Insurance companies are entitled to a "reasonable" amount of time to process your home insurance or renter's insurance claim. Individual states regulate the timeframe in which the insurance company must pay or deny your claim.
Some states have specific regulatory timeframes while others simply require resolution in a "reasonable" timeframe, with provisions for extensions for extenuating circumstances.
The Insurance Information Institute website provides links to each state insurance organization website where you can find specific details for your state.
Being organized can speed up the claim resolution process and can leave you feeling less frustrated. Immediately notify proper authorities if your home is burglarized or vandalized and keep a copy of all associated paperwork. Whether the incident is the result of crime or Mother Nature, notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Insurance companies often have time limits for filing claims.
Properly completing your paperwork can often mean the difference between satisfactory resolution of your claim and a bureaucratic nightmare. Take it one step at a time and contact an insurance company representative if you need help or clarification.
If you've provided all of the information requested by the home insurance company, have waited the time period specified by your state and your claim has not been resolved or has been denied, you do have options. Before you proceed, however, make sure you have:
You can then contact the insurance agent or representative who sold you the policy, the claims manager of the insurance company and the organization that regulates insurance in your state.
After following these steps, if your claim still is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may need to contact an attorney.
The following suggestions for being prepared can also help expedite the resolution of an insurance claim: