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Auto insurance limitation period: see how it works!
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Looking for more information about what exactly the auto insurance statute of limitations is and how it works? You don't need to look any further, in this article you will understand this subject better.

Auto insurance is full of coverage that protects against different types of losses, however, as in any commercial sector, there is a deadline for requesting these compensations to be made.

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This period is called prescription in auto insurance and, in this article you will better understand how it works for each type of client and situation, follow along.

How the statute of limitations works on car insurance

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What is prescription in car insurance and how does it work?

The prescription of auto insurance is nothing more than the deadline that the insured or client has to request compensation for an accident suffered. It is important to remember that this period varies depending on the type of client.

Insured people, beneficiaries and third parties have different limitation periods for car insurance. To help you understand better, we will explain how these clients are characterized and how the limitation periods work for each of them, see below:

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  • Policyholders: these are the people who take out car insurance, generally this client is the owner of the vehicle protected by the policy. The insured can receive compensation for practically all insurance coverages such as collision, theft, theft and more. It will have a term of 1 year;
  • Beneficiaries: the beneficiaries are those people, normally chosen by the insured, who also have the right to be compensated, just like the insured. In the case of car insurance, for example, the beneficiaries may be additional drivers. The limitation period for compensation for beneficiaries is 3 years;
  • The 3rd: are the people who suffer damages caused by the insured. For example, you have car insurance with third-party coverage and you rear-end another driver. This driver is the third and will have a period of 3 years to open a claim and request compensation from his insurance company.

In all cases, the limitation period for requesting car insurance compensation starts from the day the accident occurred. When we talk about compensation for permanent disability The limitation period begins to run only from the date on which the disability was confirmed through a technical report.

Where can I find the laws regarding these deadlines?

These deadlines are the main rules related to car insurance, they can be found in the Brazilian Civil Code in articles 189 / 206 of Law 10,406 of January 10, 2002. The rules relating to the prescription period in cases of permanent disability, in car insurance are detailed in Summary No. 278 of the Civil Code.

Remembering that these deadlines are valid in simpler cases, for more complex cases it is important to count on the help of a lawyer to know how to act best.

How does the suspension of the statute of limitations work?

The suspension of the limitation period is nothing more than a pause in the counting of time, until the end of the period determined for prescription. The most common situation involving the suspension of the limitation period is related to the analysis of the claim.

In other words, the claim period starts from the date it occurs, however, there are some bureaucratic procedures that need to be followed for the compensation to be released. For this analysis to be carried out by the insurer, the insured must submit the requested documents and wait the necessary period. During this process, the claim's limitation period is suspended (paused) and only starts again when the claim is validated by the insurer.

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Let's look at an example: Mateus crashed his car on March 5, 2018, the collision damaged the vehicle, but it wasn't that serious and he decided to leave the claim until later. On April 15th, he contacted the insurance company and opened a claim for repairs to his car.

Mateus' statute of limitations began to run from the day he crashed his car, that is, 41 days passed until the period in which he opened the claim. Mateus sent all the necessary documents to the insurance company, so that it could analyze his compensation request.

During the period of this analysis, the deadline is suspended, that is, it stops counting. The insurance company took 8 days to analyze all the information and release the compensation claim for Mateus, so the statute of limitations starts again from April 23rd. From that moment on, Mateus will have 10 months and 8 days to complete the compensation procedures.

After all this information, we hope that the subject of the car insurance limitation period will no longer be a cause for doubt for you.

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