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Does Claiming Car Insurance have a Time Limit?

Puneet was travelling back home, and he got into a severe accident. Due to his unfortunate condition, he was rushed to the hospital by the passers-by. He was hospitalized for an extended period of 2 weeks, and he completely forgot to intimate the claim process. After getting back home and starting off with his healthy lifestyle, he realized that he forgot to inform his car insurance company about the accident. Does that mean the insurance company will deny his claim? The answer might surprise you! However, it should not change the fact that you should register your car insurance claim as soon as you can. Technically speaking, it is never too late to file an insurance claim.

First and foremost, we'd strongly recommend that file a claim or at least inform your insurance company about the accident -a soon as possible. There's no problem in filing a claim instantly; instead, it is right for you as you will get the reimbursement quickly.

Your insurer may have an obligation to pay you for a covered loss, but as a policyholder even you have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to help them confirm the claimed damages and get to the bottom of critical issues like fault for the car accident. If the delay in reporting the claim does not prevent your insurer from investigating your claim, then you can probably report the claim as long as you have an active policy.

Here's an example to correctly explain you the scenario - suppose your car's door got severely dented while you were shopping at a grocery store. When you saw this damage, you took several pictures of the dent, and even got a copy of the grocery store's surveillance tapes. The tape shows another driver parking his car next to yours and slamming his door against yours, clearly causing the dent. Suppose the surveillance footage is time-stamped and can prove the time of the incidence, making it easy for you to get the claim approved. For some reason, you decide not to file a complaint with your insurer immediately. However, several months later, the dent starts to bother you, and you contact your car insurance com​pany and report the damage.

Do you think you filed the claim timely? Your insurer won't agree with you. They might argue that you waited too long and hence, the company's ability to assess the damage and identify the responsible driver is now compromised. As a result, they can try to deny your claim. By waiting to file the claim, you have just given your insurer an easy justification for denying your request. Does this mean they are right and your claim isn't covered? Not necessarily, but they now have a perfect reason to reject your claim.

The point is- even if you have plenty of time to register a claim, don't wait any longer than you have to. By delaying the process, you give your insurer a reason to question the legitimacy of your claim. Immediately starting the claim process ensures that you have plenty of time to address the issue to court if you need to file a lawsuit, without missing the lawsuit filing deadline.