In Texas, an insurance company usually must pay your claim within five business days of approving the claim.
There are generally three steps to the insurance process in Texas. These steps are:
- Providing notice of the claim;
- Claim acknowledgment and investigation; and
- Claim approval or denial.
Once you file your claim, the insurance company has 15 days to acknowledge it and request documentation. In most cases, your claim must be approved or denied within 15 days of the date your insurance carrier receives all required documents.
In some circumstances, your insurance carrier can extend the time to approve or deny your claim by 45 days. You should talk to a Texas personal injury attorney today to discuss the insurance process, your rights, and your options in more detail.
Providing Notice of the Claim
The first step in the insurance process is to provide notice of your claim.
You should provide notice of your claim to your insurance carrier immediately following an accident. Be sure to take photos of your vehicle to provide evidence of damages.
At this point, if you are considering a personal injury case, it is best to complete this step alongside an experienced personal injury attorney. Insurance adjusters are professionals, whose real purpose is to limit the costs of claims.
A seasoned attorney knows what information is necessary to obtain the best possible settlement and make certain the insurance company does not receive claim information that will work to your detriment or to which it is not entitled.
Claim Acknowledgment and Investigation Process
The second step in the insurance process is the acknowledgment and investigation process. The investigation process provides the insurance company with 15 days from the date that you submitted your claim to:
- Acknowledge your claim;
- Begin its investigation; and
- Request any information it reasonably requires.
Once your insurance carrier has completed both the claim acknowledgment and investigation process, it may approve or deny your claim.
Claim Approval or Denial
The third step in the insurance process is the insurance company’s approval or denial of your claim. Your insurance carrier has 15 days from the date they received all requested documents to make a determination on your claim.
The insurance company will often request unnecessary or non-relevant documents as a reason to delay a decision regarding your claim indefinitely. It often takes an attorney to force the insurance company to make a final determination regarding your claim. If your claim is approved, your insurance company has five days from that date to settle your claim.
In some circumstances, your insurance carrier can gain additional time to settle your claim. Your insurance company can get a 45-day extension to make a determination on your claim. Your insurance company must send you notice that it is using its 45-day extension and tell you the reason for the delay.
An insurance carrier may be penalized under Texas law if they delay paying your claim for more than 60 days after receiving all requested documentation. In this case, you may have the right to collect:
- The value of your claim;
- Attorney’s fees; and
- 18% annual interest.
The personal injury attorneys at The Francis Firm can help you determine what penalties may apply to your case and get you the financial compensation you deserve.
How to Speed up the Process
There are several steps you can take to speed up the insurance process. Steps that you can take on your own include:
- Knowing your policy;
- Documenting your claim carefully; and
- Submitting a complete, detailed proof of loss form to your insurance company.
Contacting a personal injury attorney in Texas is the most effective way to speed up the insurance process. The personal injury attorneys at The Francis Firm will push your insurance carrier to pay your claim within the statutory time limits.
If your insurance carrier fails to do so, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Michael Francis is Board Certified in Personal Injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has experience battling insurance companies.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.