More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
Published November 17, 2020
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When your home or personal belongings are damaged in a covered loss, you can file a home insurance claim to cover necessary repairs or replacements. If your claim is accepted, you’ll receive a settlement payment (or several) to cover the damage. But when you’ll receive those payments varies greatly based on the state you live in and your insurance provider.
Some states, like Texas, require home insurance companies to send payment for a claim in as little as five days after accepting it, while insurance providers in Florida have 90 days after accepting a claim to pay for it, and some states, like Kansas, don’t have any provisions that require insurance companies to pay a claim within a certain timeframe.
On top of your state’s regulations, insurance companies may also have some of their own policies, so the best way to find out what the claims timeline will be is by reaching out to your provider directly. You can also search your state’s insurance department website for more information about rules in your state.
Each state has its own rules for when insurance companies must make a payment toward a home insurance claim, or even whether or not there is a mandated time frame to begin with
Texas, for example, requires home insurers to pay a claim within five days of accepting it, while Florida gives insurers 90 days to make a payment, and Kansas has no set rule for when insurance companies must pay a claim
Generally, you can expect payment for an accepted claim anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of filing it with your homeowners insurance company
You can expedite the claims settlement process by providing as many details as you can at the start and staying in regular contact with your insurance company
The amount of time it takes for homeowners insurance to pay a claim varies on a state-by-state-basis. In some states, insurers are required to pay a claim within a certain timeframe, while others have no such rule. Insurers in Texas, for example, have five days after accepting a home insurance claim to pay for the damage. Meanwhile, insurers in Florida have 90 days to pay or deny a home insurance claim after it’s been reported, and in Kansas, home insurance companies are not required to pay a claim within a certain period of time at all, though they must investigate the claim within 30 days of its receipt. Some 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.
|After accepting a claim, insurers in…||must make a payment in…|
|California||40 days from "proof of claim"|
|Texas||5 business days|
|New York||5 business days|
|Georgia||10 calendar days|
Generally it will take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive payment for a claim. The timing will also depend on other factors, like the type of damage or loss. Some types of damage are straightforward, like if a tree fell on your garage, but others are more complicated, like a liability claim that involves other parties.
Your responsiveness during the claims settlement process also has an influence on how long it’ll take for your insurer to pay a claim. The faster you report the incident and the more information you provide during the process, the quicker your insurance company can settle it and pay for the damage.
You can reach out to your insurance company directly to ask how soon they’ll pay a claim after it’s been accepted, although you may not get as clear an answer from them as you’d like. You can also go to your state’s insurance department website to find out about any regulations specific to your state.
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Some insurance companies pay out claims more quickly and reliably than others, which is why it’s always important to read reviews while you’re shopping for coverage — that way you’ll have a better sense of which companies are known for their painless claims process.
There are also a number of factors that influence the speed of the claims settlement process. Some of those include:
How long you wait to contact your insurance company (most insurance companies stipulate that you should file a claim promptly after the loss)
How quickly you provide all the necessary documents and complete the claims process
The type of damage or loss
How responsive you are to questions and requests from your assigned claims adjustor
The total cost of the damage or loss
You can help speed up the pace by providing as many details as you can at the start of the process to eliminate too much back-and-forth with your insurance provider. Below are some more proactive measures you can take to expedite the process:
Your insurance company should be able to reach you to ask questions and clarify information regarding your claim, so try to keep yourself available for these conversations. You will also be assigned a claims adjuster who may inspect your home to estimate the cost of damage, either virtually or in-person. You should stay in regular contact with them too. Your insurance company may even have a feature that lets you track the status of your claim through their mobile app or website.
You should keep track of any expenses related to your claim, including any payments as they come in and documentation that verifies the value of your damaged structures or items. Save receipts for any immediate expenses you have after a loss, like if you need to board up a broken glass door. If you have a home inventory, then you already have a list of your personal belongings and their value; this could come in handy if your insurance provider needs to verify the actual cash value of your personal belongings as part of the settlement process.
Some insurance companies offer an e-payment process which you can access through a smartphone or an online portal. This makes the actual payment process much faster than getting a check through the mail. If the option to enroll is available to you, you could receive a payment in as little as 48 hours with some providers.
Depending on the nature of 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 stranger breaks into your bedroom through your window while you’re away and steals a personal item, like 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 a payment might also be sent to the contractor who oversees 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.
Stephanie Nieves is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in auto and home insurance. She's been writing about insurance, finance and financial planning since 2018, and loves helping readers get the knowledge they need to make financial decisions with confidence. Her words can also be found on PayScale, Fairygodboss, and The Muse.
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