When an insurance claim is made, an insurance company usually has a limited amount of time to respond to that claim and handle it. The insurer has to investigate the claim to decide if it will cover it or not, but that investigation shouldn’t extend so long that you feel like giving up on your request.
Delay tactics are a real thing, and they may be what your insurance provider is using to try to get you to walk away from the claim without following through. It may also hope that you’ll quickly accept any settlement it sends your way after taking so long to process the claim.
California has strict timelines for insurance companies to follow
In California, your insurance company has only 40 days to accept or deny a claim. In an ideal scenario, the insurance provider would get back to you quickly after you initiate a claim, but they do have a right to take up to 40 days.
If the insurer wants to process the claim for longer for some reason, it does have the option of informing you about the claim status and extending the length up to 30 days at a time. You must be notified of the claim status every 30 days without fail.
There are factors that might slow down a claim, such as disputes over who the responsible party is, negotiations or other factors, like if injuries occurred or if unusual damage happened to a property. Even with those, your insurance company needs to process your claim within the given time period. If it continues to delay, you may be able to pursue a bad faith insurance claim.
What happens if you do get offered a settlement?
When you get offered a settlement, you’ll need to decide if it’s one that you’d like to accept based on the value of your case. If not, you have a right to refuse it and negotiate. If you do accept it, then the insurance company has only 30 days to pay you. If they do not, then it’s time to look into taking legal action.