How long does an insurance company have to decide on a claim if their policy holder will not return their contacts?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 26, 2016

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Insurance Question from Elgin, IL

Asked on 10/26/2016

How long does an insurance company have to decide on a claim if their policy holder will not return their contacts? My car was hit by a vehicle driven by a State Farm insured. The police did come to the accident scene and there was a report given. The police then issued a accident report indicating the State Farm driver was at fault and a warning to the State Farm driver. To date State Farm as told me many "stories" from "they will definately will take care of me" on 10-10-2016" "by law we need to wait 16 days in order to receive a return call from our client" to "State law requires us to wait 60 days for our client to contact us for his version before we can make a determination".

Answer given on January 07, 2017

Each state is different on the rules and laws of how long an insurance company has to settle a claim. The company does try to contact their client, to get their version of the incident, but cannot do so indefinitely. Since there was a police report, State Farm should be willing to take that report if they cannot contact their client.Your best bet is to call the claims department and ask to speak to a supervisor. Have them explain the time frame to hear from their insured before they have to proceed with your claim. Hold them to that time frame. If they continue to change the time frame or continue to hold you off, tell them you are going to call the Department of Insurance. That will often get them to more forward. If they do not, DO call the Department of Insurance and file a claim. They will contact the company to make them settle the claim.


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