Are you waiting to hear back regarding an insurance claim you filed in Texas?
If so, you might be wondering what you need to do next.
The lawyers at the Johns Law Firm understand that this can be a complicated process to navigate on your own.
Read on to find out more about the insurance claims settlement process in Texas and how we can help.
Does an Insurance Company Have to Respond to My Claim?
In short, yes. Under Texas law, an insurance company is required to respond to a claim that is filed.
Section 542.055 of the Texas Statutes provides that an insurer must do the following within 15 days of receiving notice of a claim from a claimant:
- Acknowledge receipt of the claim;
- Commence an investigation into the claim; and
- Request relevant information, statements, and forms from the claimant to assist with the investigation of the claim.
An insurer’s failure to acknowledge that they have received your claim is in violation of the statute. However, the statutory requirements don’t end there. An insurer must also notify you of whether or not your claim has been accepted.
In most scenarios, section 542.056 of the Texas Statutes states that an insurer must notify a claimant of acceptance or rejection of a claim within 15 days after the insurer receives all items, statements, and forms required to investigate the claim.
An insurer can sometimes extend this to 45 days, but they must have a sufficient basis for doing so.
Also, if the insurer rejects your claim, they must also provide you with the reasons for the rejection.
It is important to know your rights. If an insurance company has rejected your claim without a good reason, or they have failed to respond within the appropriate timeframe, you may need to take action. An experienced lawyer can help advocate on your behalf.
Can I Speed Up the Process?
You cannot shorten the statutory timeframe that insurance companies have to work with. However, there are still things you can do to speed up the claims process. Because an insurer generally has 15 days to investigate the claim from the date they receive the requested information from you, sending these items as quickly as possible is to your advantage.
After an accident, try to compile as much information as possible to provide to the insurance company. Having witness statements, accident reports, and proof of loss forms completed and ready can help speed up the process.
When Does the Insurance Company Have to Pay the Claim?
If an insurer notifies you that they will pay a claim or part of a claim, they must do so within a specific amount of time. Under Texas law, they cannot continue to delay payment.
Section 542.057 of the Texas Statutes states that an insurer must generally pay the accepted claim “no later than the fifth business day after the date notice is made.” In fact, if an insurer fails to do so, you may be entitled to damages.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you are dealing with an insurance company that has delayed responding to or paying your claim, you might feel like there is nothing you can do. However, this is not the case. Know that you have rights, and there are actions that you can take.
Don’t let an insurance company continue to delay your claims process. A lawyer can help protect your rights and fight on your behalf. Contact the team at the Johns Law Firm today for a free consultation to see how we can help you.