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Depending on state law, an insurance company can take several weeks or months to issue a payout after you file a home insurance or renters insurance claim.

The home insurance claim time limit is not the same everywhere. In some places, state law requires insurers to pay in a "reasonable" amount of time. Other states give insurers between 10 and 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim and 40 days to accept or deny it. Unfortunately, no overarching federal law stipulates a payout timeframe for renters and homeowners.

Even if two homeowners file a claim for roof damage, the circumstances surrounding each claim will differ, which could lead to a lengthier claims process for one policyholder and a speedier process for the other.

The first step in getting your claim paid promptly is to make sure you're prepared before you need to file a homeowners claim, document damage and file the claim as soon as possible. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The most important step in the homeowners insurance claim process is to be prepared and collect all the necessary documents.
  • Depending on the laws in your state, it can take weeks or months for your insurer to issue a payout after you file an insurance claim.
  • Some state laws allow insurers to take between 10 and 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim and 40 days to accept or deny the claim. 

How long does the home insurance claim process take?

The claims process can vary by state. Some state laws don't specify a specific time frame for insurance payouts and only grant a "reasonable" amount of time to either deny or pay a claim. Here's the rundown for a majority of states, with the number of days the insurance company takes to process the claims:

StateNumber of days for claims processing
Alabama30 days
Alaska30 days
Arizona30 days
Arkansas15 days
California40 days
ColoradoNo unreasonable delays
ConnecticutNo unreasonable delays
DelawareNo unreasonable delays
District of ColumbiaNo unreasonable delays
Florida30 days
GeorgiaNo unreasonable delays
HawaiiNo unreasonable delays
IdahoNo unreasonable delays
IllinoisNo unreasonable delays
IndianaNo unreasonable delays
IowaNo unreasonable delays
KansasNo unreasonable delays
Kentucky30 days
Louisiana30 days
Maine30 days
MarylandNo unreasonable delays
MassachusettsNo unreasonable delays
Michigan60 days
Minnesota30-60 days
Mississippi25-35 days
MissouriNo unreasonable delays
Montana30 days
NebraskaNo unreasonable delays
NevadaNo unreasonable delays
New Hampshire30 days
New JerseyNo unreasonable delays
New Mexico45 days
New YorkNo unreasonable delays
North CarolinaNo unreasonable delays
North DakotaNo unreasonable delays
OhioAs soon as possible
Oklahoma60 days
OregonNo unreasonable delays
Pennsylvania15 days
Rhode IslandNo unreasonable delays
South CarolinaNo unreasonable delays
South DakotaNo unreasonable delays
TennesseeNo unreasonable delays
Texas15 days
UtahNo unreasonable delays
Vermont30 days
VirginiaNo unreasonable delays
WashingtonNo unreasonable delays
West VirginiaNo unreasonable delays
Wisconsin30 days
Wyoming45 days

 Source: https://www.findlaw.com/consumer/insurance/insurance-laws-by-state.html

For more information, check the website of your state's insurance department or call them for more information.

How to expedite the home insurance claim process 

John Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration and president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), says homeowners and renters can do several things to expedite their claim:

  • Keep a home inventory of your personal belongings, including pictures and receipts if possible.
  • Report insurance claims promptly and make sure your insurer has current contact information for you.
  • Know your rights, read your policy and comply with the reporting requirements stated in the policy. It's also prudent to know what's required by state law.
  • Document your loss. Take photos of the damage before you do any cleanup or repairs. Keep a record of conversations with insurance, repair, jurisdictional government and other professionals.
  • Contact the state insurance department if you have concerns or complaints.

What can delay a home insurance claim payment? 

A number of things can cause a delay in insurance payments related to claims. Here are three things that can delay your claim:

  • Not having the proper paperwork
  • Not maintaining a good inventory of your property
  • Delays in providing needed information to your insurance company

"Delays [with the claims process] can occur due to questions regarding the cause of loss, submission of incorrect or incomplete information and delayed reporting to the insurer," Huff says.

How long can a home insurance claim stay open?

Home insurance companies have no fixed time frame to settle a claim. It can take weeks, months or even years. The time it takes to close a claim varies. For instance, a burglary claim might resolve quicker than a claim for a house burned to the ground. 

How long your claim will be open depends on the laws of your state, the complexity of the home insurance claim and the insurance company’s claim procedures. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do insurance companies take so long to pay out?

Before paying out on a claim, the insurance company has to investigate, verify coverage and determine the cost of repairs. Some claims are more complex than others and may require a longer investigation process.

How do you report your insurance company to the insurance commissioner?

If you are unable to resolve a dispute with your insurance company or you believe it has engaged in unfair or illegal practices, you can file a complaint with your state’s insurance commissioner or department of insurance. Visit your state’s department of insurance website to find how you should file.

How do you appeal a claims decision from your insurance company?

To appeal a claim decision, you can send a letter to the insurance company with a detailed explanation as to why you believe your claim should be approved.

"Include documentation you've retained through the claim process, including statements from adjusters, correspondence with the company and property appraisals,” Huff says. “Consumers also have the right to hire an attorney and bring an action against an insurer to enforce contractual rights."

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