How long can an insurance claim be investigated?

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How long can an insurance claim be investigated?

A driver ran a red light and hit my car in NJ. The car owners auto insurance is a PA policy. The insurance company is claiming they have a unlimited amount of time to investigate if the driver was permissive or not, during which time I get no car rental or any benefits from the insurance company. Is there legal time limit for how long this investigation can take?

Asked on September 21, 2010 under Accident Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although there may be no statutory time limit involved in this matter, if the issue was raised before a Judge in an action against the insurance company I would tend to think that the Judge would use a "reasonableness" standard.  In other words, given the facts and circumstances surrounding the matter are the actions of the insurance company "reasonable" in the time taken to investigating the claimed in denying the aggrieved party benefits to which they may be entitled?  Sounds like a lot of legal mumbo jumbo, right?  But Judges are permitted to look at a situation through "human" eyes rather than just "legal" eyes and reasonableness is one of those human standards.  Unfortunatley for you you are going to have to press the insurance company with abhigher authority.  I might try the State insuance Department first and see where that gets you.  Good lcuk..  


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