How Long Do Car Insurance Claims Take?

Find out how long it takes to settle a car insurance claim and the steps involved in the claims process in Savvy’s guide.

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, updated on February 16th, 2024       

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Car Insurance Banner - Woman looking at her phone waiting for her car insurance claim

The length of time it takes for your car insurance claim to settle will ultimately depend on a range of factors specific to you and the incident you’re claiming for, as well as your insurer itself. Find out more about how long car insurance claims take in Australia and the steps involved in the process right here with Savvy today in our comprehensive guide.

How long does it take for a car insurance claim to settle?

The time it takes to submit, process and settle a car insurance claim in Australia can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the incident, the promptness with which you’re able to respond to your insurer’s requests and how long their internal processes take.

However, per the General Insurance Code of Practice, all insurers must inform you of their decision to accept or deny your claim within ten business days of receiving all the relevant information and completing all enquiries needed to inform their decision.

If they need further information or assessments as part of this decision-making, you’ll be informed within ten business days of what’s required and whether a loss adjuster or assessor is required to provide a report on your vehicle.

What are the steps involved in submitting a car insurance claim?

Submitting a car insurance claim in Australia involves a series of important steps to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you understand the steps involved:

  1. Check your policy’s coverage: before you start your car insurance claim, it’s worth double-checking your policy’s coverage to make sure the incident you were involved in was claimable. For instance, if your policy has a limit of $500 for personal effects damaged in an accident, you may not be able to claim the full value of your new smartphone.
  2. Prompt reporting: if claimable, it’s crucial to report the incident to your insurance provider as soon as possible. Some insurers offer 24/7 claims reporting services through their helplines or online portals. Prompt reporting is essential to initiate the claims process promptly and helps ensure the details of the incident are still fresh in your head.
  3. Provide information: when reporting the claim, be ready to provide essential information, including your policy details, the date and location of the incident, a description of what happened and contact and identifying information for any involved parties (as well as contact details for any witnesses).
  4. Assessment and inspection: after you've submitted the claim, your insurance company is required to contact you within ten business days to inform you if they need further information. If required, this may include police reports and photographs of the damage. They may also appoint a loss assessor or adjuster to take care of your claim in this time.
  5. Repair or settlement: based on the assessment, your insurer will proceed with either the repair of the damages or offer a cash settlement if they choose to accept the claim. If repairs are required, they’ll work with authorised repair facilities to ensure your vehicle is restored to its pre-accident condition.
  6. Finalisation: once the repairs are completed or a settlement is agreed upon, your insurer will finalise the claim process. This involves making necessary payments or issuing invoices for repair costs or settlements if the claim was approved.

By following these steps and cooperating fully with your insurance company, you can navigate the car insurance claim process efficiently and ensure a timely resolution. Remember to keep all communication and documentation organised throughout the process for easy reference.

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