UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Car insurance claims can be stressful. Naturally, you want to get as many updates on your car insurance claim as possible. But how do you check the status of a car insurance claim?
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about checking the status of your insurance claim.
Most Insurers Make It Easy to Check the Status of a Claim
Most car insurance companies make it easy to check the status of a claim. It’s in their best interest to give customers as much information as possible about their claim.
Today, many insurance companies display this information within the app. You can open your car insurance company’s mobile app and check the status of your claim at any time.
The app might tell you which stage your claim is at, for example, or whether it has been approved or denied. The app might tell you whether you need to provide more information or contact your insurance adjuster.
The app should also feature contact information. You can view contact information for the advisor or adjuster assigned to your case, for example. There may be an email address or phone number to call. Some insurance companies even have built-in online chat systems.
If your insurance company does not have a mobile app, then you might be able to find similar information in your online account. Login to your account on your insurance company’s website (say, using the same account login information you use when paying your bills) to check the status of your claim.
Insurance Companies Have Different Policies for Checking Claims
Not all insurance companies have well-designed mobile apps. Some don’t even have online accounts or responsive websites where you can check the status of your claim.
In this case, your best option is to call your insurance company frequently. You should have contact information for an advisor or adjuster assigned to your case. Call or email that person to get an update on your insurance claim.
Some lower-end insurance companies might not even provide upfront contact information. They might require you to call the company’s toll-free number for an update on your claim, for example.
When Will My Car Insurance Claim Get Paid Out?
Every car insurance claim is different.
Some claims are very simple. You submit paperwork to your insurance company, and your insurance company fills the claim and sends you a check within a week or two.
Other claims are more complicated. They involve back-and-forth negotiations. The insurance company demands more evidence and documentation before the claim is paid out. You might disagree on the total compensation. In these claims, you might not see your car insurance payout for months.
Generally, however, a car insurance company wants to handle a claim from beginning to end within 20 to 40 days maximum. Most claims are completed somewhere within 2 to 4 weeks.
How to Check the Status of an Insurance Claim with a Different Insurance Company
Let’s say you were involved in an accident where you were not at fault. Another driver hit your vehicle and is 100% at-fault. In this situation (assuming you live in an at-fault state), the other driver is liable for any injuries and damages.
How do you check the status of an insurance claim if the other driver was at fault?
Well, in this case, the claim will typically go through your own insurance company first. Then, your insurance company will seek compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
In other cases, the entire claim is processed entirely through the other insurance company. In this case, the other insurance company should have contacted you for various details. You should have contact information for an adjuster or advisor at the other insurance company. Contact this person to get an update on a claim.
What Should You Do If an Insurer is Dragging Its Feet?
Car insurance companies aren’t charities. They’re for-profit corporations. Their ultimate goal is to make money. It’s in the car insurance company’s best interest to pay you as little money as you are legally owed under the terms of your insurance contract.
To limit compensation and frustrate policyholders, insurance companies might drag their feet. They might demand increasingly complex paperwork and documentation, for example. They might deny or reduce your claim with no valid reason.
Sometimes, an insurance company is just doing its due diligence. The company is fact-checking the incident to ensure there was no insurance fraud.
When an insurance company drags its feet too much, however, or denies or reduces your claim for an invalid reason, then the insurance company is said to be operating in bad faith.
If your insurance company is operating in bad faith and taking too long to process your claim, then you may want to:
- Hire an attorney specializing in car insurance claims
- Contact your state’s insurance department and file a complaint
Final Word: Claims Processes Vary Between Insurers
Ultimately, claims processes vary between insurance companies. Some companies let you check your car insurance claim status using your app or online account. Others force you to call or email the company to get an update.