Your Rights Under the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations
In general, insurance companies are required to do the following:
- Advise you of all benefits, coverage, time limits or other provisions of your insurance policy.
- Acknowledge your claim, start the investigation, provide forms and instructions, and provide reasonable assistance immediately but in no event later than 15 days after receiving notice of claim. Notice of claim is any written or oral communication to the insurance company which reasonably apprises the insurer that you wish to make a claim.
- Respond to communications received from you immediately, but in no event later than 15 days.
- Accept or deny your claim immediately, but in no event later than 40 days after receiving proof of claim. Proof of claim is documentation in your possession which provides any evidence of the claim and supports the magnitude or the amount of the loss. Estimates of repair, a police report indicating damages of theft, and photographs of actual physical damage, are all examples of proof of claim documentation.
- Pay reasonable towing expenses. If the insurer has provided the name of a specific towing company, and you use another towing facility, this may jeopardize any towing reimbursement.
- Offer a fair settlement. If you suffer a total loss, then the settlement must include taxes, license, and transfer fees. The settlement must reflect the value of a comparable vehicle of like kind, condition, and quality. If you retain the salvage vehicle, then the deductions from the settlement for salvage must be fair, measurable, and discernible.
- Pay the claim immediately once it has been accepted, but in no event later than 30 days from the date settlement was reached.
- Advise you whether or not they will pursue their subrogation rights. Subrogation is a special unit within an insurance company which attempts to gain reimbursement from other insurance companies when you are determined to be not at fault. If the insurance company pursues subrogation they must include your deductible, unless you have recovered your deductible already.
- Provide reasonable notice that the company will cease paying for storage (if vehicle is stored as result of an accident).