Is there a time frame from when a vehcile is reported stolen until when the insurance company has to pay out on the claim?

UPDATED: May 18, 2009

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Is there a time frame from when a vehcile is reported stolen until when the insurance company has to pay out on the claim?

I would like to know if there is a law that states a time frame from when a vehicle is reported stolen and from the time the insurance company has to pay if the vehicle has ot bee found.

Asked on May 18, 2009 under Insurance Law, Massachusetts


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Absent specific information written into the policy, the insurance company waits a "reasonable" amount of time to see if the stolen vehicle is recovered.  That timeframe varies from insurance company to insurance company, with the average being two to four weeks.  In the interim, if you have rental car coverage on your policy, your insurer should be providing you with a rental vehicle up to your policy limits.  If it has been over a month since your vehicle was stolen, contact the adjuster, then the adjuster's superior and get an answer.  If you are not satisfied that they are working on settling your claim, contact your state's department of insurance and file a complaint.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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