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How long does a car insurance claim take to settle UK


The answer to how long does insurance claims take can vary depending on many factors such as the time of year, some times can be busier for insurers than others, the insurer you’re with and the amount of time the insurers take to settle the case between themselves. We’ve compiled a complete guide for you to get a better understanding of what you should expect from your insurer regarding the timeline for settling car insurance claims…

How long do insurance claims take?

As a general rule, you should always contact your insurer directly and consult them on roughly how long an insurance claim takes in your circumstances. This is because individual cases can vary in complexity and who is at fault may not be clear. As a result, the time to process your claim can be affected so it’s best to ask to get a gauge of your situation.

If my car is written off how long before I get paid out in the UK?

The time it takes for your insurance to settle your claim is largely dependent on the amount of money to be paid out for the damages as well as the complexity of your case.
For example, minor cosmetic damages are usually settled in around a week on average in the UK.
However if your car was written off and you have comprehensive insurance, this could take up to a month as you will need to agree on a settlement figure for the value of your car. This will typically involve the insurer evaluating the car and its damages as well as collecting the vehicle before paying you out unless otherwise stipulated in your policy.
However even though your comprehensive insurance will cover your lost car the insurance companies may still dispute fault between themselves which could potentially take months, if you’re found at fault this can prevent you from recovering your excess.
Although the process for determining fault in car accidents is uniform across all levels of cover, the details around your case will be dependent on what information your insurer as well as the other party’s insurer are able to determine. Each insurer will try to compile evidence to back up their own client’s version of events so it is important to be as thorough as you can when collecting details of the incident but be honest.

What can I do to speed up how long a car insurance claim takes?

Unfortunately, you will not be able to directly influence the insurer’s process however there are some steps you can take to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible without delay.

  • Collect as much information as you can about the incident to avoid ambiguity. If your case is lacking details and you are not at fault you are giving the other party’s insurer more wiggle room to dispute fault which can lengthen the process.
  • Be honest – Withholding or manipulating certain facts around the accident can lead to your insurance being void and difficulties being insured in future. If the accident is serious enough, lying could also get you in trouble with the law if the police are involved. It’s best to be as honest as possible.
  • Be proactive – Keep in touch with your insurer and submit any requested information as soon as you can. Ignoring your insurance is not a good idea as this can lead to solicitor involvement, however this goes both ways should the other party be unresponsive.

How is liability determined car accident?

Usually, conclusive evidence, such as one party running a red light, would be used as the determining factor of who is at fault for an accident. However this is not always easily produced and disputed accidents usually don’t end up in court due to the costs involved.
In some instances where fault cannot be determined, specialist claims investigators may be appointed to gather as much information from witnesses, records and police records. These specialists will usually be used in cases where the value of a potential payout is costly to the insurer.
In cases where the accident cannot be conclusively resolved between insurers, they may decide on a 50/50 settlement. This unfortunately means you will be at fault and so your premiums will be affected.

Can your insurer settle a claim even if you refuse liability?

When it comes to the role of insurers in settling claims, most insurers will have it stipulated in their policy that they can reach a claim without your permission. If you feel you have not been properly represented by your insurer then you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for your case.


In summary, if you are asking how long does an insurance claim take, the answer is that it is reasonable to expect your claim to take anywhere from a week to a month in general but this can be greatly influenced by the factors mentioned above, in particular the time it takes the insurers to determine fault with the details available.

At Quotezone, helping people find better deals is important to us. We can help you find the best deals on your car insurance with our panel of dedicated UK specialists. Whether you’re looking for third partythird party fire and theft, or comprehensive cover, Quotezone has you covered. We helps around 3 million users every year, with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different car insurance products as well as cover for bicycles, motorbikes and home insurance. Recommended by 97% of reviewers on Reviews.co.uk.

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.

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