How long can an insurance company take to accept and pay a claim?

May 17, 2024 Blog

In the fast pace of daily life, we often forget the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. A road accident can change the course of your life forever. Hence the importance of having commercial insurance and understanding how truck insurance works and how long it can take for an insurance company to accept and pay a claim.

However, many people feel lost when it comes to filing an insurance claim. Technical terms, complex processes, and uncertainty about the outcome can lead to confusion and frustration.

Don’t worry! This blog is designed to be your comprehensive guide and help you learn what you need to know when filing a claim in case your truck has an accident on the road.

What is a claim?

An insurance claim is a formal request submitted to the insurance company to cover expenses incurred as a result of an event covered by the policy. For example, in the case of a road accident, theft of your truck, damage caused to the transported cargo, or any other situation that falls within the terms and conditions of the policy, you can file a claim.

When to file a claim?

Ideally, you should file the claim immediately, as soon as the accident or event occurs. Our recommendation is not to take more than 5 days; after this time, your report may be considered a late report, and the insurer may not accept the claim, putting your payment at risk. Filing a claim immediately will allow the insurance company to start the investigation and probably the payment process promptly.

How to file an insurance claim?

The process of filing a claim can vary depending on the company and the type of claim. However, in general, the following steps are common:

  1. Notify the insurance company: The first step is to inform the company about what happened. This can be done by phone, online, through their website, or in some cases, through mobile apps or email.
  2. Gather information: The insurance company will ask you for information about the event, such as the date, time, location, people involved, police report, and photos or videos of the damages.
  3. Submit documentation: You will need to send documentation that supports your claim, such as invoices, receipts, and police reports.
  4. Cooperate with the investigation: The insurance company will investigate your claim to verify the information and determine if it is covered by the policy. You must cooperate with the investigation by providing all requested information and documentation.

What happens after filing a claim?

Once the insurance company has completed its investigation, they will inform you of their decision. If your claim is approved, the company will handle the pending payments, prioritizing overdue insurance premiums, continuing with payments for covered damages, and finally delivering cash if there is any remaining balance. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision, for which you will need legal advice.

It is important to understand that a claims process can take months, and while the insurer conducts the investigation and decides how to proceed, the company owner must continue making the truck insurance premium payments unless the vehicle is declared a total loss and removed from the policy. Note that even if you request to remove the affected vehicle from the policy, premium payments will continue to accrue, and you will only see the effect of your request when the company reimburses the financial company for the unused portion of the policy.

Tips for successfully filing an insurance claim:

  • Organization: Gather all necessary information and documentation as soon as possible.
  • Honesty: Provide accurate and complete information to the insurance company.
  • Cooperation: Respond to the insurance company’s questions promptly and thoroughly.
  • Patience: The insurance claims process can take time. Be patient and maintain open communication with the insurance company.

Why might your insurance company refuse to pay a transportation accident claim?

Insurance companies may refuse to pay a claim for a transportation accident if they find inconsistencies in the documentation or if the cause of the accident falls within policy exclusions. Here are some common reasons why an insurance company may deny a claim:

  • Late report: Taking more than 5 days to report an accident is considered a late report and may risk claim acceptance and payment denial.
  • Violation of policy conditions: The driver’s license was not appropriate for the type of policy purchased, or the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The vehicle, driver, or cargo involved in the accident were not listed on the policy.
  • Fraud: The insurance company verifies that the claim is fraudulent.
  • Uncovered damages: The type of damage is not covered by the policy, such as normal wear and tear, damage caused by flooding, or negligence in vehicle maintenance.

What to do if your insurance company denies a claim?

If your insurance company denies a claim, don’t be discouraged. You have the right to appeal the decision. Steps to follow:

  1. Review your insurance policy: Make sure you understand what your policy covers and what the exclusions are.
  2. Gather all documentation: Collect all documentation related to the accident, such as the police report, photos, videos, repair invoices, and receipts.
  3. Contact your insurance company: Call the company and explain why you believe your claim should be paid.
  4. Appeal the decision: If the company continues to deny your claim, you can appeal the decision. The appeals process varies by insurance company, so you will need to consult with them for more information. From this point, you will need legal assistance for the appeal.

In case of doubts, seek legal assistance or consult with a lawyer specialized in insurance law.

Remember, it is important to understand what your insurance policy covers and what it does not. Ask your insurance agency any questions you have. While they are not responsible for the acceptance or denial process of your claim, they can advise you on how to correctly file your claim. At Preventty, we assist our clients in the process of filing their claim promptly.