How long do you have to make a claim with insurance?
Prompt reporting of a claim is listed as a duty of insureds in
most policies. This is important to give the insurer every
opportunity to investigate the loss, document all damages, and if
applicable, pursue sibrogation. Insurance companies have a right to
recover the money they spend on a claim sometimes and thus have a
right to ensure that their chances of recovery are good.
First-party claims (claims against your own policy), may be
limited in time from the standpoint of being reported "as quickly
as practicable" (this is the language often appearing in policies).
If the claim is denied and you wish to file suit against your own
insurer, absent a more specific statute, you are required to file
suit within the statutory period ("statute of limitations") for
suit on a written contract. Keep in mind, though, that there may be
a more specific limitation period, and do not interpret this as
Third-party claims (claims against someone else) also have time
limits. These limits are also called statutes of limitations, and
are statutory in nature (written into state or federal law). They
differ from the contract statutes of limitation in the sense that,
rather than being based on the insurance policy as a written
contract, they are based on the underlying occurrence that may
trigger the applicability of the insurance (such as negligence).
Often, these statutes of limitation are different from the contract
statute of limitation.