How Long Does an Auto Insurance Company Have to Investigate a Claim?
With an accident, it’s never easy to endure the aftermath. You deal with insurance adjusters who try to prioritize profits when claimants need them most. As such, there are several ways that insurance adjusters try to minimize your ability to get compensation when you need it.
If you suffer injuries in a crash, you need compensation to cover medical bills, lost income, property damage, and more. In any case, you put your trust in insurance adjusters to provide care when you need it. But, unfortunately, they don’t always follow through with their responsibility.
The Duty to Act Quickly and Fairly
Insurance companies have a duty to act quickly and fairly. If they don’t, it significantly hurts claimants and their quality of life. Part of their duty is to investigate claims promptly. Any delay results in claimants missing out on payments that they need.
However, insurance companies want to protect how much money they can save when dealing with claimants. So they delay claims when it benefits them, but it’s you who ends up trying to deal with the financial hardship of a crash without knowing what comes next.
The Reasons Insurance Adjusters Delay a Claim
During the process, insurance adjusters will offer you a settlement amount. Before accepting any settlement, speak with your legal team. Many settlements are much less than you deserve, and insurance adjusters know what they’re doing. Keep in mind, insurance adjusters know that you need money during this vulnerable time, and that’s partly why they delay claims.
They hope that by offering a small amount and taking their time to further investigate your claim, you’re more willing to accept whatever they offer. However, if insurance adjusters wrongfully delay claims, they potentially face additional legal action.
Insurance Claim Time Limits in Mississippi
Under Miss. Code Ann. § 83-9-5(1)(f)-(h)(1) (2019), insurance companies in Mississippi have at least 40 to 50 days to settle a claim and make a payment after the claim is filed. This is broken up as follows:
- 15 days: Mississippi insurance companies must acknowledge the receipt of a claim within 15 days.
- 25-35 days: Depending on how the claim was submitted, insurance companies in Mississippi have 25 to 30 days to make the final payment if the claim is approved.
Mississippi does not specify a separate timeframe in which the insurance company must actually approve or deny the claim during this process, however. The law only mandates that it be done in "reasonable time."
Regardless of the situation, you are still entitled to an efficient settlement and fair treatment from insurance companies. If you believe your auto insurance company is operating in an unethical manner or breaking the law, you may be able to pursue a "bad faith" lawsuit and recover the full value of your claim plus additional damages.
Our Jackson, MS car accident lawyers are committed to helping you with the compensation you need and deserve. At 'Maggio | Thompson, LLP, we aim to hold negligence accountable, going above and beyond to be your voice through challenging times. We encourage you to let us help you, too!