The correct response is, “maybe, or maybe not, depending on the facts, and the state in which you reside.”
Insurance policies very often have time limits on the submission of a claim for benefits. In some states, those deadlines are VERY strictly construed, and once the deadline has passed, it does become “too late” to make a claim.
However, more than half of the states apply some form of an insurance rule called the “notice prejudice” doctrine. Simply put, even if an insurance policy imposes a time limit for the submission of the claim, if certain rules are met, a claim can be submitted after the time limit if the late notice does not “prejudice” the insurance company’s ability to investigate the claim. However, that is just a basic summary of the rule. In the states that apply some form of the notice prejudice doctrine, its application differs from state to state. In some states, the insured making the late claim must demonstrate a “good reason” for making a late claim. In others, the burden falls on the insured to prove that no prejudice would be suffered by the insurance company because of the late claim submission.