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Last updated: November 13, 2023

How Long Does an Auto Insurance Claim Take?

Most auto insurance claims take approximately two to four weeks to complete.

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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.

How Long Does a Car Insurance Claim Take?

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
Alabama 75 days
Alaska 40 working days
Arizona 40 days
Arkansas 45 working days
California 85 days
Colorado “Reasonably promptly”
Connecticut “With reasonable promptness”
Delaware 45 days
Florida 64 days
Georgia 40 days
Hawaii 45 days
Idaho “Reasonably and promptly”
Illinois 45 days
Indiana “Reasonably promptly”
Iowa 75 days
Kansas 25 working days
Kentucky 45 days
Louisiana “Reasonably promptly”
Maine “Within a reasonable time following receipt of written notice”
Maryland 30 working days
Massachusetts “Promptly”
Michigan “Promptly”
Minnesota 45 business days
Mississippi 40-50 days
Missouri 25 days
Montana “Reasonably promptly”
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”
Ohio 46 days
Oklahoma 75 days
Oregon 60 days
Pennsylvania 25 days
Rhode Island 55 business days
South Carolina With “reasonable promptness”
South Dakota No specific requirement
Tennessee With “reasonable promptness”
Texas 35 business days
Utah 45 days
Vermont 35 business days
Virginia “Reasonably promptly”
Washington 45 working days
West Virginia 40 working days plus a “prompt” investigation
Wisconsin 10 days
Wyoming “Reasonably promptly”

Who’s Involved in the Claims Process?

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.

When Should You File a 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

When Not to File a Claim

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

Types of Insurance Coverage

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

What You Should Do When Filing a Claim

There are certain things that you must do in order to properly file a claim. The process includes the following steps:

  1. Exchange information with the other party and gather evidence about the accident.
  2. Get a police report if another car is involved.
  3. Report the accident to and file a claim with your insurance carrier in a timely manner, adhering to the statute of limitations in your state.
  4. Select an auto body shop to fix your car if there is damage.


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.

Types of Insurance Claims

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.

Common Factors That Can Delay a Claim

These are some circumstances that can delay the completion of a claim:

  • Poor communication between you and the claims department
  • Misunderstandings about coverage
  • Dissatisfaction with repairs
  • Natural disaster claims
  • Inability to meet the deductible

How to Speed Up Claims Settlements

There are some simple ways to speed up the claims process:

  1. File promptly.
  2. Be transparent about fault and actions leading up to an accident.
  3. Provide as much detail as possible about what happened during the accident.
  4. Be available for adjusters and claims representatives to speak with you.


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 Do Insurance Companies Pay Out Claims?

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.

What Should You Do if a Claim Is Taking Too Long?

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 334-269-3550 201 Monroe St., Suite 502

Montgomery, AL 36104

Alaska 907-269-7900 550 W. Seventh Ave., Suite 1560

Anchorage, AK 99501-3567

Arizona 602-364-3100 100 N. 15th Ave., Suite 261

Phoenix, AZ 85007-2630

Arkansas 501-371-2600 1 Commerce Way

Little Rock, AR 72202

California 800-927-4357 300 S. Spring St., South Tower

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Colorado 303-894-7499 1560 Broadway, Suite 850

Denver, CO 80202

Connecticut 860-297-3900 153 Market St., 7th Floor

Hartford, CT 06103

Delaware 302-674-7300 1351 W. North St., Suite 101

Dover, DE 19904

District of Columbia 202-727-8000 1050 First St. NE, Suite 801

Washington, D.C. 20002

Florida 850-413-3140 The Larsen Building

200 E. Gaines St., Room 101A

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0301

Georgia 404-656-2070 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, West Tower, Suite 702

Atlanta, GA 30334

Hawaii 808-586-2790 P.O. Box 3614

Honolulu, HI 96811

Idaho 208-334-4250 700 W. State St., 3rd Floor

Boise, ID 83720-0043

Illinois 217-782-4515 320 W. Washington St.

Springfield, IL 62767-0001

Indiana 317-232-2385 311 W. Washington St., Suite 300

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2787

Iowa 515-654-6600 1963 Bell Ave., Suite 100

Des Moines, IA 50315

Kansas 785-296-3071 1300 SW Arrowhead Road

Topeka, KS 66604-4073

Kentucky 502-564-3630 500 Mero St. 2 SE 11

Frankfort, KY 40601

Louisiana 225-342-5423 1702 N. Third St.

Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Maine 207-624-8475 34 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333-0034

Maryland 410-468-2090 200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700

Baltimore, MD 21202

Massachusetts 617-521-7794 1000 Washington St., Suite 810

Boston, MA 02118

Michigan 517-284-8800 530 W. Allegan St.

Lansing, MI 48933

Minnesota 651-296-4026 85 Seventh Place E., Suite 500

St. Paul, MN 55101

Mississippi 601-359-3569 1001 Woolfolk State Office Building, 501 N. West St.

Jackson, MS 39201

Missouri 573-751-4126 301 W. High St.

P.O. Box 690

Jefferson City, MO 65102-0690

Montana 406-444-2040 840 Helena Ave., Suite 270

Helena, MT 59601

Nebraska 402-471-2201 Terminal Building

941 O St., Suite 400

Lincoln, NE 68508-3639

Nevada 775-687-0700 1818 E. College Parkway, Suite 103

Carson City, NV 89706

New Hampshire 603-271-2261 21 S. Fruit St., Suite 14

Concord, NH 03301-7317

New Jersey 609-292-5360 20 W. State St.

P.O. Box 325

Trenton, NJ 08625

New Mexico 855-427-5674 1120 Paseo de Peralta, Suite 428

Santa Fe, NM 87501

New York 212-480-6400 25 Beaver St.

New York, NY 10004

North Carolina 855-408-1212 1201 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1201

North Dakota 701-328-2440 State Capitol

600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 401, 5th Floor

Bismarck, ND 58505-0320

Ohio 614-644-2658 50 W. Town St., 3rd Floor, Suite 300

Columbus, OH 43215-1067

Oklahoma 405-521-2828 400 NE 50th St.

Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Oregon 503-947-7980 P.O. Box 14480

Salem, OR 97309-0405

Pennsylvania 717-787-2317 1326 Strawberry Square

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Rhode Island 401-462-9500 1511 Pontiac Ave.

Cranston, RI 02920

South Carolina 803-737-6160 1201 Main St., Suite 1000

Columbia, SC 29201

South Dakota 605-773-4104 445 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, SD 57501-3185

Tennessee 615-741-2241 500 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 660

Nashville, TN 37243-0565

Texas 512-676-6000 333 Guadalupe St.

Austin, TX 78701

Utah 801-957-9200 4315 S. 2700 W., Suite 2300

Taylorsville, UT 84114-6901

Vermont 802-828-3301 89 Main St., Drawer 20

Montpelier, VT 05620-3101

Virginia 804-371-9741 Tyler Building
1300 E. Main St.

Richmond, VA 23219

Washington 360-725-7100 Insurance Building

P.O. Box 40255

Olympia, WA 98504-0255

West Virginia 304-558-3386 West Virginia Lottery Building

900 Pennsylvania Ave.

Charleston, WV 25302

Wisconsin 608-266-3585 125 S. Webster St.

Madison, WI 53703-3474

Wyoming 307-777-740 Herschler Building

106 E. Sixth Ave.

Cheyenne, WY 82002

What Is an Insurance Adjuster?

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.


  1. How long does it take to get a settlement check after a car accident? Progressive.

  2. When Not to File an Auto Insurance Claim. Infinity.