How long does it take for an insurance company to pay out a claim?

How long it takes for an insurance company to pay out a claim depends on your state and the circumstances. Most states require insurers pay out a claim within 15 to 60 days, but the length of time also depends on what you claimed. You can speed up the process by maintaining good communication with your auto insurance provider. Find affordable car insurance quotes using our tool now.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She works as an associate editor and writer for 4autoinsurancequote.com for over a year and enjoys creating content that offers expert advice on car insurance topics.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs...

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Reviewed byLeslie Kasperowicz
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UPDATED: Sep 9, 2020

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  • Once you’ve decided whether or not to file a claim with your insurance provider, your claim should take between 15 and 60 days to process.
  • Some insurance companies will provide you money quickly to cover immediate expenses, like roadside assistance.
  • Staying on top of what you need to do can help the claims process move faster.

Filing an auto insurance claim can be a stressful experience. Auto insurance claims become even more stressful, however, when it’s taking a long time to receive your payout from your car insurance company.

How long does it take for an insurance company to pay out a claim? How long do you have to wait before receiving a check from your insurance company? Today, we’re answering any questions you might have about insurance payouts and timelines.

If you’re ready to buy car insurance, make sure you have the right auto insurance for your needs, just in case you have to make a claim. Before learning more about how long it takes for an insurance company to pay out a claim, enter your ZIP code and get FREE auto insurance quotes from multiple insurers.

Most Auto Insurance Companies Try to Settle Claims Within 30 Days

How long does it take insurance companies to pay out? Most auto insurance companies have a goal of turnaround time for insurance claims within 30 days.

That means if you get into an accident on June 1, then your claim should be settled by July 1. Whether you’re in a fender bender or you’ve totaled your vehicle, the insurance company wants to complete your claim within 30 days, maximum. That means your claim is settled, paid, and completed.

This video from Allstate touches on some things you should expect during the claims process.

Of course, the real length of time varies widely between insurance claims. More complicated claims may take months, for example. If there’s a dispute between the insurance company and the insured driver, then this can increase the length of the claims process even further.

If there are no disputes on your claim and you have provided complete documentation, then you have what’s known as a “clean claim.” A clean claim is for a straightforward accident with complete documentation and no major disputes.

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State Laws Vary for Auto Insurance Claims Timeframe

Some states have laws requiring companies to process a claim within 15 to 60 days. Some states have laws requiring insurance companies to process a claim within a certain length of time. That car insurance claim time frame is usually between 15 and 60 days, but it varies by state. 

Many states have laws requiring an insurance company to acknowledge that a claim has been made within 15 days of the customer making the claim, for example.

Other states have laws regarding the length of time the insurance company has to pay a claim. Insurance companies in New Jersey, for example, need to pay a bodily injury claim within 60 days. Insurance companies in Texas, meanwhile, need to pay a claim within 5 days of the customer accepting the claim.

Insurance companies who don’t comply with state-mandated deadlines may face interest, fines, or penalties.

Laws vary everywhere, the answer to how long does it take for an insurance company to pay out a claim in Florida, Texas, the UK, Jamaica, South Africa, Ireland, and Australia will all look different.

Your Auto Insurance Company May Pay For Some Expenses Immediately

Immediately after an incident takes place, the insurance company may provide you with a certain amount of money to cover initial expenses – like roadside assistance.

Sometimes, these claims are deposited into your account immediately. In other cases, the insurance company reimburses you for these expenses before the remaining claim is processed — say, within five to eight business days.

Some Auto Insurance Claims Take Longer to Process

If you were in a minor fender bender, then your claim should be complete within a relatively short period of time. It’s an easy case with minor damage to both your vehicle and yourself.

However, if your claim involves medical bills, lost wages, and other compensation, then it can significantly increase the length of time of your payout. Medical claims, for example, take the longest to process.

The insurance company will need to coordinate with your healthcare provider. They may need to request medical records. It can take months before you receive complete compensation.

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What can delay the payment of an auto insurance claim?

What if your insurance claim is taking too long to settle? A number of things can delay the payout from your insurance company, including all of the following:

Poor communication. Maybe you’re bad at responding to your insurance company. Maybe your insurance company is bad at responding to you. In any case, poor communication can significantly delay your claim payout.

You’re unhappy with your coverage, or you’re disputing parts of your coverage. Some people are surprised to discover what’s covered and what isn’t covered under their auto insurance policy. You might dispute certain coverage with your insurance company, which can add time to the payout.

You’re unhappy with the repairs. Your car has been repaired but you’re unhappy with the repairs. In this case, you might request the auto shop to fix the issue, and then ask the insurance company to pay for the added repairs.

It’s a natural disaster claim. If a natural disaster recently swept through your city, then there may be thousands of people simultaneously making auto insurance claims. This is common after a hailstorm or severe thunderstorm.

You haven’t paid for the deductible. Your insurance company can begin the repair process when they receive your auto insurance deductibles. If you don’t have cash for the deductible, then your claims process will be delayed until you pay the deductible.

You really want to make sure you make your claim in a timely fashion. Most claims are made quickly, but there are statutes of limitations in place just in case. NOLO lists these limits, as you can see in the table below. Search to find your state.

Statute of Limitations for Car Insurance Claims by State
StatePersonal Injury Claims Statute of LimitationsProperty Damage Claims Statute of Limitations
Alabama2 years2 years
Alaska2 years6 years
Arizona2 years2 years
Arkansas3 years3 years
California2 years3 years
Colorado3 years3 years
Connecticut2 years3 years
Delaware2 years2 years
Florida4 years4 years
Georgia2 years4 years
Hawaii2 years2 years
Idaho2 years3 years
Illinois2-3 years5 years
Indiana2 years2 years
Iowa2 years5 years
Kansas1 year2 years
Kentucky1 year2 years
Louisiana1 year1 year
Maine6 years6 years
Maryland3 years3 years
Massachusetts3 years3 years
Michigan3 years3 years
Minnesota2 years6 years
Mississippi3 years3 years
Missouri5 years5 years
Montana3 years2 years
Nebraska4 years4 years
Nevada2 years3 years
New Hampshire3 years3 years
New Jersey2 years6 years
New Mexico3 years4 years
New York3 years3 years
North Carolina3 years3 years
North Dakota6 years6 years
Ohio2 years2 years
Oklahoma2 years2 years
Oregon2 years6 years
Pennsylvania2 years2 years
Rhode Island3 years10 years
South Carolina3 years3 years
South Dakota3 years6 years
Tennessee1 year3 years
Texas2 years2 years
Utah4 years3 years
Vermont3 years3 years
Virginia2 years5 years
Washington3 years3 years
Washington D.C.3 years3 years
West Virginia2 years2 years
Wisconsin3 years3 years
Wyoming4 years4 years
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Make the claim as soon as you can to ensure a timely payout. Ultimately, it’s in the insurance company’s best interest to pay your claim as quickly as possible. The faster they pay your claim, the more satisfied you’ll be with their business.

Typically, a “clean claim” with no disputes and complete documentation will be paid within 30 days, maximum. However, more complicated cases with disputes or incomplete documentation could take several months.

Make sure you have the right coverage for any damage you might have to claim in the future. Enter your ZIP code and get FREE car insurance rates from multiple insurers.

Frequently Asked Questions: How long does it take for an insurance company to pay out a claim?

Hopefully, we have covered everything you need to know, but if you have any questions, take a look at some common ones below.

#1 – How long does insurance take to fix your car?

How long does a claim take when you need a repair? Just like with any other claim, it takes time for an auto insurance company to pay for making repairs. If it’s still driveable, you can continue to do so until you can get it to the shop for repair.

And the truth is, it’s not a cut and dry answer. Each state has different laws for timelines, so it can vary from a few days to a month or more.

#2 – How long does it take insurance to total a car?

Most insurers will complete the claims process, including deciding if they’ll total your vehicle, within 30 days of the initial claim.

#3 – Does your car insurance company give you a check after a claim? 

The process of claiming insurance and getting a payout is over, so will you get a check? The answer depends. If you own the vehicle outright, you will probably get a check from your insurer. However, if you’re financing, that check will go to your lender to pay off the debt.

References:
    1. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/statute-of-limitations-state-laws-chart-29941.html

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