Insurance companies in Missouri have at least 30 days to investigate a claim, with a few exceptions to this rule. This gives an insurer time to glean details about your insurance claim and determine what you are owed. Insurance companies also have specific timelines they must follow to ensure your claim is settled in a reasonable time.
Saxton Law Firm knows how to hold insurance companies responsible for legitimate claims. We protect clients from insurer abuse and guard your legal rights. Speak with our qualified insurance litigation attorneys if an insurance company tries to deny your valid claim.
Timelines in Missouri Insurance Claims
After a serious car accident or damage to your home, you may learn firsthand the challenges of working with an insurance company. Many of these companies will attempt to deny your claim or use delay tactics to violate your rights. However, insurance companies in Missouri must follow specific time guidelines when dealing with insureds.
The Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act grants most insurance companies 30 days to investigate your claim. The insured is required to provide any necessary claim forms and supporting information within 10 days of making their claim.
The insurer must provide the insured with acceptance or denial of the claim within 15 working days of receiving all of the completed forms. This acceptance or denial does not necessarily require the insurance company to provide the actual dollar amount of the settlement. Instead, this amount could come at the end of the investigation.
If the insured has any question about their claim, the insurance company must answer or respond to that question within 10 working days. Many companies may request more time to deal with more complicated claims. Others may use delay tactics to circumvent your rights or skirt the law. An experienced Missouri insurance rights attorney knows how to analyze your case so you are protected.
Factors Impacting Settlement Time
While state law sets forth time guidelines, every case is different. Smaller claims for less serious injuries will usually take less time to analyze. For example, a small car accident with minimal property damage and low-level injuries may be settled very quickly.
More complicated cases with more significant injuries will usually take longer. These complicated claims often involve:
- Multiple parties who may be at fault for the accident
- Damage to your home or real property
- Significant medical bills and records
- More extensive property damage
- Contested values of injuries and property damage
Another major factor is how your insurance company treats you. Not every company treats their insureds appropriately or even honestly. Many insurers attempt to reduce what you are owed or deny your claim altogether. They often do this even when knowing you are entitled to insurance proceeds.
What To Do if Your Insurance Claim is Delayed or Denied
If your insurance company is taking too long to settle your claim, or wrongfully denies your claim, you may feel stressed or even panicked. The medical costs and property damage may be expensive and you are wondering what to do next.
If an insurance company delays or denies your claim, you should:
- Speak to an Attorney: Work with a knowledgeable insurance litigation attorney to analyze your case and enforce your rights. We help you motivate the insurance company to do the right thing and hold them accountable for their actions.
- Keep Detailed Records: Collect invoices, bills, photographs, videos, and anything else related to your insurance claim. This information may be critical to your case.
- Stay Confident: Insurance companies may try to convince you that you have no rights, or that their tactics are appropriate. Know your rights and that you have options to enforce them.
Missouri insurance companies must follow their time guidelines with very few exceptions. They must also handle your case within a reasonable time. If your claim is taking too long, or is denied, contact Saxton Law Firm for a FREE case review!