Monday, August 6, 2012


How long can an insurance company take to investigate an auto claim?

Q: Another driver hit my car last weekend, and I haven't been paid yet. How long does an insurer have to investigate and pay my claim?

A: Generally, when a claim is uncompliated (no injuries, not a large number of witnesses, no specialized reports needed), 30 days is considered to be a reasonable time frame to investigate and make coverage decisions.

This is true whether you've made the claim against your own insurer or someone else's. Many claims are investigated and paid within 30 days.

Sometimes -- particularly in complex property damage or injury claims -- it can take longer to agree on a settlement. But you should expect reasonable promptness getting answers to your questions during the process.

You can help expedite things by providing requested information, giving statements and answering questions promptly. And if things drag on too long and you live in Washington state, you can file a complaint with our office. (We're the state agency that regulates the insurance industry in Washington.)

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