I recently received a request to write about the claims handling guidelines in Arkansas. As always, I am happy to help. The Arkansas Insurance Rules and Regulations state that the “purpose of this rule is to define certain minimum standards which, if violated with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice, will be deemed to constitute unfair claims settlement practices.” Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 1.
An insurance carrier in Arkansas must acknowledge a claim within 15 working days after receipt of the claim, if the acknowledgment is not in writing, a detailed note must be placed in the file. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 7(a). They must provide forms for a proof of loss within 20 days of their receipt of notice of the claim. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 7(a) and Ark. Code. Ann. § 23-79-126. They must acknowledge and respond to communications that reasonably require a response within 15 working days of receipt of the communications. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 7(c). They must also provide all claims forms and instructions for their use promptly after receipt of the claim. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 7(d). The carrier must complete their investigation within 45 calendar day of the claim being opened. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 8. If they cannot complete the investigation within 45 days they must advise the insured before the expiration of the 45 days why they need more time. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 8. They must update the notice of needing more time (along with the reasons therefor) every 45 calendar days after the initial notice. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 9(a)(2).
The carrier must advise that they are accepting or denying the claim within 15 working days after they receive a properly executed proof of loss. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 9(a)(1). The carrier must mail or deliver all claims checks within 10 days after the close of the investigation. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 9(f). Finally, the carrier must advise an insured that their rights could be affected by a statute of limitations or other time limit at least 30 days before the expiration of that date. Ark. Ins. Rule & Reg. 43 § 9(d).
Without explanation, I offer you the pride of Forest City, Arkansas, The Reverend Al Green: