COVID-19 Notice: We are providing FREE consultations by phone or video for your safety & convenience. Learn More »

How Long Does It Take the Insurance Company Take to Respond to a Demand Letter?

letter How long does it take for an injury company to respond to demand letter in a personal injury case? It depends on the jurisdiction, the size of the case, the complexity of the medicine of the injuries, and whether there is a dispute about who is responsible for the crash.

It also depends on the insurance company. Some insurers move more quickly than others.

Recently we performed an analysis of our last 110 cases at Miller & Zois to answer that question of how long individual insurance companies take to respond to demand packages. The chart below shows 110 recent cases handled by our firm, broken down by the insurance company. We compared the time from when our demand package on behalf of our clients was submitted to the insurance company, to the time it took them to respond with their initial offer. We did not include cases where our client became tired of waiting for the insurance company and instructed us to file suit.

Ins. Comp.No. CasesAvg. (Days)Shortest (Days)Longest (Days)
Allstate106525160
Erie10866189
GEICO29525200
Liberty Mutual46834128
Maryland Auto Insuarance37742116
Nationwide147810230
Progressive430861
State Farm206715187
Travelers5412058
USAA114511143
Total11061
Total Most Common Providers2656

Ins. Comp.No. CasesAvg. (Days)Shortest (Days)Longest (Days)
AAA Insurance192
AAA MidAtlantic175
Agency Ins. Co.121
AIC2181323
Ameriprize114
Auto Injury Solutions118
BGE Comp.194
Brethren2816795
Elephant1106
ESIS159
Esurance117
Encompass149
Farmers Ins.117
GAIG155
Harleysville15
Hartford3381862
James River Ins. Co.198
Mac Risk Mgt.187
National General Ins.1112
Net. Adj.135
Safeco127
State Nat.1105

As the chart illustrates, the average response time from the insurance companies that handle most of the claims is about two months. An important number to consider is the longer response time, which can be as long as seven months. We always want to push the insurance company along. We want to settle every car accident case as quickly as we can. But we cannot advance the case at a speed that will compromise the value of the case. Our second goal is to get a quick settlement. But our first goal is to maximize the value of your claim.

Obviously, there are real limitations to this study. You would need a sampling of thousands to get reliable data within a small standard deviation, particularly given the factor at play in individual cases. There are some factors that influence the time it takes for the insurance company to respond to our demand package with their first offer. Some of these factors include:

  • Whether there had been earlier communications regarding the client's injuries and medical bills
  • How the amount of medical bills compares to the policy limits for the at-fault driver
  • The amount and complexity of the medical records and bills
  • Whether or not the client had any previous accidents and/or treatment
  • Internal circumstances within the insurance company, such as the caseload of the adjuster
  • The size of the insurance policy at issue

The last factor, the size of the insurance policy, is a big factor. Take, for example, an insurance company like Progressive that typically writes small policies that are cover only the state minimum of $30,000 per claim. This means that when the value of the claim exceeds $30,000, the claims adjuster can put down their pencil. That speeds up the process. Larger cases with companies that write larger commercial policies - like Travelers, Chubb or Brethren - are going to take longer to evaluate. Plus, there are more bureaucratic lawyers with larger cases. The bigger the claim, the higher you have to go up the food chain to get upper management to sign off on the evaluation of the case. This takes more time which is why a trucking insurer is going to take longer than passenger car insurance companies.

What Can I Do Get My Money Faster?

Is there a path to getting a faster response to your demand letter to get a faster settlement? Absolutely. Simply become the squeaky wheel and call the adjuster every day, adamantly complaining that the settlement offer is taking too long.

There is just one problem with this route. You are telling the adjuster that you really just want to settle your case and you have no willingness to go to trial. Adjusters smell blood. The settlement offer reflects that perceived weakness in your willingness to file suit. Parenthetically, this is why it is important to have a lawyer in serious cases that have a history of success in a courtroom. If your law firm does not have a history of success, your offer is going to suffer.

Also, submitting records and bills a bit at a time does not really help speed up an offer to settle unless the injuries are severe and the bills are high at the beginning of the claim. The adjuster at that time might be concerned about their driver's policy limits and legal exposure.

How Long Does It Usually Take to Resolve an Auto Accident Insurance Claim?

The average time frame for fully resolving an auto accident insurance claims varies greatly depending on whether the claim involves personal injuries or just property damage. If the claim is limited to property damage to the vehicle (no injuries) claim resolution shouldn't take over 6-8 weeks. If you're making a claim for personal injuries related to the accident, the timetable for resolving the claim is around 8 to 16 months.

How Long Should It Take for an Insurance Company to Respond to a Demand Letter in an Auto Accident Claim?

2 months is about the average time it takes to get a response from an insurance company after you send them a demand letter in auto accident case. Some insurance companies tend to be faster than others.

What Insurance Company Is the Slowest to Respond to Demand Letters in Accident Cases?

Erie Insurance Group. Based on our own internal analysis of over 100 individual auto accident cases, Erie Insurance had slowest average response time for demand letters. In a sample of 10 cases, Erie's average time to respond to our demand letter was 86 days. The shortest response time from Erie was 6 days and the longest was 6 months.

What Insurance is the Fastest to Response to Demand Letters in Auto Accident Cases?

Progressive, a company we do not enjoy working with, might be the fastest company to respond to a demand letter. Our analysis of over 100 auto accident claims found that Progressive had the fastest average time for responding to demand letters. In a sample of 4 cases, Progressive's average time for responding to our demand letter was 30 days.

Before we start congratulating Progressive, one possible explanation for this is that Progressive tends to write smaller insurance policies with limits of $50,000 or under. This means Progressive is more likely to deal with policy limit claims that can be resolved much faster.

What Should I Do to Get a Faster Response to My Demand Letter?

If you feel like the insurance adjuster is taking too long to respond to your demand letter, your only practical option to speed things up is to start contacting them on a regular basis until they respond. The downside of this tactic, however, is that it may signal to the adjuster that you are desperate to settle and get paid. This might prompt the adjuster to make a lower settlement offer on your claim.

Getting a Lawyer

If you have been hurt in a traffic accident, you need a lawyer with experience, resources, and a track record of success. Call 1-800-553-8082 to speak with a car accident attorney who specializes in handling these claims or get a free online no obligation consultation. Find out if Miller & Zois are the best lawyers for you.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
★★★★★
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
★★★★★
Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
★★★★★
The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
★★★★★
I am so grateful that I was lucky to pick Miller & Zois. Maggie Lauer
★★★★★
The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
★★★★★
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa