I had an accident (not at my fault) about a month ago with my car. The car stopped working, and I had to tow the car to a shop. The insurance company said they would do their best to quickly evaluate the damage and get back to me in a few days. For about one week the shop was closed, but for the next 3 weeks the insurance has not finished damage assessment. I just know that about 2 weeks ago the insurance people went to the shop and looked at the car but could not finish evaluation since the engine does not start. So they told me they are waiting for the shop to let them know what's wrong with the engine. A few days after that I called the shop, and they said the engine is broken since the accident has caused the oil to leak, and some parts inside the engine have got melted. They also told me they have let the insurance company know about this, but the insurance company has not followed up with them for anything. I emailed the person in charge at the insurance company and told him that the shop has already let them know about the engine failure, and I expect them to get back to me. I got an automatic reply that he won't be able to respond to emails until Dec 30th. Today is Dec 30th, but I still have not got anything back from him.
So, to summarize, it's basically about a month that I do not have a car, and I don't even know what to do as it is taking an extremely long time for the insurance company to do damage evaluation. I had holiday plans, and I was certain I'd have my car back a few weeks after the accident, but it seems impossible. Given that the new year starts in less than 2 days, I assume I have to wait yet another week for them to get back to me (making it almost 5 weeks by then).
So I wonder, do I have any legal rights to ask the insurance company to compensate me for this extremely long and unjustified time that is taking them to only do "damage evaluation"? Or basically, is there any law to protect my rights in this situation? Please note that my insurance plan does not cover for rental cars, but what frustrates me is that the insurance company is careless about my time and my situation, and I'm just sitting here without my car. I'm also wondering if I can somehow sue them legally because of their ignorance/carelessness? I appreciate your advice in advance.