Can I sue an insurance company for additional charges incurred if it took 5 months to settle my claim?

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Can I sue an insurance company for additional charges incurred if it took 5 months to settle my claim?

I was recently paid by the other Insurance company for the initial damages to my vehicle but it took over 5 month for an arbitration panel to reach this decision and during that time I incurred additional expenses alternate transport due to the fact that my car was not able to operate safely on public roads. Can I sue the insurance company for these additional charges?

Asked on May 7, 2012 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding whether or not you have any recourse against your insurance company for the expenses that you incurred while waiting for a decision of the arbitration panel.  This answer can vary depending on the details of your insurance contract and also the insurance laws of your state.  Your insurance contract should lay out the terms by which you can find resolution against your insurance company for the manner by which your insurance carrier needs to handle insurance claims. 

 

 

 

Also, you may have rental coverage under your insurance contract for rental car coverage while your vehicle is being repaired or while your insurance claim is pending.  Usually your rental coverage will be for what is considered a “reasonable” time.  This is a flexible term and will always depend on the circumstances of the situation.  If you have done what is necessary to move the claim forward and you are awaiting for the insurance company to make a decision on your claim, then you are more than likely to be entitled to the full time of your rental coverage.  However, if you do not have rental car insurance, then you may not have any recourse for being out of a vehicle while you are waiting for your claim to be decided.

 

 

If your insurance carrier is not complying with the terms of your insurance contract and you are unable to get assistance from a claims supervisor with your insurance carrier, then you may wish to contact your state’s insurance commissioner and call in a complaint to let them know that you have not had a satisfactory experience with your insurance company.  Usually the state’s insurance commissioner will act quickly to rectify the situation.


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