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How Long Does The Insurance Company Have to Respond to a Demand Letter?

Posted on June 28, 2023

In Pennsylvania, there is no specific statutory requirement or mandated timeframe within which an auto insurance company must respond to a demand letter. However, insurers are still obligated to act in good faith and respond to claims promptly.

What is a Demand Letter?

When you are involved in a car accident in Philadelphia, one of the crucial steps in seeking compensation for damages is sending a demand letter to the responsible party’s auto insurance company. This letter serves as a formal notice of the accident, detailing the property damage, injuries, and losses suffered. It also requests a specific amount of compensation to resolve the claim and typically includes a deadline by which the insurer is expected to respond. However, there is no guarantee of when you will receive a response or that you will. 

What is a Reasonable Timeframe to Expect a Response?

What constitutes a reasonable timeframe can vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Typically, insurance companies are expected to respond to a demand letter within a few weeks to a month. However, complex cases or situations may require additional time for an extensive investigation. 

Under Pennsylvania law, insurance companies do have certain obligations. They must handle claims in good faith, meaning they are expected to act reasonably and promptly in evaluating the claim and responding to the demand letter. Failing to respond or unduly delaying a response may be seen as acting in bad faith, potentially giving rise to legal remedies for the injured party.

Factors That Can Impact an Insurance Company’s Response Time

Here are some key factors that can impact the response time:

Complexity of the Claim

The complexity of the claim plays a significant role in determining the response time. For example, if multiple parties are involved, or liability is unclear. Claims with intricate details might take longer to process.

Severity of the Damages

If your damages are significant, such as severe injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, the insurance company may need additional time to evaluate the claim accurately. They may need to consult with experts, review medical reports, or assess the costs of treatment.

Availability of Information

If the demand letter lacks essential details or supporting evidence, it may require additional time for the insurance company to request and review the missing information. 

Workload and Resources

Insurance companies handle numerous claims simultaneously, and if they are understaffed or experiencing a high volume of claims, it may take longer for them to respond to individual demands. 

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

What to Do if There Is No Response

If you have not received a response from the insurance company within a few weeks to a month, first ensure that it was properly addressed and delivered. If you have confirmation of delivery, you may want to follow up with the insurance company to inquire about the status of your claim. If there is still no response, seek legal assistance from a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer who can guide you through the next steps.