Depending on where you live and state law, an insurance company can take several weeks or several months to issue a payout after you file a home insurance or renters insurance claim.
In some places, state law requires insurers to pay in a reasonable amount of time while other states give insurers between 10 and 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim and 40 days to accept or deny it. Unfortunately for renters and homeowners, there’s no overarching federal law that stipulates a payout timeframe.
The claims process can vary by state. Some state laws don’t specify a specific time frame for insurance payouts and only grant a “reasonable” amount of time to either deny or pay a claim. Here’s the rundown for a few states:
- California: Insurers have 40 days to either accept or deny a claim. However, insurers can request additional time. However, they must notify the policyholder every 30 days about the status of their claim. Once insurers accept a claim and agree to a payout, payment must be issued no more than 30 days later. However, this stipulation does not apply when the policy “provides for a waiting period after acceptance of claim and before payment of benefits,” state law says
- Kansas: An insurance company must investigate your claim within 30 days once you’ve filed. If insurers need more time to investigate a claim, they must notify the policyholder every 45 days in writing of the investigation’s status. However, there’s no state law for when an insurer must pay a claim.
- Missouri: “Missouri law states that insurers have 10 working days to acknowledge a claim and respond to all communication from the insured,” Huff says. “Insurers have 15 working days to notify the insured of acceptance or denial of the claim after all forms have been submitted. Insurers may request more time, but they must provide a status update regarding the investigation within 45 days of the notice and every 45 days thereafter.”
- Texas: An insurer must acknowledge your claim within 15 days of receiving it.It then must accept or deny your claim within 15 days of receiving all necessary documentation. In some cases, insurers are allowed an additional 45 days to make a decision, but they must inform the policyholder of this in writing. An insurer has five days to issue payment once it has agreed to pay your claim.
For more information, check the website of your state’s insurance department or call them for more information.