When Oklahomans suffer a property loss and make an insurance claim, they want to get a decision and receive their payment as quickly as possible. While it is understandable that the insurance company will need some time to inspect the damage, look at the details of the policy and determine the value of what was lost, there are still time limits that must be adhered to. Knowing the law is important in this respect, especially if there are holdups or problems with the claim.
Understanding the number of days for various parts of an insurance claim
The insurer will let the claimant know within 45 days if the claim has been accepted or denied. The insurer could also say that the claim needs to be investigated further. When the claim stems from a natural disaster or a catastrophic weather event—based on a declaration from the Governor—there can be an extension of 20 days.
The investigation of a claim must be completed within 60 days once the claimant has notified the insurer except in cases where completing it in that time frame is impossible. When the company cannot complete the investigation or if it needs more time, it will inform the claimant within 60 days and say why the extra time is necessary. When the investigation still cannot be completed, the claimant will receive a letter saying why. The only situation in which the investigation can go beyond 120 days is if the company is concerned about the possibility of insurance fraud or arson.
People who are concerned about the insurer delaying a settlement should know that these delays cannot go beyond the statute of limitations or a limit based on the policy itself without the insurance company telling them. They must provide written notice that the time limit is approaching and their case can be impacted by it. The first party claimant must get the notification within 30 days; third-party claimants must get it within 60 days prior to the date of expiration.
For insurance disputes, being protected can help with full and timely recovery
People who make an insurance claim will undoubtedly be concerned about the case itself and how much compensation they will receive for their property loss. However, there are times when claims are denied or problems arise not because of the claim itself, but due to obstacles with the time limits and a lack of knowledge about fine print in the policy. For these situations or any other sticking point with property insurance, it is wise to have experienced representation.