When your property is damaged by a storm, a fire, or a criminal act, it’s helpful to have an insurance policy in place. A property damage insurance claim may help you recoup the money required to repair or replace the property in question. However, policyholders should be aware that actually getting that money can be a lengthy process, especially if the insurance company attempts to deny or delay the claim.
This raises an important question: About how long will it take for a property damage claim to be paid? The answer is highly variable, as there are a number of factors that can affect the timeline.
How Long Will It Take to Reach a Settlement?
The timeline required to settle an insurance claim may vary depending on the extent of the damage and the responsiveness of the insurance company. While some claims are resolved within a few weeks, others may take months. Some take years.
Most of the time, an insurance adjuster will call you within a couple of days of you filing the claim. However, there may be a delay in cases involving a natural disaster, in which a number of your neighbors are likely filing claims at the same time. Following this initial contact, it may be another few days before the adjuster can meet you to inspect the damaged property.
Note that, after you file a claim, you should get some kind of notification that your insurance company has received this. You’ll typically receive this confirmation within 30 days at the most.
What Factors Can Affect the Timeline of My Claim?
There are several factors that can influence the timeline of your property damage claim. Here are some of the primary ones.
- When you initiate the claim. Insurance companies generally expect you to initiate the claims process as soon as possible following the damage. The sooner you file, the more rapidly your claim can be processed. On the other hand, delaying your claim may provide the insurance company with grounds to deny it altogether.
- The nature of the damage. Extensive damage, requiring complex or expensive repairs, generally translates into a longer claims process, as the insurance company will want to carefully inspect your property and negotiate the most cost-effective settlement. For more minimal damage, the claims process should be more expedient.
- Your level of communication. During the claims process, your insurance company will likely ask you to provide some information or some evidence. The more promptly you cooperate, the more expediently your claim can be resolved.
- Disputes over liability. If another party’s behavior (or negligence) contributed to the property damage, then you may need to file a claim against that party’s liability insurance. However, if they or their insurance company dispute their liability, that can extend your claims process considerably.
- Your legal representation. In some cases, hiring an attorney can actually make your claims process take longer. That’s not a bad thing, though; while it may delay payment, it may also result in more robust compensation, plus less headache and hassle on your part.
If you have questions about a property damage claim you’ve filed in Texas, we’d love to answer. Contact the insurance attorneys at McLaurin Law Firm at your convenience.