When you settle an insurance claim, you are usually very eager to get your money. Because of the complicated nature of insurance claims and the number of people involved, you may not get your check as quickly as you would like. The exact time frame will depend on the specifics of your claim, but generally you should have your check within 30 days.
Although there is no fixed timeline in which insurance settlements are disbursed, it generally takes up to 30 days to receive the funds.
General Time Frame
It can commonly take up to 30 days to get your check because the claim settlement process can involve many steps. When the case is settled, the insurance adjuster will send you some paperwork, including a release. The release will state that you can never again seek money from the insurance company after the matter has been settled.
After you sign the release, the insurance company still needs to receive the release and issue a settlement check. If you are being represented by an attorney, the insurance company will send the check to your attorney and your attorney will write you a check for your portion after the attorney fees and any litigation costs have been deducted.
Factors That Make the Process Quicker
The insurance company will not issue the settlement check until you sign the release. Therefore, you should arrange to meet with your attorney as soon as possible when the release is available for review. Every day you wait to review the release with your attorney means another day without a check in your hand. If you settle the case without an attorney, the insurer will send the release and later the settlement check directly to you. This will shorten the process of getting your check.
Reasons for Possible Delays
Any small error or dispute, such as a disagreement about the language included in the release, can lengthen the process. If you have unpaid medical bills related to your claim, you or your attorney may need to speak with the medical providers and resolve those unpaid balances before your attorney can issue you a check. Medical providers may be ultimately willing to accept a reduced amount, but negotiations can be time consuming.
If You Do Not Get Your Check
If you do not receive your check within 30 days, this may be a sign that there is an issue. Stay in touch with your attorney, if you are represented by one, so you know what is going on. If your case is in litigation, you might be entitled to interest or penalties if the insurance company takes too long to send you the check, depending on the particular laws of your state. Follow up and send emails whenever possible to create a paper trial. If you are dealing directly with the insurance company, you can hire an attorney to determine your legal rights.
E.S. Martin is an attorney who has worked in civil litigation for more than eight years. He focuses his work in insurance, personal injury, subrogation and risk management.