Insurance Demand Letter Response Time
When drafting a demand letter, it can be helpful to know what to expect and to have an idea of how long it will take the insurance company to respond. A demand letter is written to the insurance company to outline the compensation the plaintiff is requesting for their injuries and losses. The goal of a demand letter is to settle the issue informally instead of litigating it in court, and even before an actual lawsuit is filed.
Demand Letter Response
In an ideal circumstance, the insurance company will respond to your demand letter within 30 days. This doesn’t always happen, though. It could take them months to respond if they respond at all. There is no law that sets a deadline for when they must respond.
Factors That Affect Response Time
If an insurance company doesn’t respond in a timely manner or respond at all to your demand letter, it can be incredibly frustrating. It can often be helpful to think about why they may be delaying their response and what factors affect the length of time it takes them to reply. Some of the most common factors that affect the response time include the following:
- Communication: If there was previous communication between you/your lawyer and the insurance company, it’s more likely that they will respond to your demand letter faster. You may have already spoken with the company about medical expenses or injuries, so this can be helpful.
- Size of Claim: Typically, the more you are demanding, the longer it will take to get a response. Larger claims require more investigation before they can be approved. Additionally, if what you are demanding is higher than the policy limit of the at-fault party’s insurance company, there will need to be a higher level of approval, which takes time.
- Pre-existing Injuries: If you have pre-existing injuries, it will likely take more time for the insurance company to respond to your letter. They will usually want to look into your previous injuries and compare them to what your current injuries are before they are willing to approve anything.
- Size of Company: Larger insurance companies tend to respond to demand letters in a more timely manner. They have more employees and more resources, allowing them to handle more claims. The response time also depends on the caseload of the adjuster.
If the Insurance Company Doesn’t Respond
If the insurance company never responds, you can initiate a personal injury lawsuit to try to collect the compensation you’re entitled to. This should be done with the assistance of a skilled attorney. It’s crucial to keep in mind the statute of limitations. This is the deadline by which a claim must be filed. If you send a demand letter and want to wait for a response, you must make sure you don’t wait too long and miss the window to file your claim.
If the insurance company does respond, the most common responses include rejection, acceptance, or a counteroffer. If they reply with a counteroffer, it will likely be substantially less than what you asked for. This is a tactic they often employ to convince you that your claim is worth less than it actually is.
If you need help with a demand letter or initiating a personal injury claim, contact us for a free consultation.