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How long do auto insurance tasks take?

October 24th, 2017  |  Auto Insurance

Almost every adult Canadian has some form of insurance coverage, but it’s a popular topic of conversation. Would you rather talk about what your auto insurance policy covers, or what’s going to happen in the final season of Game of Thrones? Exactly.

If there is one thing people want to know about insurance, it’s how quickly they can stop thinking about insurance. So if you want to know what to expect when you have to get a quote or make a claim, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a general timeline for some key insurance tasks.

Getting a quote

Getting an insurance quote takes almost no time at all. By doing it online, you can fill out a form and get a quote in minutes. Visiting an insurance broker in-person is a more laborious process. You’ve got to find a time to meet and then you’ve got to get to the office and wait for your appointment. When you finally get in to speak with a broker, they’ll ask you questions and fill out an insurance quote request form themselves, using the answers you provide. This easily doubles the amount of time you will spend getting an insurance quote compared to doing it yourself online.

When you get a quote online, it usually takes just a few minutes. Our own auto insurance quote tool, for example, takes about three minutes to produce 10 quotes. So for this task, we’ll say three minutes.

Getting a quote (or quotes) takes about three minutes.

Getting a policy

Once you’ve gotten your quotes and have decided on a policy, the process of actually getting the insurance can be almost instantaneous, depending on the type of insurance. Some brokers offer insurance instantly, subject to the underwriting process. If the quote is unavailable or changes significantly between the initial and final paperwork, you can likely cancel the policy and go with a different quote.

Getting a policy takes about five minutes

Filing a claim

Most insurance companies make it easy to file a claim, offering numerous ways to submit your information (like a mobile app). Depending on the type of insurance, the initial claims paperwork can take mere minutes to complete. The most time-intensive part of the claims process is determining damages and waiting for the claims adjuster to finalize the documentation. The claims process can take days, weeks, months or even years depending on the type of insurance and damages.

Most claims take 10-30 minutes, depending on the nature of the claim, but some may be longer. There is also a waiting period before the claim is settled.

Repairing damage

Again, the time required to repair damage depends on your insurance company and the type of damage that needs to be repaired. For example, your auto insurer might work with repair shop A and glass repair shop B, while another insurer only works with repair shop A. If you need repair work done on your windshield and front bumper, the first insurance company will send you to two different repair shops, while the second will only send you to one. In either case, the insurance-approved repair shop could be slow repairing your vehicle, leading to a longer period of time before you can get your car back.

This depends on the nature of the damage to your home or vehicle. Minor claims are generally resolved quickly, with major claims requiring more work. Your part in this is mostly waiting, however.

Renewing a policy

Insurance companies like when you renew your policy because it means you’re sticking with them another year. Because this means more money for them, the process is easy as pie – most policies auto-renew and all you have to do is pay the bill.

This is usually automated. At most, you’ll have to click a button.

Insurance is not the time-intensive process it used to be. In an era before computers, pricing a policy took a long time, which made getting a quote a tedious affair. Filing a claim on paper and mailing it from place to place took an equally long amount of time, meaning sometimes you could be out-of-pocket for weeks or months. Today, getting insurance, keeping insurance and filing a claim is a relatively quick experience, answering the question of how long does it take to complete different insurance tasks. So even though insurance isn’t fun, it’s relatively painless.

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