insurance company delay

Short post today, but I just have to say – insurance companies have gotten ridiculously slow at responding to emails. Its INSANE. I’ve been working on a few claims now, and the average response time has been over 10 days. The adjusters don’t answer the phones, they rarely respond to emails, and when they do respond, its usually just short email responses. The overall lack of customer service is ridiculous. These insurance claim delays are unreasonable!

Can you imagine if you tried calling your bank, and they couldn’t answer a simple question for 10 days? Or any business taking that amount of time for a simple response? It’s unfathomable.

I knew it was bad, but I still can’t believe it. It seems to be the same with every major insurance carrier, regardless of who writes your policy.

At least here in Texas, there are laws designed to protect the insured here…or at least the laws were supposed to protect us.

The Texas Administrative Code Ensures Timely Communication

I’m not really sure how these insurance companies get away with having such horrible response timelines and intentional claim communication delays. In Texas, there are specific laws, such as the Texas Administrative Code > Title 28 > Part 2 > Chapter 102 > RULE ยง102.4, that govern how insurance companies must communicate with the policyholders.

Here’s a snippet of the law that discusses timely communication in the insurance claim process:

(e) Insurance carriers must ensure effective and timely communication with claimants and other parties in the system. If a claimant is unable to communicate with an insurance carrier due to a language barrier, and the claimant is unable to provide a person that he or she trusts to serve as a translator, the insurance carrier must provide a means to translate except as needed for a division proceeding. The claimant must not be required to contract with or otherwise employ a translator.

The Texas Administrative Code literally says: “insurance carriers must ensure effective and timely communication with claimants and other parties in the system“. While I wish timely was more specific, do you really think insurance companies aren’t doing everything in their power to delay the claims process?

Have you felt that your insurance company is providing effective and timely communication? I know that is far from the experience I’ve been receiving from Allstate.

Here’s another relevant section of the Texas Administrative Code:

(f) When a claimant contacts an insurance carrier and requests a response on their claim, the response must be verbally provided or sent in writing by the insurance carrier within five working days of receiving the request, unless the request is redundant or the response duplicates information previously provided.

This law is amazing! The response must be provided by the insurance carrier within 5 working days! But at least in my experience, I’m not seeing this at all. I’m only seeing insane insurance claim delays.

The Texas Code of Insurance Requires Reasonable Promptness

The Texas Code of Insurance also has a section that talks about the responsibilities that insurance companies have when it comes to responding to insurance claim emails, calls, and other communications.

Specifically, take a look at: Texas Insurance Code > Title 5. Protection of Consumer Interests > Subtitle C. Deceptive, Unfair, and Prohibited Practices, Chapter 542. Processing and Settlement of Claims > Subchapter A. Unfair Claim Settlement Practices (link).

Here’s the relevant section of Chapter 542A of the Texas Insurance Code that discusses prompt communication:

Sec. 542.003. UNFAIR CLAIM SETTLEMENT PRACTICES PROHIBITED. (a) An insurer engaging in business in this state may not engage in an unfair claim settlement practice.
(b) Any of the following acts by an insurer constitutes unfair claim settlement practices:
(2) failing to acknowledge with reasonable promptness pertinent communications relating to a claim arising under the insurer's policy;

The real keyword there is that term: reasonable promptness. The law is great, but sometimes, its a little too vague for my liking. What does reasonable mean? Is it reasonable to wait 10 days for a response to a simple email?

I think anyone dealing with a homeowners insurance claim would agree that waiting weeks or months for a response to an email is completely unreasonable.

How Do Insurance Companies Get Away With It?

It’s the million-dollar question, right? How do these corporate goliaths manage to tiptoe around laws designed to protect us, the policyholders?

Are they intentionally breaking the law? Skirting it? Redefining it? It’s hard to say. But one thing is clear: the spirit of the law is being trampled under the polished shoes of insurance execs who seem to believe that ‘timely’ is a relative term open to their interpretation.

We know that insurance companies like Allstate were intentionally finding ways to deny or underpay valid claims – it was part of the 3-D’s that they taught – Delay, Deny, Defend.

We also know that insurance companies aim to delay the claims process as long as possible for two main reasons:

  1. Homeowners get exhausted and frustrated, and many homeowners will accept an underpaid claim and eat the rest of the loss.
  2. Insurance companies make money EVERY SINGLE DAY they don’t pay up.

At the end of the day, everything wrong about insurance boils down to one word: greed

Don’t Forget About the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (PPCA)

Even if the insurance company is taking their sweet time in responding to your claim emails and phone calls, do your research. In Texas, a vital piece of legislation is there to protect policyholders from intentional delays caused by your insurer.

I’ve already covered the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act in a few posts, and that act does provide some protection for policyholders.

Closing Thoughts: Actions Over Words

It really grinds my gears that insurance companies are getting away without fulfilling their legal obligations of simply communicating with their policyholders. Give your local insurance agency a call – they will answer the phone in less than 30 seconds, and you can have a brand new policy written and ready for your signature in under an hour.

But when it comes to servicing a claim? That’s an entirely different story.

The same hands that snatch up our premium payments are suddenly all thumbs when it’s time to type out a simple email response.

Insurance companies are great at taking our money, but when it comes time to give it back to us, they drag their feet, stall, and procrastinate all day long.

I’m over it. This isn’t a game of cat and mouse – it’s our homes, our stability, and our peace of mind on the line.

If you’re experiencing unreasonable insurance claim delays – feel free to reach out for a free insurance claim review. We can help.

Insurance is a contract, not a favor.


Why are insurance claim responses from companies like Allstate so slow?

Response times can be slow due to the high volume of claims, particularly during catastrophic events, or as a result of internal policies aimed at cost-saving which can include understaffing or deliberate delay tactics.

What does ‘reasonable promptness’ mean in terms of insurance claims in Texas?

‘Reasonable promptness’ should mean a response time of no more than 5 working days as per Texas Administrative Code, but insurance companies often stretch this definition, resulting in frustrating delays for policyholders.

Can an insurance company be penalized for not responding promptly?

Yes, insurance companies can face penalties and fines for not adhering to regulated response times, but enforcement varies and often requires the policyholder to take action.

What can I do if my insurance adjuster is not responding?

Document all communication attempts, follow up persistently, look into hiring a public adjuster, and consider escalating the matter to a supervisor or using legal avenues like the PPCA.

What can I do if my insurance claim is not being handled in a timely manner?

Document all communications, file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance, and consider seeking assistance from a legal professional or public adjuster to advocate on your behalf.

Are there laws in Texas that protect consumers from slow insurance claim processes?

Absolutely. The Texas Administrative Code and the Texas Insurance Code outline rules for timely communication, which protect consumers from undue delays in the claims process.

How can Insurance Claim Hero help with delayed insurance claims?

Insurance Claim Hero offers free insurance claim reviews to assess the handling of your claim, provides expert advice, and can intervene to expedite your claim process with the insurance company.

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