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Statute of Limitation for Insurance ClaimsMost state regulation provide for a maximum of 2 year delay for filing an insurance claim. You should refer to your state's regulations for specific limitations. Your insurance agent will generally know the limitation for the state he does business in.

Most homeowner policies require notification as soon as the loss occurs. The Commonwealth of Mass has a two year statute of limitations; however, most insurance companies will proceed under a non-waiver agreement or reservation of rights letter, as the report of the loss moves away from the date of loss. They do this so that their rights are protected.

With such an agreement in place, the insurer will proceed to investigate the cause of the loss and if their rights have not been prejudiced, they will continue to negotiate and settle the claim with the homeowner.

As the reporting time of the claim moves beyond a day or two, things can happen which could compromise the insurer's ability to determine the available coverages, the actual cause of the loss or determine the responsible parties. If the late reporting compromises their efforts they may deny coverage based on the late report of the incident.

Small Claims Court- Civil

If this is the type of Statute of Limitations to which you are referring, it is defined by statute in each state. The civil lawsuit must be filed with the court having proper jurisdiction within the governing limitations period, or else the suit will be time barred. Service of process will also have to be made on each defendant so that they have actual or constructive notice of the lawsuit. While the accomplishment of service is not necessary for the lawsuit to be deemed timely filed within the limitations period, the failure to achieve service and/or the failure to diligently pursue the achievement of service may result in the dismissal of the lawsuit against the unserved party. In that event, the applicable Statute of Limitations may expire as to that person or entity in the interim.

The limitations period depends both upon the state in which the action will be filed (either where the cause of action accrued, where one or more of the defendants reside or do business, or where the contract was entered or breached), and the basis of the cause of action. As to the latter, there will generally be different limitations periods depending upon whether the cause of action sounds in tort (generally defined as a "personal wrong", such as battery, slander, negligence), or in contract (a promise for a promise, a promise for an act, or an act for an act). As to breach of contract cases, the limitations period can differ depending upon whether the contract was verbal or written.

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Q: Is there a statute of limitations to file a claim?
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