It can be frustrating to wait on your insurance company in the event of a claim. In this post, we’ll cover why your insurance may be taking longer than expected and some things you can do if your insurance company is stalling.
If you are trying to settle with an insurance company that continuously delays payment, you may be able to speed up the process by hiring an attorney who can put legal pressure on the company and remind it and its representatives of their duties. For help speeding up the claim settlement process, contact Dwyer & Coogan, P.C. free consultation today.
Reasons Your Insurance Company May Be Stalling
When an insurance company puts off settling a claim, it typically does so for one of three reasons:
- It is waiting on additional documentation such as your medical records or the accident report.
- It suspects you filed a fraudulent claim and wants to investigate it more in depth.
- It is acting in bad faith. If your company acts in bad faith, it does so in the hopes that you will either drop the claim altogether or settle for less than what it is worth.
Determine If The Company Is, In Fact, Stalling
If insurance companies could decide all the rules, they would never be obligated to pay claims. Without the legal system, Insurers really have no incentive to ever settle a claim. Even under the law, they work hard to take years to pay out claims. Fortunately, there are state laws in place that require insurers to settle claims within a limited period of time. Most states require insurance companies to acknowledge a claim within 10 to 30 days and to either reject or deny it within 30 to 40 days. After the grace period has lapsed and the insurer has yet to make a decision, it may be required to pay financial penalties in addition to interest accumulated on your claim.
Bear in mind that state laws vary, and some states do not have time limitations in place. The best thing to do in this case would be to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine if your insurance company is stalling—and if so, what you can do to speed up the settlement process.
Do Your Part
If your insurance company is stalling, there are a few things you can do on your own to help keep the ball moving. For one, you can organize all your records from the accident and keep them in one, easy to access location. Insurance adjusters are notorious for misplacing important documents or failing to request documentation in the first place. If the adjuster tells you, “Oh, well, we still need your medical record/police reports/statement,” you can pull up the missing information yourself and send it over while you are still on the phone with the agent. Some documents you should hold onto include the following:
- Photos from the accident
- Reports from the adjusters
- Medical records
- Repair estimates
- Witnesses’ contact information
You should also keep minutes of all the telephone conversations you have with agents of the company, along with the names of agents you spoke with and call times. Print email communications for your own benefit and request copies of every document the agent has available.
Another thing you can do is cooperate. If you have a claim against your own insurance company, you have a legal, contractual obligation to cooperate with them. You should supply them with information they request and do so in a timely fashion. Things are different when it is the insurer for the other party: they do not work for you and you should be careful in how you deal with them and what you tell them. They will use information to take advantage of you if possible.
Enlist An Attorney
If you suspect your insurance company of stalling in bad faith, or if you are just tired of waiting for your claim to settle, it may be time to enlist the help of a knowledgeable attorney. Contact Dwyer & Coogan to discuss your options for a speedy recovery today.