What is the Average Time that a Claim is Processed or Settled?

If an accident or break-in leaves your car or home vulnerable to damages or loss, you will probably rely on your homeowners or auto insurance policies to repair the damages in an appropriate amount of time. However, depending on the extent of your losses and the size of your claim, processing and settling a claim can take days or even weeks.

How it Works

After an incident occurs, an insurance adjuster is assigned to review your case and determine how much compensation you are entitled to. Some insurance companies take several days to review your case and determine your eligibility for compensation. At this time, you may be asked to acquire repair or replacement estimates — especially if the claim is related to losses sustained in an auto accident. Your insurer will then either offer to cover the full cost of your repairs, minus the deductible, or you will be offered a settlement amount, which you can accept or deny.

Keep in mind that the average time for claims to process is usually much shorter when the only damage or losses are related to property. If you are filing a personal injury claim as well, your case may take longer to process, as insurers will require copies of medical bills and possibly, a statement from you physician. Also, if you deny an insurance settlement, your case may go into a mediation process through your insurer to determine whether you should receive a higher payment. If your case goes into mediation, it may take an additional two to six weeks to settle.

How You Can Accelerate the Process

Depending on the nature of your claim, you can accelerate how long claims are processed or settled through your insurer in a number of ways. Start by always getting a police report at the scene of the accident or crime — no matter how big or small it is. Provide the contact information of witnesses, and ask to schedule a time to meet with the adjuster to inspect damages. If your adjuster asks for pictures instead, ask to email them, rather than send them through the mail.