How Long Does An Insurance Company Have To Investigate A Claim?

Posted on January 21, 2022


Long Nguyen | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

When you make an insurance claim, you deserve fast payment. If it seems like the insurance company is taking too long, you may start to wonder about timelines. How long can the insurance company take to investigate? Our insurance claim attorneys explain.

How long an insurance company has to investigate a claim varies from state to state. State laws create timelines for the investigation process. While these timelines vary, they all have two things in common – First, an investigation should occur within a reasonable amount of time. Second, the insurance company must pay promptly when someone submits a valid claim.

Since state laws vary, let’s discuss Louisiana as an example.

How long does the insurance company have to investigate a claim in Louisiana?

An insurance company has 30 days to complete an investigation after receiving proof of loss. Under Louisiana law R.S. 22 § 1892, the insurance company must initiate loss adjustment within 14 days. Then, they must issue a written offer within 30 days of proof of loss.

Louisiana Insurance Claims Adjustment Timelines

  • 14 days to initiate loss adjustment (R.S. 22 1892(A)(3))
  • If the loss is catastrophic, 30 days to initiate loss adjustment
  • When there is an emergency or disaster, up to 60 days to initiate loss adjustment
  • 30 days to make a written offer after receiving proof of loss (R.S. 22 1892(A)(1))
  • An initial offer for proof of loss may not cover personal property
  • Making a payment within 30 days counts as making a written offer to settle the claim

In Louisiana, how long can the insurance company take to start a claim?

Remember that Louisiana law R.S. 22 § 1892 gives the insurance company 14 days to “initiate loss adjustment.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean completing the investigation process – it means just getting started. They may only make a brief contact with you to comply with the requirement.

How long do I have to wait for the insurance company to make an offer?

The timeline for the insurance company to make a payment or a settlement offer begins when you submit proof of your losses. Once you do, they have 30 days to either pay the claim outright or make a settlement offer.

This rule requires you to submit accurate proof of your losses and expected payment. An experienced insurance claims attorney can help you compile the documentation you need to get the compensation that you deserve.

Can the insurance company refuse payment because of an arson investigation?

Louisiana law R.S. 22 § 1892(B)(2) suspends payment timelines where there is a suspicion of arson. The insurance company may refuse payment if there is an active arson investigation. Timelines resume when an investigating authority certifies that there is insufficient evidence of arson to warrant future proceedings.

What happens if the insurance company doesn’t follow the timelines?

State laws require insurance companies to pay claims fairly. The legal terminology is to act in good faith. In other words, they must hold up their end of the bargain.

When they don’t, they are acting in bad faith. They may not stall claims on purpose or deny good claims for no reason at all.

If an insurer denies a claim for a reason that is arbitrary, capricious, or without probable cause, they must pay a penalty. The penalty goes to the insured party who is making the claim. The insurance company must pay an extra $1,000 or 50% of the amount payable under the policy, whichever is greater. If they have already made a partial payment, they must pay 50% of the amount they underpaid. Attorneys fees and costs are covered as well. (Louisiana law R.S. 22 § 1892(B)(1)(a).)

How an insurance claim attorney can help

An insurance company has a legal duty to investigate a claim and pay promptly. If they don’t, you can take action to hold them accountable. They may owe you penalties, including attorney fees and costs.

At Insurance Claim HQ, our trial attorneys have experience helping people hold insurance companies accountable. Let us help you understand timelines and the documentation you need to submit. Then, we hold the insurance company accountable to ensure that you get a timely and fair payment.

We can help you fight back if your rights are violated. Contact us today to talk about your case.