Most auto insurance claims take approximately two to four weeks to complete.
When you’re in a car accident, you likely want the insurance company to complete your claim as quickly as possible. Carriers complete straightforward, car damage-only claims within a couple of weeks, although claims with medical injuries may take longer. Promptly responding to insurance adjusters helps expedite claims to get them completed as quickly as possible.
It usually takes two to four weeks to complete an insurance claim. While insurance carriers have about 45 days to investigate a claim in most states, they may extend this time if the claim is for a serious accident.1 Keep this in mind when filing an insurance claim.
When the cost of accidents is high or someone contests fault, the insurance carrier can request an extension to get the details they need to make the right decision about the claim. You should also note that insurance carriers cannot control how busy auto body shops are, which can delay some claims due to scheduling problems.
Here’s the amount of time car insurance companies in each state have to complete a claim, according to state laws:
|State||Time limit insurance carriers have to settle claims for injuries and damages to your vehicle|
|Alaska||40 working days|
|Arkansas||45 working days|
|Connecticut||“With reasonable promptness”|
|Idaho||“Reasonably and promptly”|
|Kansas||25 working days|
|Maine||“Within a reasonable time following receipt of written notice”|
|Maryland||30 working days|
|Minnesota||45 business days|
|Nebraska||45 working days|
|Nevada||80 working days|
|New Hampshire||35 working days|
|New Jersey||40-100 days|
|New Mexico||“Reasonably promptly”|
|New York||35 business days|
|North Carolina||“Reasonably promptly”|
|North Dakota||With “reasonable promptness”|
|Rhode Island||55 business days|
|South Carolina||With “reasonable promptness”|
|South Dakota||No specific requirement|
|Tennessee||With “reasonable promptness”|
|Texas||35 business days|
|Vermont||35 business days|
|Washington||45 working days|
|West Virginia||40 working days plus a “prompt” investigation|
There are different parties involved in the claims process. For a simple one-car accident, you would have yourself, the claims adjuster, and the auto body shop involved in the claim. If there are injuries or other cars involved, you may have doctors and other insurance carriers involved in the claim.
There are certain times when you should definitely file a claim. If the accident results in any injuries, you should file a claim. Also, if it is unclear whose fault it is, you should file a claim. File a claim in accidents where you damage another vehicle in order to pay for their damages.
You do have time to decide if you want to file a claim. There is a statute of limitations that is no less than one year. Each state is different. We list the statutes of limitations below depending on whether the claim is for an injury or property damage:
|State||Statute of limitations for bodily injury claims||Statute of limitations for property damage claims|
|Alabama||2 years||2 years|
|Alaska||2 years||2 years|
|Arizona||2 years||2 years|
|Arkansas||3 years||3 years|
|California||2 years||3 years|
|Colorado||3 years||3 years|
|Connecticut||2 years||2 years|
|Delaware||2 years||2 years|
|District of Columbia||3 years||3 years|
|Florida||4 years||4 years|
|Georgia||2 years||4 years|
|Hawaii||2 years||2 years|
|Idaho||2 years||3 years|
|Illinois||2 years||5 years|
|Indiana||2 years||2 years|
|Iowa||2 years||5 years|
|Kansas||2 years||2 years|
|Kentucky||1 year||2 years|
|Louisiana||1 year||1 year|
|Maine||6 years||6 years|
|Maryland||3 years||3 years|
|Massachusetts||3 years||3 years|
|Michigan||3 years||3 years|
|Minnesota||2 years||6 years|
|Mississippi||3 years||3 years|
|Missouri||5 years||5 years|
|Montana||3 years||2 years|
|Nebraska||4 years||4 years|
|Nevada||2 years||3 years|
|New Hampshire||3 years||3 years|
|New Jersey||6 years||6 years|
|New Mexico||3 years||4 years|
|New York||3 years||3 years|
|North Carolina||3 years||3 years|
|North Dakota||6 years||6 years|
|Ohio||4 years||4 years|
|Oklahoma||2 years||2 years|
|Oregon||2 years||6 years|
|Pennsylvania||2 years||2 years|
|Rhode Island||3 years||10 years|
|South Carolina||3 years||3 years|
|South Dakota||3 years||6 years|
|Tennessee||1 year||3 years|
|Texas||2 years||2 years|
|Utah||4 years||3 years|
|Vermont||3 years||3 years|
|Virginia||2 years||5 years|
|Washington||3 years||3 years|
|West Virginia||2 years||2 years|
|Wisconsin||3 years||6 years|
|Wyoming||4 years||4 years|
There are some accidents where it doesn’t make sense to file a claim and have your insurance premium go up. If you are in an at-fault accident and the damage is less than the deductible, don’t file a claim. The same is true for minor accidents where you’ll see a premium increase for three to five years because of the claim, even though you could have taken care of it easily out of pocket.2
There are different types of insurance coverage that you can make a claim on. Here’s a quick rundown of them.
|Coverage name||What it covers|
|Bodily injury liability||Medical expenses of someone you injured in an accident|
|Property damage liability||Repairs of the vehicle or other property you hit in an accident|
|Collision coverage||Repairs for your vehicle in an at-fault accident|
|Comprehensive coverage||Repairs or replacements to your vehicle when it’s damaged by outside events such as natural disasters or theft|
|Uninsured motorist coverage||Repairs for car’s damages when someone hits you without insurance, or your medical expenses if someone hits you without insurance|
|Emergency roadside service||Reimbursements when your car needs a tow, jump start, or another emergency service|
|Personal injury protection/medical payments coverage||Injuries to yourself or passengers in your car hurt in an at-fault accident; for personal injury protection, also lost wages and childcare expenses|
|Rental car coverage||Rental car costs while the vehicle is being repaired during a collision coverage claim|
There are certain things that you must do in order to properly file a claim. The process includes the following steps:
If you use your insurance carrier’s recommended auto body shop, it will often offer a workmanship guarantee that might not be available if you use another shop.
There are two types of insurance claims: first-party and third-party claims.
A first-party insurance claim is a claim that you file with your own insurance carrier. You are their client, thus the first party.
A third-party claim is an insurance claim you put on another person’s insurance policy. Third-party claims are common when you file a claim on the insurance policy of the person who hit you. You are not its client; thus, you are a third party.
Claims such as glass replacement and roadside assistance are usually handled quickly and are often first-party claims. Claims that take longer include medical claims, physical damage claims, and total loss claims.
These are some circumstances that can delay the completion of a claim:
There are some simple ways to speed up the claims process:
If you are unavailable at certain times, tell the claims representative the best time to reach you so that the claims adjuster can reach you easily.
How an insurance company pays out a claim will depend on the type of claim and the coverage the policyholder has. Liability coverage pays the medical bills and property damage of the other driver and their passengers to the auto body shop and medical providers directly. The exception is in no-fault states, where personal injury protection pays for injuries.
If you have collision coverage, the insurance company pays the auto body shop after you pay the deductible. Most insurance companies pay the auto body shop directly. However, there are instances, such as when the policyholder goes to an independent body shop, when the insurance company will pay the policyholder directly.
If a claim is taking too long, you should contact your claims adjuster or insurance agent to see what the holdup is. Ask about getting a rental car while your car is in the shop so that you can continue to go to work and run errands. If the time frame seems unreasonable, you may want to contact an attorney or call the state insurance department to file a complaint. See the contact information for your state’s insurance department below:
|State||Insurance department website||Phone number||Mailing address|
|Alabama||http://www.aldoi.gov||334-269-3550||201 Monroe St., Suite 502
Montgomery, AL 36104
|Alaska||https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/ins/||907-269-7900||550 W. Seventh Ave., Suite 1560
Anchorage, AK 99501-3567
|Arizona||https://insurance.az.gov/||602-364-3100||100 N. 15th Ave., Suite 261
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2630
|Arkansas||https://insurance.arkansas.gov/||501-371-2600||1 Commerce Way
Little Rock, AR 72202
|California||http://www.insurance.ca.gov||800-927-4357||300 S. Spring St., South Tower
Los Angeles, CA 90013
|Colorado||https://doi.colorado.gov/||303-894-7499||1560 Broadway, Suite 850
Denver, CO 80202
|Connecticut||https://portal.ct.gov/cid||860-297-3900||153 Market St., 7th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103
|Delaware||https://insurance.delaware.gov/||302-674-7300||1351 W. North St., Suite 101
Dover, DE 19904
|District of Columbia||http://www.disb.dc.gov||202-727-8000||1050 First St. NE, Suite 801
Washington, D.C. 20002
|Florida||http://www.floir.com||850-413-3140||The Larsen Building
200 E. Gaines St., Room 101A
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0301
|Georgia||https://oci.georgia.gov/||404-656-2070||2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, West Tower, Suite 702
Atlanta, GA 30334
|Hawaii||http://cca.hawaii.gov/ins/||808-586-2790||P.O. Box 3614
Honolulu, HI 96811
|Idaho||http://www.doi.idaho.gov/||208-334-4250||700 W. State St., 3rd Floor
Boise, ID 83720-0043
|Illinois||https://insurance.illinois.gov/||217-782-4515||320 W. Washington St.
Springfield, IL 62767-0001
|Indiana||http://www.in.gov/idoi||317-232-2385||311 W. Washington St., Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2787
|Iowa||https://iid.iowa.gov/||515-654-6600||1963 Bell Ave., Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50315
|Kansas||https://insurance.kansas.gov/||785-296-3071||1300 SW Arrowhead Road
Topeka, KS 66604-4073
|Kentucky||https://insurance.ky.gov||502-564-3630||500 Mero St. 2 SE 11
Frankfort, KY 40601
|Louisiana||http://www.ldi.la.gov||225-342-5423||1702 N. Third St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
|Maine||https://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/||207-624-8475||34 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0034
|Maryland||http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us||410-468-2090||200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202
|Massachusetts||https://www.mass.gov/orgs/division-of-insurance||617-521-7794||1000 Washington St., Suite 810
Boston, MA 02118
|Michigan||https://www.michigan.gov/difs/||517-284-8800||530 W. Allegan St.
Lansing, MI 48933
|Minnesota||https://mn.gov/commerce/industries/insurance/||651-296-4026||85 Seventh Place E., Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101
|Mississippi||http://www.mid.state.ms.us||601-359-3569||1001 Woolfolk State Office Building, 501 N. West St.
Jackson, MS 39201
|Missouri||https://insurance.mo.gov/||573-751-4126||301 W. High St.
P.O. Box 690
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0690
|Montana||https://csimt.gov/||406-444-2040||840 Helena Ave., Suite 270
Helena, MT 59601
941 O St., Suite 400
Lincoln, NE 68508-3639
|Nevada||https://doi.nv.gov/||775-687-0700||1818 E. College Parkway, Suite 103
Carson City, NV 89706
|New Hampshire||https://www.nh.gov/insurance/||603-271-2261||21 S. Fruit St., Suite 14
Concord, NH 03301-7317
|New Jersey||https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/index.html||609-292-5360||20 W. State St.
P.O. Box 325
Trenton, NJ 08625
|New Mexico||https://www.osi.state.nm.us/||855-427-5674||1120 Paseo de Peralta, Suite 428
Santa Fe, NM 87501
|New York||https://www.dfs.ny.gov/||212-480-6400||25 Beaver St.
New York, NY 10004
|North Carolina||https://www.ncdoi.gov/||855-408-1212||1201 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1201
|North Dakota||https://www.insurance.nd.gov/||701-328-2440||State Capitol
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 401, 5th Floor
Bismarck, ND 58505-0320
|Ohio||https://insurance.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odi||614-644-2658||50 W. Town St., 3rd Floor, Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43215-1067
|Oklahoma||https://www.oid.ok.gov/||405-521-2828||400 NE 50th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
|Oregon||https://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx||503-947-7980||P.O. Box 14480
Salem, OR 97309-0405
|Pennsylvania||https://www.insurance.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx||717-787-2317||1326 Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
|Rhode Island||https://dbr.ri.gov/divisions/insurance/||401-462-9500||1511 Pontiac Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920
|South Carolina||https://doi.sc.gov/||803-737-6160||1201 Main St., Suite 1000
Columbia, SC 29201
|South Dakota||https://dor.sd.gov/||605-773-4104||445 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501-3185
|Tennessee||https://www.tn.gov/commerce/insurance-division.html||615-741-2241||500 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 660
Nashville, TN 37243-0565
|Texas||https://www.tdi.texas.gov/||512-676-6000||333 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78701
|Utah||https://insurance.utah.gov/||801-957-9200||4315 S. 2700 W., Suite 2300
Taylorsville, UT 84114-6901
|Vermont||https://dfr.vermont.gov/industry/insurance||802-828-3301||89 Main St., Drawer 20
Montpelier, VT 05620-3101
1300 E. Main St.
Richmond, VA 23219
P.O. Box 40255
Olympia, WA 98504-0255
|West Virginia||http://www.wvinsurance.gov||304-558-3386||West Virginia Lottery Building
900 Pennsylvania Ave.
Charleston, WV 25302
|Wisconsin||https://oci.wi.gov/Pages/Homepage.aspx||608-266-3585||125 S. Webster St.
Madison, WI 53703-3474
106 E. Sixth Ave.
Cheyenne, WY 82002
An insurance adjuster is a person who works for the insurance carrier to evaluate claims and determine the value of them. The value determines how much the insurance carrier will pay in the claim.
Typically, insurance claims don’t take more than a month to complete unless there are reasons for the delay, such as major injuries or questions about coverage. You should make sure that you are available to talk to claims adjusters and provide as much information about the accident as possible to expedite the process. Visit our auto insurance FAQs page to learn more about auto insurance in your area.
How long does it take to get a settlement check after a car accident? Progressive.
When Not to File an Auto Insurance Claim. Infinity.