Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Insurer's Relations With Insured and Claimant

Time For Payment Of Claims

33-18-232. Time for payment of claims. (1) An insurer shall pay or deny a claim within 30 days after receipt of a proof of loss unless the insurer makes a reasonable request for additional information or documents in order to evaluate the claim. If an insurer makes a reasonable request for additional information or documents, the insurer shall pay or deny the claim within 60 days of receiving the proof of loss unless the insurer has notified the insured, the insured's assignee, or the claimant of the reasons for failure to pay the claim in full or unless the insurer has a reasonable belief that insurance fraud has been committed and the insurer has reported the possible insurance fraud to the commissioner. This section does not eliminate an insurer's right to conduct a thorough investigation of all the facts necessary to determine payment of a claim.

(2) If an insurer fails to comply with this section and the insurer is liable for payment of the claim, the insurer shall pay an amount equal to the amount of the claim due plus 10% annual interest calculated from the date on which the claim was due. For purposes of calculating the amount of interest, a claim is considered due 30 days after the insurer's receipt of the proof of loss or 60 days after receipt of the proof of loss if the insurer made a reasonable request for information or documents. Interest payments must be made to the person who receives the claims payment. Interest is payable under this subsection only if the amount of interest due on a claim exceeds $5.

(3) A private cause of action under 33-18-201 or 33-18-242 may not be based on the compliance or noncompliance with the requirements of this section and evidence of compliance or noncompliance with this section is not admissible in any private action based on 33-18-201 or 33-18-242.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 300, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 378, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 469, L. 2005.