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How Long Does an Insurance Claim Take?

How Long Does an Insurance Claim Take?

For a start, we should go ahead and tell you something. There is no way that we can give you an accurate assessment of how long your insurance claim will take. There are so many potential factors that could complicate things, and there is no way to cover them all. That being said, we can definitely give you a better idea of where you stand, and how much longer you are likely to be waiting.

What Is The Ideal Time Frame?

Under ideal circumstances, most insurance companies will try to settle all claims within 30 days of their filing. If you are lucky, you might be one of those who get everything settled and paid within a month. Unfortunately, this 30-day goal is more of a guideline than an actual rule. There are many things that can delay your settlement.

Delaying Factors

The first factor is the desire of your insurance company to avoid paying. In most cases, insurance companies will try every trick in the book to avoid paying out on claims. To them, it is simply a matter of preserving the financial bottom line. They know that paying a lot of expensive claims will affect that bottom line, so they have all kinds of tricks that they might use. One of these tactics is to simply delay the matter until you give up and accept whatever is offered.

While all insurance companies will try to avoid paying, there is a point at which you have to say “enough.” When you determine that your insurance company is acting in bad faith, you need to find a better one. Sometimes, you just have to cut your losses and move on as best you can.

Your claim can also be delayed if the other driver decides to dispute the matter. In many cases, their insurance company might pressure them to dispute the case, simply because they don’t want to pay. If the claim is disputed, a more in-depth investigation will have to be done, and that invariably takes more time. Sometimes, these kinds of disputes can be tied up for years in a seemingly endless back-and-forth process.

Time Limits By State

You might be happy to find that the law does place some limits on the length of time that insurance companies can take to process claims. Unfortunately for the average insurance buyer, these time limits are pretty generous. Still, it is good to know that the law places some limits on this process, even if they might not be adequate. The time limits work in much the same way as a “statute of limitations” and are legally considered as such.

Here is a complete list of these time limits by state:

  • Alabama: 2 years
  • Alaska: 2 years
  • Arizona: 2 years
  • Arkansas: 3 years
  • California: 2 years
  • Colorado: 2 years
  • Connecticut: 2 years
  • Delaware: 2 years
  • Florida: 4 years
  • Georgia: 2 years
  • Hawaii: 2 years
  • Idaho: 2 years
  • Illinois: 2 years
  • Indiana: 2 years
  • Iowa: 2 years
  • Kansas: 2 years
  • Kentucky: 1 year
  • Louisiana: 1 year
  • Maine: 6 years
  • Maryland: 3 years
  • Massachusetts: 3 years
  • Michigan: 3 years
  • Minnesota: 2 years
  • Mississippi: 3 years
  • Missouri: 5 years
  • Montana: 3 years
  • Nebraska: 4 years
  • Nevada: 2 years
  • New Hampshire: 3 years
  • New Jersey: 2 years
  • New Mexico: 3 years
  • New York: 3 years
  • North Carolina: 3 years
  • North Dakota: 2-6 years
  • Ohio: 2 years
  • Oklahoma: 2 years
  • Oregon: 2 years
  • Pennsylvania: 2 years
  • Rhode Island: 3 years
  • South Carolina: 3 years
  • South Dakota: 3 years
  • Tennessee: 1 year
  • Texas: 2 years
  • Utah: 4 years
  • Vermont: 3 years
  • Virginia: 2 years
  • Washington: 3 years
  • Washington DC: 3 years
  • West Virginia: 2 years
  • Wisconsin: 3 years
  • Wyoming: 4 years

Disputing A Claim

If a claim is not resolved in a way that benefits you, it might be possible to dispute the claim. There is a process that must be followed, and you should take care to follow every rule. Otherwise, your claim might be disqualified immediately.

Before filing a dispute, you should definitely get your policy out and read it carefully. This policy represents a legal contract, and the insurance company will try to use it against you in the dispute process. By understanding the terms of your policy as thoroughly as possible, you ensure that they can’t bluff you into dropping your dispute.

Although your contract with the insurance company is legally binding, it is still subject to state and federal laws, just like any other contract. Thus, if any provision of the contract is found to be in violation of state or federal law, it is null and void. This fact might help you out if you need some leverage in the negotiating process.


As we said from the start, there is no way to know how long your insurance company will take. However, if you are in need of emergency help, it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Some companies will provide immediate financial help (to be paid back at a later date). Either way, you might as well try to be patient about this whole process. We hope that our article has given you a better idea of how this works and that this knowledge will help you to deal more efficiently with your insurance provider. If so, we hope that you will fill out the contact form below.

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