How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement From A Car Accident? (Answered)

In the case of a car accident, it’s good to have car insurance so you can claim compensation for any damage done. Filing a claim correctly is an important part of being able to get a settlement from your insurer. A good insurance company will try to settle a claim as fast as possible so you can get back on the road.

Currently, only 30% of South Africans have car insurance. That’s about 8.4 million drivers that cannot get an insurance settlement from their insurers. It’s important to have car insurance because accidents are expensive. But do you know what a claim entails? And how long it can take to receive a settlement?

These questions can be an overwhelming thing to wrap your head around if you’ve been in a car accident yourself. Don’t worry. We answer all of your car insurance settlement and claim payout questions below. Take a read if you’d like to know how long it takes to get a settlement from a car accident.

cars in traffic

How Long Does A Car Accident Settlement Take?

Before you try to settle your claim it’s good to know what you need to make a claim and how long you have to file a claim.

How Do I Make a Claim?

Before you can successfully make a car accident claim, you need to make sure you follow the correct procedures and have the correct documents at hand. Without the correct procedures followed, your car insurance cannot give you any form of compensation after an accident.

After you’ve taken photos of the damage and have exchanged information with the third party, it’s important that you file a police report. Get a copy of the police report for yourself too.

Follow this guide that will help you file an insurance claim in 5 easy steps.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?

A police report should be filed within 24 hours of the car accident if anyone was injured or killed. If no one got hurt, you can report it on the first available workday.

It is always best to report an accident as soon as possible to your insurer. Most insurance companies are more lenient with their time frame. Some insurance companies give their clients up to 30 days to make a claim. When you report to your insurer make sure that you have all the needed documents including your SAPS case number.

police stopped at a car accident at night

How Long Does It Take To Settle A Car Accident Claim?

The time it takes to have an accident settle varies depending on insurance companies. Sometimes delays can also extend the waiting time.

What Causes Delays?

Oftentimes the length of the average car accident settlement time doesn’t always go to plan and there can be a delay in getting your settlement check. These delays could be caused by:

  • Car insurance claim got rejected
  • Medical treatment
  • Wrong documents submitted
  • Extended court orders
  • Settlement negotiations
  • Dispute over who’s at fault

How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Check After Signing A Release?

After signing a settlement release, the insurance company will start the process of paying out your claims to you or the finance house you received your car loan from. But, how long does a settlement take?

Average Time For Car Accident Settlement From An Insurance Company

The car accident settlement time frame of an insurance company is usually faster than RAF. However, you might have to pay an excess before you can receive your claim payout.


You’ll have to pay an excess before you’re able to receive a claim payout from Outsurance. Outsurance has a fixed excess amount that will not change regardless of your claim amount or type.

If the car can’t be fixed, your financed vehicle’s excess will be paid to the finance house. If your vehicle isn’t financed, your excess will be paid directly to you. Customers report that settlement claims can take up to four months.

car accident in side mirror of car

1st for Women

With 1st for Women, you have 60 days from the day of the incident to submit a claim. Most customers report that their claim settlement took about two months on average. You have to pay an excess before you can claim, but the higher your monthly premium, the lower your excess will be.


Discovery includes excess costs in your premiums so you don’t have to worry about paying anything when you claim. They also offer excess flexibility so you can adjust the amount you want to be paid out when you claim. Discovery clients state that it takes about one month to settle claims.

King Price

King Price clients have to pay an excess before they can receive a settlement payout. Car repair claims authorisation takes 9 days, whereas write-off claims take 24 days. Clients report that it takes about one month after the authorisation for settlement payouts. Any replacements must be completed within three months of your settled claim.


To keep premium costs low, you’ll have to pay an excess before you can get a claim payout from Budget Insurance. Budget takes about one to three months for settlement payouts.


Miway requires an excess payment before you can claim except with liability cover. Third-party, theft & fire cover and comprehensive cover have a flat excess amount opted by the client. Miway clients report that it takes about three weeks to process a claim. Claims are settled between 14-60 days on average.

hand signing car settlement documents

So, How Long Does A Settlement Take?

The amount of time it takes to get settlement payments depend on the severity of the accident and the company you are insured with. As we can see, according to various customer reports, settlement payouts can take anywhere between 14 days and four months!

Insurance companies will assess the damage before they can make a claim payout. If the car is a write-off, some insurers will offer a new replacement car instead of paying you money.

All-in-all, it’s better to have insurance to cover your settlement costs regardless of how long it takes to receive a payout. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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