How long is an insurance company allowed to keep a claim open?

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How long is an insurance company allowed to keep a claim open?

About 10 months ago, I was in an accident. A couple days later I filed a claim with my insurance company that I had signed with 3 weeks prior. I didn’t have a police report and no one else was involved in the accident, however the company asked for 3 documents as proof of date. The company then totaled out the car without any settlement. Months past as I made multiple phone calls and emails and them telling me they’re waiting on a response from management. They never call back nor give any updates. It’s now almost a year later and still no response. My finance company has reached out and they also get no response. At this point I don’t know what else to do as I still owe my finance company for this car that can’t be released to me since it’s been totaled out. Can anyone give me any advice on what I should do next?

Asked on August 22, 2017 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no specific time frame, but they must act in "good faith" to settle or resolve the matter within a "reasonable" (given the circumstances) time period. Based on what you write, they have not done this. Your recourse--the way to force a resolution--is to sue the insurer for "breach of contract": for violating their contractual obligation (the insurance policy is a contract) to pay you for your loss. You sue the insurer, not the insurance agent or broker.


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