Getting into a car accident and having to file a claim is never a good time. Not knowing how long the claim process will take can be stressful. If you’re wondering how long the USAA auto insurance claim time limit is, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the process.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim Through USAA?
Technically, you don’t have a set limit by which you have to file a claim through USAA after an accident or incident. However, the longer you wait to file your claim, the more likely USAA will deny it, especially if there was not a good enough reason for the delay or it hinders the company’s ability to investigate the claim. Keep in mind that reporting an accident and filing a claim are not the same thing. You should report the accident as soon as you can.
How Long Until USAA Sends a Settlement Check?
USAA is generally quicker to send settlement checks than other insurance companies. After you file a claim through USAA, you can expect a check within anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years depending on the nature of your claim. The most straightforward the claim and the situation that led you to file it, the faster your settlement check may be issued.
One of the factors that can make this process take longer is if someone was injured during the collision. Claims that don’t involve bodily injury are generally resolved faster.
How Do I File a Claim With USAA?
The first thing you do when you need to file a claim through USAA is to report the incident you’re filing a claim for. You’ll give USAA the details of what happened and send them photos of the damage that occurred as a result. After this, you’ll either get an inspection through a repair shop that has been approved by USAA or get an estimate of the damages through photos.
Once the damage has been assessed and your claim has been approved, USAA will send you funds to cover the cost of the repairs. Your deductible will be subtracted from this total amount. Then you can take your vehicle to a repair shop approved by USAA to get the repairs done.
Filing an insurance claim is easier than ever in the digital era. You can still go the old-school route and call USAA at 1-800-531-8722. You can also file a claim on the USAA website or through the USAA mobile app, which take you through the process step by step to make things easier.
How Do I Know When to File a Claim?
You’re generally not going to file a claim for every scratch, paint ding, and fender bender you get into. So when should you file a claim through USAA?
You should always file a claim if someone is injured as a result of the accident. If you caused damage to a municipality’s property or a person’s property, including their vehicle, you should file a claim.
However, if the damage that happened as a result of the collision is minimal and the repairs to fix it would cost less than your insurance plan’s deductible, don’t worry about filing a claim. If you file a claim to replace a broken headlight that costs $200 to fix and your deductible is $500, your insurance wouldn’t come into play even if you did file a claim. Your rate will likely increase as a result of the claim as well.
Types of Insurance and Claims
There are several types of insurance policies you can have through USAA. Each will have a different situation in which they come into play when you’re filing a claim. Though there are a handful of types of insurance, the main three are liability, collision, and comprehensive.
Liability insurance is the minimum type of insurance required by most states. It only covers damages and bodily injuries experienced by other people involved in an accident with you.
Liability insurance plans always have three sections: bodily injury per person, total bodily injury per accident, and property damage. The corresponding numbers of your plan are how much USAA will pay up. Most states have their own required minimum amounts, so be sure to become familiar with yours or ask your USAA agent if your liability insurance is enough for the state you’re living in.
Collision insurance helps you pay for the damages done to your vehicle in a collision. This is likely the most common type of insurance claim you’ll make. The limit of your collision insurance policy is set by the actual cash value of your vehicle. If the damages done to your vehicle exceed this amount set by your insurance company — in this case, USAA — your vehicle is considered totaled. Rather than repair your damaged vehicle, your insurance policy would pay your the actual cash value of your vehicle to put toward a replacement.
Comprehensive insurance covers damages to your vehicle in non-collision situations. If your vehicle is damaged from weather such as hail, fire, and flooding, you would file a claim for your comprehensive insurance. This type of insurance also covers theft.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
This type of coverage helps you pay for the cost of your own medical bills and bodily injuries, as well as those of your passengers. If you want to fully protect yourself financially, you may want to upgrade your insurance plan with this policy.
Learn everything you need to know about insurance and being a vehicle owner in general by exploring the resources in our blog. There is a lot that goes into caring for your car and protecting yourself from the surprises that pop up on the road, and we’re here to clear some of that up for you.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.