Can an insurance company wait 30 days to settle a claim?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an insurance company wait 30 days to settle a claim?

I was in an auto accident last Thursday the other driver was at fault. I’ve called the insurance company a lot. I’ve asked for a rental vehicle and they told me they couldn’t give me a rental until either I gave them the police report or they got a statement from the other driver. I gave them the police report and now they’re saying they have to wait for the statement from the guy that hit me to determine liability. The police report states he was liable he was cited failure to yield and she said just because someone was cited doesn’t mean they’re liable? That’s a new one to me and she said he has up to 30 days to give her a statement is this true? Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on June 28, 2017 under Accident Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, being cited does not by itself mean that they were liable: 1) the criminal (e.g. citations, tickets, summons) and civil (e.g. compensation for car damage) legal systems are separate; and 2) the police citation is not even a court determination or finding--it's just the police indicating that they *think* he was at fault, but no judge (e.g. a municipal court judge) has determined this.
However, it is evidence of his fault, even if it is not a determination; and your insurer is not legally obligated to wait for his statement (since if they did, anyone could derail or obstruct an insurance claim indefinitely just by not giving a statement); they can process your claim without it. It is not unreasonable for them to spend some time trying to get it, since the law does not require that the claim be processed within any set period (e.g. there is no requirement to do it within 30 days), but if they take unreasonably long or refuse to process it, they may be violating their contractual obligation (an insurance policy is a contract) to pay out when the facts and terms of your policy indicate they should. If and when you believe they are simply stonewalling and are not processing your claim, you could sue them for breach of contract (for violating their policy obligations) to force them to do so. If a court finds that they should pay, they would be ordered to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption