Q

How long does it take for homeowners insurance to pay a claim?

A

It can take anywhere from a couple of days to months to get your payment after the insurance company approves your claim — it all depends on the rules of your state.

Jennifer GimbelStephanie Nieves author photo

By 

Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel is a managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

 & Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is a former editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Money, HerMoney, PayScale, and The Muse.

Updated January 13, 2022 | 3 min read

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When your home or personal belongings are damaged in a covered loss, you can file a home insurance claim to pay for repairs or replacements. If your claim is accepted, you’ll receive a settlement payment to cover the damage. But when you’ll receive those payments varies anywhere from days to months depending on where you live and your home insurance company.

Key Takeaways

  • Each state has its own rules for when insurance companies must make a payment toward a home insurance claim — if there’s even a set time limit at all.

  • Generally, you can expect payment for a claim anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after it’s been accepted by your insurance company.

  • You can speed up the claims settlement process by providing as many details as you can at the start and keeping in touch with your insurance company.

  • Complicated or expensive liability claims can take longer to process than more straightforward property damage claims.

  • If you don’t receive your claim settlement within your state’s timeframe, you can file a complaint with your state insurance commissioner or consult a lawyer for what to do next.

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How long does it take for homeowners insurance to pay a claim?

Generally, it takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive payment for a claim — though exactly how long it takes you will depend on the laws of your state and your insurance company.

Some states like Minnesota and Texas require companies to pay out claims within five days after acceptance, while others like Florida give companies up to 90 days to send your payment. And then some states like Mississippi and Virginia have no set time limit at all.

Here’s a breakdown of how long your insurance company has to make a payment based on your state’s insurance regulations.

StateAfter accepting a claim, insurers must make a payment within …
Alabama30 days
Alaska30 days
Arizona30 days
Arkansas10 days
California30 days
Colorado30 to 45 days
Connecticut30 days
DelawareNo set time limit
District of ColumbiaNo set time limit
Florida90 days
Georgia10 days
Hawaii30 days
IdahoNo set time limit
Illinois30 days
IndianaNo set time limit
Iowa30 days
KansasNo set time limit
Kentucky30 days
Louisiana30 days
MaineNo set time limit
Maryland15 days
MassachusettsNo set time limit
Michigan60 days
Minnesota5 days
MississippiNo set time limit
MissouriNo set time limit
Montana30 to 60 days
Nebraska15 days
Nevada30 days
New Hampshire5 days
New Jersey30 to 90 days
New MexicoNo set time limit
New York5 days
North Carolina10 days
North DakotaNo set time limit
Ohio10 days
OklahomaNo set time limit
OregonNo set time limit
PennsylvaniaNo set time limit
Rhode Island30 days
South Carolina20 to 40 days
South DakotaNo set time limit
Tennessee30 days
Texas5 days
Utah30 days
Vermont10 days
VirginiaNo set time limit
Washington15 days
West Virginia15 days
Wisconsin30 days
WyomingNo set time limit

If your state doesn’t require insurance companies to pay out claims within a certain period of time, they still likely require insurers to investigate the claim within a certain number of days after receipt — often 15 to 30 days.

And then most states also have rules about how soon after receipt of a claim an insurance company must tell you whether it’s been accepted or denied — usually anywhere from 30 to 45 days.

You can visit your state’s insurance department website for more information about the specific rules about claims processing in your state.

What if my state doesn’t have a set time limit?

If your state doesn’t have a set time limit for payment of claims, the best way to find out what the payment timeline will be is by reaching out to your insurance company directly. 

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5 factors that affect the speed of the claims process

A few factors that influence the speed of the claims settlement process include:

  1. How long you wait to contact your insurance company. You should always file a claim as fast as possible after the loss.

  2. How quickly you provide all of the documents to your claims adjuster. The longer your insurance adjuster has to wait for key pieces of information to process your claim, the longer the process takes.

  3. The type of damage or loss. More straightforward property damage claims — like if a tree falls on your garage — are faster to process than more complicated liability claims that involve more people.

  4. How responsive you are to questions from your assigned claims adjuster. Again, the longer you take to respond to your adjuster, the longer the process will take.

  5. The total cost of the damage or loss. More expensive claims typically take longer to process than less expensive ones.

How to speed up the claims settlement process

Here are a few ways to speed up the claims settlement process — and ideally get paid faster!

  • File your claim ASAP. Most home insurance policies have time limits for when you need to file a claim. Plus, the faster you file it, the fresher in your mind the incident is — and the more information you’ll be able to provide your insurance company.

  • Keep in touch with your claims adjuster regularly. Your insurance company should be able to reach you to ask questions and clarify information regarding your claim. This might include setting up a home inspection to estimate the cost of damage. Many insurance companies have a feature that lets you submit docs, schedule appointments, and track the status of your claim all online or through its mobile app.

  • Document expenses and payments associated with your claim. Save receipts for any immediate expenses you have after a loss, like if you need to board up a broken window, as well as more substantial repair bills. Have your home inventory handy — your insurance provider may need it to verify the actual cash value of your personal belongings as part of the settlement process.

  • Sign up to receive your claim settlement payment electronically. This way you won’t need to wait to receive your check through the mail. If the option is available to you, you could receive your claim settlement payment directly in your bank account in as little as 48 hours after your claim has been approved.

What can delay my claim payment?

On the flip side, the insurance claim settlement process can be delayed for any of the following reasons:

  • Didn’t submit the proper paperwork

  • Took too long to answer questions from your claims adjuster

  • Didn’t keep a home inventory or document the expenses related to your claim

  • Filed a complicated claim that involves statements from multiple third parties

  • Filed an expensive claim that takes longer to be approved

How will I receive my home insurance settlement payment?

Depending on your home insurance claim, you may receive multiple payments throughout the settlement process. The initial payment is not always the final one — insurance companies often send out an advance toward your settlement amount so you can get started on repairs as soon as possible.

You may also receive separate payments based on the structures and personal belongings damaged in a covered event. For example, if a burglar breaks your bedroom window and steals your laptop, you may receive one check to reimburse you for window repairs and another to replace the laptop.

In some cases, the payment may go directly to you. But other times the payment may be sent to the contractor who’s overseeing your home’s repairs or to your mortgage lender if you’re currently paying off your home and they’re listed on your home insurance policy.

What if my claim settlement payment is delayed?

If your insurance company hasn’t issued your claim settlement payment within the timeframe set by your state, you may earn interest on your unpaid settlement depending on your state laws. You may also have the right to file a lawsuit against your insurer for payment.

Before things get to that point, follow up with your insurance company to try to resolve the issue outside the courts. Document any communication you have, including:

  • Date and time of communication

  • Phone number you called

  • The name of the person you spoke with

  • Brief summary of the conversation

And keep copies of any correspondence you have with the company, including all emails you send and receive.

Still no luck getting your payment? It may be time to file a complaint with your state insurance commissioner and consult with an insurance attorney for next steps.

How to report your insurance company to your state insurance commissioner

Follow these steps to report your insurance company to your state insurance commissioner for delayed payment online.

  1. Gather all of your policy and claims information. This includes documentation that your claim settlement was approved, the date of acceptance, and any communication you’ve had with your insurance company since then.

  2. Visit your state insurance commissioner website. From there, navigate to the online consumer complaint portal to enter details about your claim, expected settlement payment, and details about your home insurance policy.

  3. Submit your complaint. You should receive an acknowledgement letter that they received your complaint along with a case number. From there, they’ll send your complaint to your insurance company and request a written response.

  4. Wait for a response. Once they’ve completed the investigation, they’ll send you a formal letter detailing whether the company violated insurance law and the resolution they’ve come to.

Not happy with your home insurance company? We’ll help you switch!

Some insurance companies pay out claims more quickly and reliably than others. Not happy with your current insurer’s claims process? Reach out to Policygenius. Our team of experts can help you compare quotes from a slew of different companies to help you find the one with a reliable claims team — and a good deal to boot! 

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Frequently asked questions

How long does it take for home insurance companies to pay out a claim?

It can take home insurance companies anywhere from a few days to several months to pay out your claim. It all depends on the insurance laws in your state.

How long does a homeowners insurance claim take in Florida?

Florida insurance companies can take nearly five months to process your claim and issue your payment, according to state law.

Here’s how many days they have to complete each step in the claims process:

  • 14 days to notify you that they’ve received your claim
  • 30 days to notify you of whether your claim is accepted, rejected, or needs to be investigated
  • 90 days to send your full settlement payment after your claim has been accepted