure it out on your own.
When you have questions about how a form should be completed, or are unsure about what documents are required, the first person you should call is your insurance adjuster or agent. Nevada law requires insurers to provide you with the forms and instructions to complete your claim as easily as possible.
If your insurance adjuster or agent isn’t being helpful, it is strongly suggested that you seek legal assistance. You should also keep a careful record of your contact with the adjuster or your agent in case you need to file a bad-faith lawsuit.
Just because your claim is initially denied, this does not mean that you are dealing with a claim that will not be paid out or that you do not have a valid claim. It simply means that the insurance company might need more information or that there are additional steps you might need to take to get your claim pushed through and to get the settlement you need and deserve.
So, what can be done if you are dealing with an insurance company that is stringing you along, not moving forward with your claim, or not working for you the way you feel they should be? You do have the option of filing a bad faith claim against your insurance company to help you get the settlement you need. A bad faith claim is just that: it is a claim against your insurance company that states that they did not uphold their end of the policy and they did not work with you in a timely manner to settle your claim.
If you believe you have been defrauded by your insurer or they have used unfair practices to force you into a settlement, you need to take them to court. To do that, you need the legal services of Leverty & Associates Law Chtd.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY IS TAKING TOO LONG
If you have filed an insurance claim and your insurance company is taking too long to process it, you may be wondering what you can do:
- Know your rights. In Nevada, insurance companies have a legal obligation to process claims promptly and fairly. The Nevada Insurance law states that insurance companies must investigate claims within 20 days of receiving them and must make a decision on the claim within 30 days. If your insurance company is not meeting these deadlines, you may have legal recourse.
- Stay in touch with your insurance company. After you have filed your claim, be sure to keep in touch with your insurance company to check on the status of your claim. Ask the adjuster when they expect to make a decision on your claim and follow up with them if you do not hear back from them within a reasonable time period.
- Document everything. Keep copies of all correspondence with your insurance company, including claim forms, adjuster notes, and any other documents related to your claim. This will help you if you need to dispute your claim later.
- Get help from an attorney. If you have been waiting a long time for your insurance company to process your claim, you may want to consider getting help from an attorney at Leverty & Associates. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can represent you in negotiations with your insurance company.
At Leverty & Associates, we understand how frustrating it can be when an insurance company is taking too long to process your claim. We have helped many clients get the compensation they deserve after their insurance companies delayed or denied their claims. If you are facing this situation, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation.
Keep the following in mind for speeding up the insurance claim process:
- Be as detailed as possible when describing the loss or damage.
- Provide all relevant documentation, such as receipts, photographs, and estimates.
- Be responsive to the insurance company’s requests for information.
- Be patient, but persistent.
CONTACT US TODAY
If you have followed these tips and your insurance company is still taking too long to process your claim, you may want to contact Leverty & Associates for further legal assistance.
Leverty & Associates Law represents individuals and businesses in bad faith litigation. We understand that not every denied claim is an example of bad faith. It takes experience and knowledge of Nevada insurance laws, regulations, and practices to determine if your claim was unreasonably denied. Contact us at Reno: (775) 322-6636 and Las Vegas: (702) 507-0201 for a free consultation and to get assistance with your bad faith claim.
Your insurance company should work for you; they are meant to help serve their clients and when they are not doing that, they do need to be held accountable.