AAA does not have a set time limit for filing claims and will consider a claim even if it is filed months or years after the incident occurred. However, AAA is more likely to deny a claim if the delay was unreasonable or if it compromised their ability to investigate.
Your AAA car insurance policy likely requires you to report an accident “promptly” or “as soon as possible.” But even though you have to immediately report the accident, that does not mean you have to immediately file a claim. In fact, you can wait 1-10 years to file a claim, depending on your state’s laws and the type of claim you need to file.
It’s important to keep in mind that the longer you wait to file a claim, the more difficult it will be for your insurance company to investigate and approve it. Filing a claim as soon as possible helps to ensure that everyone remembers the details of the accident and the evidence is still intact, so your claim is less likely to be challenged.
AAA allows you to file a claim online or over the phone. If you have any questions, you can call customer service at 1-800-222-4357.
You could have as little as 30 days to file a car insurance claim, or you could have months or even two to three years. Your policy probably states that you should report an accident or possible claim right away, but reporting an accident is different than filing a claim. After “promptly” reporting, you’ll have some time to file the official claim. Check your policy or contact your insurer directly for exact deadlines.… read full answer
If you intend to file a claim in court, you typically have two to three years after the accident to pursue damages in a lawsuit. Each state has its own statute of limitations for filing a claim in court, and deadlines can be different for personal injury and property damage claims. State laws range from one to six years, but two to three is most common.
Why is there a time limit on car insurance claims?
Time limits are in place to protect the insurance company’s ability to investigate a claim. Your insurer will collect a lot of information about the accident, including witness statements, police reports, photos of damage, medical and auto repair bills, and more. The insurance company may also send an adjuster to the scene of the accident or to inspect damaged property in person. As time goes on, evidence degrades and memories become foggy. Time limits make sure the accident can be thoroughly and accurately investigated.
There are reasons you may want to delay filing a claim, though. It may take weeks for the symptoms of certain injuries to show. You may also be getting treatments on a doctor’s schedule or want to seek a second medical opinion. Property damage is usually easier to see, but you may not find out about major problems with the alignment, suspension, or exhaust system until your car is in the shop weeks later. Since most insurers won’t allow you to file more than one claim per accident, it might be better to delay filing, so you don’t leave out something insurance would have covered.
While there are situations when it makes sense to wait, it’s almost always in your best interest to file a claim with your insurance company right away. The reality is the longer you wait, the more likely it is the insurance company will deny your claim. But you can still file a claim and even get it approved as long as your delay doesn’t prevent the insurer from investigating properly.
Drivers usually have 30 days to report a car accident to their insurance provider. Policies don’t always give a specific timeframe, though, and could simply state that a driver needs to report the accident “promptly.”
You should almost always report accidents to your insurance as soon as possible, since waiting too long could jeopardize a future claim or cause an at-fault driver to lose certain protections. There are certain situations where it might not be necessary, however.… read full answer
When You Can Skip Notifying Insurance (All Must Be True)
The accident happened with just your vehicle.
It was on your property.
There were no injuries involved.
The only damage was to your property.
Reporting a Car Accident vs. Filing a Claim
A common misconception is that reporting a car accident to insurance is the same as filing a claim. While filing a claim means you’re making a formal request to an insurance company for compensation, reporting an accident simply means you’re notifying your insurer that it happened.
In most cases, you’ll want to report an accident as soon as possible in order to get the claims process started. But even if you don’t initially plan on filing a claim, you should notify your insurance company just in case you discover additional damage or change your mind.
What Happens If You Delay Reporting a Car Accident?
If you wait too long to report your accident to insurance, it could cause problems down the road. For example, if you don’t initially report but realize later on that you need to file a claim, the insurance company has no way of knowing whether the damage is the result of the accident or something else that happened later. Or, if the accident was your fault and the other driver files a claim against you later on, your insurance company might deny you certain protections because you failed to promptly report.
Even if you don’t think you need to report the accident, it’s always in your best interest to do so. Many insurance companies have mobile apps and 24-hour hotlines to make the reporting process as quick and easy as possible. Also, keep in mind that even though you’re not legally obligated to notify your insurance company after a car accident, most states will require you to at least report it to the police if anyone is injured or if there is a certain amount of property damage.
It usually takes 30 days for insurance to pay out after a car accident. Most car insurance companies try to resolve accident claims as quickly as possible, which typically leads to a payout within a month of a claim being filed. However, it might take longer depending on several factors, including the state, the type of claim being filed, and the severity of damage or injuries.… read full answer
Some states have specific laws dictating how long an insurance company has to make a ruling and pay out on a claim. For example, insurers in California have 40 days to accept or deny a claim and 30 days to issue payment once the settlement has been accepted. And in Texas, insurers must decide on a claim within 45 days and make the payment within five days of approval.
Not all states provide exact timeframes, though. In Massachusetts, for example, insurance companies must pay claims where fault is clear within a “prompt and reasonable” period of time.
Factors That Affect the Claim Timeline
State timeframes for insurance claims (some states are stricter than others)
Type of claim being filed (bodily injury takes longer than property damage)
Extent of physical damage or injuries (severe accidents can take a long time to settle)
Communication between drivers, insurance companies, and adjusters (slow communication delays the claim timeline)
Understanding of policy and coverage (you might think your policy covers you in a situation when it really doesn’t)
Ability to pay insurance deductible (your insurance company won’t pay out until you’ve paid your deductible)
In particular, the type of claim being filed and the extent of the physical damage or injuries involved can significantly impact the payout timeline. Bodily injury claims take the longest to settle because multiple parties are involved, including your doctor, the car insurance company, and your health insurance provider.
Injury settlements usually have to wait until the patient has reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is when an individual has made a full recovery or has a full assessment of the extent of their injuries and the expected long-term medical costs. If it takes longer than 30 days for the patient to recover, then the settlement could be pushed back.
Conversely, a straightforward property damage claim where fault is clear can be settled in as little as two weeks.
If Your Insurance Company Is Not Cooperating
Even if your state doesn’t have specific laws establishing a claims timeline, you still have the right to be paid quickly and efficiently by the insurance company. If your insurance company is acting in an unethical manner and delaying payment without a clear reason, you can file a “bad faith” lawsuit. In addition to your original settlement amount, you could be paid extra for interest and penalties.
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