When you’ve been in an accident and been injured, dealing with an insurance adjuster or an unreasonable company can be a difficult and frustrating experience. You want to get back to your normal routine as soon as possible after the incident, but what can you do if your insurance company is taking too long to process your claim?
It is possible to expedite the claims process, but if the insurance company doesn’t move forward with the claim after gathering all of your paperwork, you may be dealing with something where you need the help of an attorney, or even badly. faith. claim.
reasons why your insurance company may take time to respond
There are several reasons why an insurance company delays settlement of a car accident claim:
- The fitter has hundreds of files he’s working on, and there just isn’t enough time in the day.
- company is awaiting additional documentation, such as your medical records or accident report, is awaiting review by a roundtable group or supervisor to approve the action.
- Your claim may appear to be fraudulent and the insurance company wants to conduct a thorough investigation into it.
- The insurance company is acting in bad faith. As long as your company behaves in bad faith for no reason other than the delay, you expect it to drop the claim or settle for less than you deserve.
- underinsured motorist claims “uim” claims primarily involving “general” damages, damages beyond medical bills and lost wages.
- homeowners insurance claims
- commercial property owners insurance claims
- claims for accidents related to cars, trucks and motorcycles
- hail and storm damage
- personal injury claims
- medical payment coverage claims
- accident photos
- adjuster reports
- medical treatment records
- repair estimates
- information on how to communicate with witnesses
bad faith insurance: what is it?
When an insurer fails to meet its obligations to its clients, for example by refusing to pay an insured’s legitimate claim or taking too long to investigate and process their claim, this is known as insurance bad faith. In the context of auto or auto insurance, that most commonly happens in underinsured motorist insurance or uninsured motorist claims.
Insurance companies act in bad faith when they misrepresent the terms of an insurance contract to avoid paying claims. they also act in bad faith when they fail to disclose policy coverage to policyholders, demand unreasonable proof of coverage from the policyholder, or ignore proof of loss that confirms a claim is payable, but simply refuse to make the payment because they have the money, the lawyers, and the time – and you don’t.
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Insurance companies can behave in bad faith in a number of ways. policyholders should consult an attorney to confront their insurance company if they suspect bad faith.
Assess if the insurance company is holding your car accident claims
If insurers had full control over the rules, they would not be required to pay claims. insurers have incentives to settle claims due to legal regimes, but would not exist without them. Even when the law is followed, it can take more time or claims to resolve than it should. Insurers are required by state law to act reasonably, which generally includes having claims resolved within a reasonable period of time. Some states require insurance companies to acknowledge claims within 10 to 30 days and reject or deny them within 30 to 40 days, but South Dakota is not one of those states, at least when it comes to insurance. Of automobiles. If a reasonable period of time has passed and no decision has been made, the insurer may be required to pay financial penalties as well as accrued interest on your claim, including attorneys’ fees, tort damages, and liquidated damages. punitive in addition to the benefits owed to begin with.
Some states have no time limits and their laws vary from state to state. If your insurance company is in the doldrums, you should speak with an experienced attorney to determine what steps you should take to expedite the settlement process.
insurers stall more often
Insurance companies have a reputation for delaying claims no matter what kind of problem they are faced with. This strategy is used by insurance companies to protect their bottom lines, and is a common practice among accident victims and homeowners alike. Here are some types of claims that insurance companies are notorious for delaying.
due diligence before payment
When you have a valid claim, you may be surprised to learn that an insurance company is investigating it so thoroughly. You’ll also be surprised how some companies don’t investigate at all and only look at the documents you provide them when they do their mandatory claims “investigation.” When insurance companies suspect fraud or believe a claim is being made based on an event that did not occur, they will. Insurance companies have no choice but to investigate even the smallest claims in today’s insurance environment to ensure they are only paying settlements on legitimate claims. But, research is something you pay insurance companies up front for. And, it should benefit both the insurance company and the policyholder. Insurance companies are supposed to investigate both the facts that support paying claims and the facts that could support claim denials.
Insurance adjusters are often subject to scheduling and availability issues, especially when a large number of parties have been affected by the same incident. Some insurance companies may simply be waiting for police reports or are now trying to figure out who was at fault in your case. trying to determine which is which can be challenging, especially if you’ve never filed a claim before.
contribute to the cause
The good news is that you can help your insurance company move forward by doing a few things on your own. Your accident records will be easier to access if you organize and store them in one convenient place. many insurance adjusters forget to request the documents or misplace them. in this case, you can find and submit the necessary information yourself while on the phone with the adjuster if the adjuster says “well, we still need your medical records/police reports/statement.” The following documents must be kept:
Best practice is for all communications with insurance companies to be in writing. ideally emails or letters. in the worst case, text messages can work. talking on the phone should be discouraged. But, phone calls are the preferred method of insurance companies because when an unavoidable dispute arises later on, it ends up being a “he said/she said” situation.
At a minimum, it’s a good idea to keep a written record of all telephone conversations with company representatives, including the names and times of calls of those representatives. obtain a copy of all documents on file with the agent, as well as a paper copy of all email communications for your own use. Get a copy of your own cell phone bill and take screenshots of call logs, hours, and text messages.
cooperation is also an option. If you have a claim against your own insurance company, you have a legal and contractual obligation to cooperate with it. it is essential that you provide them with the information they need as soon as possible. When it comes to the other party’s insurer, things are a little different: they don’t work for you, so you have to be careful. they will use your information for your benefit if possible.
contact a lawyer
Your insurance company’s stagnation could be due to a variety of factors, some of which may constitute bad faith. a simple conversation with an experienced attorney can usually clear things up.
If you live in South Dakota and suspect your insurance claims are being delayed, you can request a free consultation with the Law Office of Turbak.