The aftermath of an incident that requires you to claim on your auto insurance can be stressful. Whether it is an accident, theft, vandalism, fire, or natural disaster, you’ll likely want to move on as soon as possible.
Due to this, it’s understandable that you’ll want the claims process to be completed as soon as possible but exactly how long does it take? That’s what we’re going to find out here with all the information you need.
How Long Does an Auto Insurance Claim Take to Settle in Canada?
In Canada, an auto insurance claim can be settled in just four to six weeks or as long as two years. The specific length of time it takes to settle an auto insurance claim depends on many factors, such as the severity of any injuries, the complexity of the case, the availability of evidence, and more.
To get an understanding of exactly how long it will take to settle your insurance claim, let’s look at some of these factors in more detail.
Complexity of the case
Simple cases with clear liability are settled relatively quickly, while complicated cases generally take longer. For example, if it is an accident involving multiple vehicles, there may be a lot of arguments about who was at fault, making the case take a long time to resolve. This may spill over into legal disputes, causing further delays.
Severity of the injury
Another factor that affects how long an auto insurance claim takes to settle is the severity of the injury sustained. The process will be faster if the injuries are minor, such as cuts and small bruises. However, it’ll take longer if the injury is severe, such as a head injury or worse.
Generally, when injuries require ongoing medical treatment, it takes time to determine the full extent of the injury and associated medical cost. This uncertainty will prolong the claims process.
Dispute is the most common factor that prolongs insurance claims resolution. Disputes between any two parties in the claim and at any time in the process will cause delays.
Common disputes that extend the time it takes to settle an auto insurance claim are liability disputes over who is at fault for an accident, coverage dispute between policyholders and the insurance company over the extent of the coverage, and disagreement over the compensation amount.
Availability of evidence
The availability of evidence can expedite an auto insurance claim process. Conversely, a lack of evidence (or dispute over the available evidence) can delay the process.
Evidence is vital to prove liability. So, if there’s clear and compelling evidence, there may be fewer disputes over liability and the insurance company may also do less investigation, resulting in faster resolution.
Every insurance company has its own policies and procedures, and these can either expedite or delay the claims process.
For example, an insurance company with streamlined and straightforward processes may offer fast claims processing, while bureaucratic companies with complex processes may take longer to resolve cases. Also, a smaller insurance company that has limited claims resources will take longer to process claims than a big insurance company that has all the resources.
What Can Be Done to Speed Up an Auto Insurance Claim?
Thankfully, you can do your bit to push things along and get your auto insurance claim settled sooner, rather than later. Some things you can do are:
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
Having an experienced auto insurance lawyer can help speed up the legal process and ensure your claim is resolved faster. Experienced lawyers are able to navigate through the often-complicated landscape of an auto insurance claim process and ensure a swift and best-value resolution.
For claims where there isn’t litigation, having an insurance broker can also be invaluable as they’ll have expert knowledge of the claims process. They’ll be able to give you bespoke advice on how to navigate the challenges of a claim.
Know that the availability of evidence can expedite an auto insurance claim process. So, gathering compelling evidence to support your claim can help with faster resolution.
These may include pictures of the accident scene, witness testimony, medical reports, etc. Also, record any phone calls you make, and keep all receipts of repairs.
Report Your Claim Immediately
Your insurance company will initiate the process of paying out an auto insurance claim only after it is contacted. So, waiting to contact your insurance company only stretches how long it’ll take to settle the claim.
Therefore, report your claim to your insurance agent as soon as it happens, or as soon as it is possible to do so. Not only that, but it’s important to file your claim correctly to avoid being asked for further information or to resubmit your claim.
Also, note that evidence becomes less reliable with time. So the longer you wait to contact your insurance company, the more difficulty they may have with their investigations. Not only can this extend the claim process, but it can also even lead to your claim being denied.
Your insurance company will be in communication with you to establish specific details related to your claim. Missing their calls or not replying to emails will only delay things.
Thus, to keep things going, ensure that all the phone calls and emails from the insurance company are attended to immediately.
For simple claims, you are often only looking at a few weeks to get it settled. However, for more complex claims, the process can be a frustratingly long one and can take years to fully resolve. It’s important to look at the factors above to get a better idea of how long your claim will take.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to speed up your claim so make sure to follow these tips to minimize delays. If you need further advice or are on the lookout for a new auto insurance policy, contact Marathon Insurance today to see how we can help!
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