How long do insurance companies have to settle a claim?
John K Lassen
Posted June 1, 2011 3:30am
The previous answer was only partially correct and not particularly helpful
Yes, if there are no injuries and no issues of liability (who was at fault), the insurance company should be ready to pay pretty quickly. However, the insurance company must do an investigation into both the liability and damages issues.
One issue may be whether or not coverage exists. Did the insured pay his/her premiums? Was the driver of the car an "insured" under the policy or was he/she an excluded driver? If there is no coverage, the insurance company won't pay.
First, they must find that they have a duty to pay. If this is the other driver's insurance, then they need to take statements to determine how the accident happened and if their driver was solely at fault or partially at fault. At times, it may be necessary for one or more insurance company to hire an accident reconstructionist to determine how the accident happened. As you can see, the amount of time it takes to determine liability can vary depending on the factors. if the other driver's insurance company determines that their driver did
nothing wrong, they won't pay. Depending on state law, they may not have a duty to pay if their driver is partially liable, but is less liable than the other driver (if there is only one other car involved).
If there is coverage and liability, then the insurer must calculate the damages before making an offer. Depending on your car (year, make, model), they have different sources of information on which to value a car. I recently had a client who was in an accident caused by the other driver. The other driver's insurance looked at his car, which there are probably less than 20 of in the country, and try and figure out the value of the damages. If the car is "standard", like a 2008 dodge caravan, then there are many sources available to value the car such as kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book), NADAguides.com, edmunds.com, and craigslist.com.
Always use these sources yourself to make sure you are getting a fair offer.
Hope this helps.
/s Donald Kudler
This answer does not create an attorney client relationship and does not constitute legal advice, but is solely the opinion of a Nevada Attorney.Source: www.avvo.com