Filing a car insurance claim is undoubtedly the most daunting task to get through. You might be especially nervous if it’s your first claim, and you have little to no clue about how to deal with it. A good car – that is functioning – is a necessity for most of us. So, if it runs into an accident, unfortunately, getting it back in good repair as quickly as possible becomes essential. The timely repair of your car also plays a significant role in getting to know your insurance carrier’s quality of service and your level of satisfaction with them.
So, how long does a car accident claim take, ideally?
Let’s get into the detail.
The job takes a team
When it comes to the duration of an insurance claim procedure, know that it might take longer than you think. This is because they aren’t dependent on only one person. The whole process involves a team. You need to be there to answer all little to major questions. The claims adjusters need you to be patient with the process to do their job.
The body shop needs to be responsive to work with both you and your claims adjuster. If anyone of the players is not cooperating, the entire process can take many months to settle. Without apt teamwork, a claim can get delayed. So, choose your insurance provider wisely.
Understanding when to file
Before you start to worry about filing a car insurance claim, you need to determine whether you should do so in the first place or not. If any person was injured or if it’s unclear whose mistake it was, you should go about filing an insurance claim. Some insurance policies also specify that you must inform them ahead of potential claims.
However, if it’s just a single-vehicle accident involving only you and your car, you should first get a repair estimate before filing your claim. If not, it could potentially result in burning a hole in your pocket. If the cost of the repair is much less than the deductible amount, it may be easier for you to pay out of your pocket than to file an insurance claim. Additionally, some policies increase the rates for filing a car accident claim, so make sure you are clear about the specifics of the policy you bought.
Kinds of claims and how long they take to settle
The type of claim also has a huge impact on how long it takes for it to settle. Here’s what to expect regarding the most common types of car insurance claims.
Roadside assistance claim
Many insurance providers make towing claims fairly easy to file. Some will even take care of roadside assistance claim without requiring you to pay anything out of pocket. If you do need to be reimbursed in case, it can take about two or three weeks ideally to get a check in the mail after you turn in your receipt.
Glass claims are also the ones that can be handled quickly. Once the claim is filed, you can get scheduled for repairing your car with a glass company the same day or in a week. If the claim deals with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) glass, it can take a little longer than usual for the glass company to place an order for the glass and receive it. The actual insurance claim, however, should be handled quickly, though.
The time it takes to restore other physical damage caused to your vehicle depends upon the complexity of the claim you filed. It is standard for your insurance adjuster to reach out to you within one to three days of filing the claim. If an adjuster needs to inspect the damage, it can further drag to a couple more days. Using an insurance-provider-approved body shop can be vital in speeding up the process. Expect a cut-and-dry sort of physical damage claim to take up to one to two weeks in getting finalized. This includes coordinating with the approved body shop and getting scheduled for vehicle repairs. If your car is functional after the damage, you can drive it until the scheduled date comes up.
Total loss claim
Agreeing on a substantial payout amount can get complicated sometimes. A lot of documentation is involved in settling a total loss claim. Getting the proper signatures wherever required can also take time. It would not be a surprise to see a total loss claim take as much as 30 days or more to settle.
Injury claims usually soak up the most energy and time in being processed. Once you fill out your initial paperwork, everything is out of your hands. The hospital and your doctor’s office directly coordinate with your claim adjuster for car insurance personal injury. If your health insurer did pay the claim first, they’ll typically file a claim of their own with the car insurance company of the driver at-fault to seek reimbursement.
Common factors delaying a claim
In a perfect world, claim procedures would typically be smooth and quick. Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect, and here are some common reasons why car insurance claims are delayed.
Both you and the claims adjuster have to be good at communication. Not answering or returning the phone call is a sure-fire way to delay the process. Verify all your contact information beforehand and double-check the mailing address, phone number, and email address on file.
Misunderstandings about coverage
So, you thought you had OEM coverage, but your policy says the opposite? Coverage discrepancies can drag the claims process.
Dissatisfaction with the repair
Don’t like the glass or paint on your repair? Does something not seem perfect? Rushing into a repair to get your car back quickly is the worst idea. If you aren’t happy with the repair work, it’s best to pinpoint right away and get it resolved immediately.
Natural disaster claim
Did a hailstorm just hit the area? Dealing with the aftermath of a flood? Unlike others, natural disaster claims often take longer because both the insurance company and the repair service providers are going to be backed up.
Short on cash
You can’t get your car insurance claim processed quickly when you don’t have enough cash to cover the deductible. Deductibles have to be paid while your car is getting repaired. Plan on putting a hold on the repairs if your cash flow is not in a position to cover your deductible.
Lots of problems can come your way during the claims process. However, if your insurance agent is good, you can have some peace. Agents don’t deal with a claim directly, but they are very resourceful if there is a problem. That’s why have a reputable insurance company like Yampa Valley Insurance Agency by your side is important. We swear to speed up a smooth claims process for you.