A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Your car insurance policy will have provisions in place for how long you have to file a claim after an accident
  • State law may also come into play
  • If you do not file a claim within the time frame set out in your auto insurance policy, your claim may be rejected by your auto insurance company
  • It is best to file a claim as quickly as possible

It is important to always keep a copy of your auto insurance policy in your records because it is the final word on the requirements for filing a claim and having it resolved by your auto insurance company.

You will likely have to put your auto insurance company on notice of a claim under your policy within a certain time frame.

Failure to do so could result in the auto insurance company having grounds to reject your claim, which means that you would have to pay out of pocket to repair the damage.

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Your Policy

When you sign up for an auto insurance policy, you should always get a copy of the actual policy agreement and your proof of insurance.

If anything has changed from the previous policy term when you are renewing your auto insurance policy through the same company, you should make sure that you have a copy of those written changes.

There are also requirements from your auto insurance company on the types of information that you must have available to properly file a claim.

Make sure that you respond to all questions from the auto insurance company and its representatives in supplying adequate information for your claim.

The more information you can gather at the scene of the accident, the easier it will be to submit a complete report for your claim.

Keep in mind that your auto insurance company may also have a timeline for the submission of all bills related to your claim. This could include medical bills and receipts.

There may also be time limits for additional information that must be submitted to your auto insurance company. If you are claiming any types of damages from an accident, you will need actual documentation of the damages that you suffered to receive a settlement.

Remember that the insurance company may not send you a reminder that deadlines for submissions are approaching.

Rather, it is your responsibility to be familiar with the requirements of your policy and work to meet all of the deadlines so that your claim can be processed properly.

If you receive questions from the claims adjuster, you should document all of your responses in writing so that you have a clear record that you complied with all that was asked of you by your auto insurance company.

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If the Auto Insurance Company Rejects Your Claim

If you think that you have timely filed a claim that is covered under your insurance policy and it has been denied by your auto insurance company, you may want to follow these steps:

  1. Check with your state department of insurance.
  2. File a complaint. The department of insurance may have information on filing a consumer complaint against your auto insurance company or be able to point you in the right direction of next steps to take in getting your claim resolved.
  3. Hire an attorney. As a very last step in getting your claim resolved, you may wish to contact an attorney who handles claims against insurance companies regularly.

Again, make sure that you pay attention to the statute of limitations in your state so that you do not miss a deadline to file against your own auto insurance company.

Remember that even if you have a dispute with your auto insurance company about how they are handling your claim, you are still required under state law to maintain auto insurance coverage if you are driving.

You may switch to another company to try to get a better rate or better customer service in the future in case you have to file another claim down the line.

This is a good time to think about your other options for car insurance and start shopping around for quotes from different auto insurance companies.

Whatever you decide, make sure you are not driving without at least the required auto insurance for your state.

If you fail to do so, you can be hit with very steep fines and penalties under your state law. It could also make it more difficult for you to get a good rate on car insurance down the line.

Ensuring Your Car Insurance Claim Does Not Expire

If you have any specific questions about timely reporting a claim under your own auto insurance policy, you should contact your auto insurance company as quickly as possible.

You need to be clear on the deadline to file a claim after an auto accident so that you do not lose out on the opportunity to have it covered. Your specific state laws may have additional requirements for reporting auto insurance claims.

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