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Insurance Laws by State

Insurance law includes a vast expanse of statutes, codes, rules, and regulations. And to make matters a little more complicated, each state makes its own laws to regulate the insurance industry operating within its borders, though there are federal insurance laws as well.

Many insurance laws are meant to protect consumers. For example, states require insurance companies to investigate and process claims in a timely manner, either by giving specific timelines to approve, deny, or pay a claim, or by prohibiting unnecessary delays. Additional types of consumer protection laws include prohibitions on deceptive marketing practices and discrimination in selling and pricing insurance policies.

What’s Covered Under State Insurance Laws?

Other laws pertain to a certain type of insurance, like health insurance or homeowners insurance. With health insurance, federal and state laws are intertwined and constantly changing, thanks to the hot-button nature of health care in the political arena. For example, while federal law currently regulates much of the health insurance industry, individual states can choose whether or not to accept additional federal funding in order to expand Medicaid eligibility in their state.

Another area of insurance law that affects many of us is car insurance. With the exception of New Hampshire, all states require you to have car insurance, but to varying degrees. For instance, some states only require liability insurance, while others also mandate uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) and personal injury protection (PIP). State insurance laws also specify the minimum amounts of coverage required. For example, a given state might require all liability policies to carry at least $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident, $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. In the statute or code, these numbers are listed as “25/50/25.”

Breaking Down State Insurance Laws

The table below lists timelines for the payment of certain insurance claims, whether the state has adopted the Medicaid expansion, and the basic auto insurance requirements for each state. Since there are exceptions to every rule, and laws are constantly changing, it’s always best to consult with an insurance law attorney who can advise you on the particulars of your case in your state.

 

Claims Processing Timeline in General and for Life Insurance

Health Insurance – Medicaid Expansion

Automobile Insurance Requirement

State Codes and Statutes

Alabama

Life: per the policy, but not more than two months to approve, deny, begin investigation

Property: 30 days

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25

Title 27; 27-15-13; 482-1-124; 482-1-125.07; 32-7A-4; 32-7-6

Alaska

Generally: 30 days

Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

50/100/25 (certain areas exempt)

§26.050; 21-45-130; 28-22-101; 28-22-011

Arizona

Generally: 30 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

15/30/10 (or self-insure with bond of $40,000)

§20-462; 20-1215; 28-4009; 28-4011; 28-4084

Arkansas

Generally: 15 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25

§43-9; 23-81-113; 27-22-104

California

Generally: 40 days
Life: 30 days

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

15/30/5 (low income may qualify for 10/20/3); or self-insure with bond of $35,000

2695.7; 10172.5; 16430 et seq.; 16451; 16056.1; 11629.7 et seq.

Colorado

Generally and Life: No unreasonable denials or delays

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/15

10-3-1115; 10-7-112(3); 10-4-619 et seq.; 42-7-103

Connecticut

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

20/40/10; UM, UIM also required

38a-816; 38a-334; 14-112

Delaware

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

15/30/10; PIP also required

§18-2304; 18-2914; 21-2118

District of Columbia

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: Upon proof of death

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10; UM also required

31-2231.17; 31-4703(11); 31-2406

Florida

Generally: 30 days
Life: Upon proof of loss

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

10/20/10 (or self-insure); only property liability and PIP required

§626-9541; 627-461; 324-021; 324-171

Georgia

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25

33-6-34; 33-25-3; 40-9-80; 33-7-11

Hawaii

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: 30 days (and then interest begins accruing)

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

20/40/10; PIP also required

431-13-103; 431-10-243; 431-10C-301 et seq.

Idaho

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Auto: 20 days

Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/15

41-1329; 41-1328; 41-1913; 49-1229; 49-117

Illinois

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays

Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/20; UM, UIM also required

215-5-154.6; 215-5-229(k); 625-5-7-601; 625-5-7-203; 215-5-143a

Indiana

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25 effective 7/1/2017

27-4-1-4.5; 27-1-12-5; 9-25-4-1 et seq.; 9-25-4-5

Iowa

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: 30 days (and then interest begins accruing)

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

20/40/15

507B-4; 511-38; 321A-1

Kansas

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: Upon proof of loss

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10; PIP also required

40-2404; 40-2203(A)(8); 40-3104; 40-3107

Kentucky

Generally: 30 days

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10 (25/50/25 effective 1/1/2018); PIP also required

304.12-235; 304.39-010; 186a.065; 304.39-080; 304.39-110; 304.39-020

Louisiana

Generally: 30 days
Life: 60 days

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

15/30/25

22-1892; 22-1811; 32-861; 32-900

Maine

Generally: 30 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

50/100/25 (plus $2,000 for medical payments); UM also required

24A-2436; 24A-2513; 29-1601; 29-1605; 24A-2902

Maryland

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

30/60/15; PIP, UM, UIM also required

27-303 et seq.; 17-103; 19-505

Massachusetts

Auto (fire, theft, comprehensive): seven days
Generally: No unreasonable or unfair delays

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

20/40/5; PIP, UM also required

175-113O; 175-28; 176D-3; 90-34A; 90-34O; 90-34M; 175-113L

Michigan

Generally: 60 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

20/40/10; PIP also required

500-2006; 500-4030; 500-3101; 500-3009

Minnesota

Generally: 30-60 days
Life: 60 days

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

30/60/10; PIP, UM, UIM also required

72A-201(4); 61A-011; 65B-06; 65B-48; 65B-49

Mississippi

Accident & Health: 25-35 days
Life: upon death of insured

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25

83-9-5; 83-7-6; 63-15-4; 63-15-3j; 63-15-43

Missouri

Generally: No unreasonable delays

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10

375-1007; 303-025; 303-020

Montana

Generally: 30 days
Life: 60 days

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/20; UM also required

33-18-232; 33-20-114; 61-6-301; 61-6-103

Nebraska

Generally: No unreasonable delays
Life: 30 days

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25; UM, UIM also required

44-1540; 44-3-143; 60-528; 60-534; 60-501(13)

Nevada

Generally: No unreasonable delays
Auto: 30 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

15/30/10

686A-310; 686A-300; 688A-140; 485-185

New Hampshire

Generally: 30 days
Life: 30 days

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

Auto insurance not required if prove financial responsibility; 25/50/25 if insurance is purchased (plus $1,000 for medical payments)

1001.02; 408-10a; 264-20; 264-16

New Jersey

Generally: No unreasonable delays
Life: 60 days

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

Standard policy: 15/30/5
Basic policy: $5,000 for property damage;

PIP, UM, UIM also required

17B-30-13.1; 17B-25-11; 39-6A-3; 39-6A-3.1 et seq.

New Mexico

Generally: 45 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10

59A-16-21; 59A-20-14; 66-5-205; 66-5-208

New York

Generally: No unreasonable or unfair delays

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10; PIP, UM also required

2601; 311 et seq.; 341; 345; 3420(f)(1)

North Carolina

Generally: No unreasonable delays
Life: 30 days

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

30/60/25; UM, UIM also required

58-58-110; 58-63-15; 20-309; 20-279-21

North Dakota

Generally: No unreasonable delays

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25; PIP, UM, UIM also required

26.1-04-03; 26.1-33-05(9); 39-16.1-09; 39-16.1-11

Ohio

Generally: As soon as possible
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25

3918.10; 3915-05(K); 4509.101; 4509.01(K); 4509.51

Oklahoma

Generally: Prompt, fair settlements
Property: 60 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25

36-1250.5; 36-1250.7; 36-4013; 47-7-601; 47-7-324

Oregon

Generally: No unreasonable delays;

Life: 30 days

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/20; PIP, UM, UIM also required

746.230; 743.192; 806.010; 806.080; 806.070; 742.450; 742.520; 742.502

Pennsylvania

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays; 15 days
Life: Upon proof of loss

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

15/30/5; PIP also required

40-1171.5; 146.7; 40-753(8); 75-1702

Rhode Island

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: Upon proof of loss

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25 (or single limit policy of $75,000)

27-9.1-4; 27-4-26; 31-32-2; 31-32-24

South Carolina

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: 30 days

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25; UM also required

38-59-20; 38-63-220; 56-10-10 et seq.; 38-77-140; 38-77-150

South Dakota

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25; UM, UIM also required

58-12-34; 58-15-26; 32-35-70; 58-11-9

Tennessee

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/15 (or single limit policy of $60,000)

56-8-105; 56-7-2307(11); 55-12-102(12); 56-7-1201

Texas

Generally: 15 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

30/60/25

542-056; 542-058; 1101-011; 601-015; 601-071; 601-072

Utah

Generally: In a timely manner;
Life: 45 days

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/65/15 (or single limit policy of $80,000); PIP also required

31a-26-301; R590-191-4 et seq.; 31a-22-302; 41-12a-301; 31a-22-304; 31a-22-307

Vermont

Generally: 30 days
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10; UM, UIM also required

8-3665; 8-3732: 23-800; 23-941

Virginia

Generally: No unreasonable or arbitrary denials or delays

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/20; UM, UIM also required

38.2-510; 46.2-472; 38.2-2206

Washington

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: Upon proof of loss

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10

48-23-130; 48-30-015; 46-30-010 et seq.; 46-29-090

West Virginia

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays
Life: per the policy, but not more than two months

Has adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/25; UM also required

33-11-4(9); 33-13-14; 17D-2A-3 et seq.; 17D-4-2; 33-6-31

Wisconsin

Generally: 30 days

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/10; UM also required

628.46; 344.62; 632.32; 344.33

Wyoming

Generally: No unreasonable denials or delays

Property: 45 days
Life: 45 days

Has not adopted Medicaid expansion

25/50/20

26-13-124; 26-16-112; 26-15-124; 31-4-103; 31-9-405

Get Help Navigating Your State’s Insurance Laws

We all depend on our insurance policies to come through for us when we need them most. While the statutes above give a basic sense of a few insurance laws in each state, there are many more state and federal insurance laws, each with its own exceptions and qualifications. Additionally, the way courts interpret these statutes affect both your obligations and your rights under the law. And of course, insurance laws are constantly changing at both the federal and state levels. With so much at stake in a given insurance policy, it’s important to speak with an experienced professional if you’re having any issues. Learn more about pertinent insurance laws in your state by contacting a local insurance attorney today.

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