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How Far Back Can An Insurance Company Request Medical Records

In How Far Back Can An Insurance Company Request Medical Records the wake of a personal injury, it can be difficult to gather all of the information you need to make an informed decision about your case. This is especially true if you’ve been injured in an accident that occurred years ago. Many times, people injured in accidents decades ago may not have any medical records from that time period. This can create significant problems when trying to get insurance coverage for their injuries. In this blog post, we will explore how far back an insurance company can request medical records in order to make a more informed decision about your case. We will also discuss some strategies you may want to use if you find yourself in this situation.


The extent to which an insurance company can request medical records from a patient goes back several years, but it is still subject to interpretation. Basically, the company can request any medical records that are related to the claim being investigated. This includes records from as early as six months before the claim was filed and up to two years after it was filed.

Laws Regarding Medical Records Retrieval

In general, medical records can be requested from any provider who treated the individual in question. Providers typically keep records for six months to a year. After that, they may be destroyed or turned over to the patient’s doctor or health insurer.

Some exceptions to the general rule are made if there is a threat of imminent harm to the patient or if National Health Service (NHS) regulations mandate retention of certain records. In those cases, medical providers are generally required to keep records for up to five years.

In some cases, insurance companies may request medical records even further back than that–up to 10 years in some cases. This is done in order to identify any potential preexisting conditions that the individual may have been unaware of and thus not included in their current policy coverage.

The Different Types of Records an Insurance Company May Request

There are a few different types of records that an insurance company may request from you, depending on the policy you have with them.

If you have a health insurance policy with an indemnity clause, your insurer may require medical records back to the date of your policy inception. This means that if there was a claim made on your behalf related to your health before you had your policy, the insurer may ask for these records.

If you have a health insurance policy that does not include an indemnity clause, your insurer may only request medical records that are directly relevant to your claim or coverage. So, if you have a policy that covers hospital stays, but not injuries caused by car accidents, the insurer would only be able to request medical records related to injuries caused by car accidents.

Your insurer may also ask for letters from doctors or other healthcare professionals documenting any treatments or examinations you’ve undergone. This document can show what type of care was prescribed and whether it was followed through.

The Right Time to Request Records from an Insurance Company

If you have a question about whether or not an insurance company can request your medical records, the answer depends on the specific company and policy. Some companies will only allow access to records as far back as six months, while others may go back as far as a year. It is important to check with your insurer to determine their specific policy and timeline.


In light of the recent revelations about data breaches and insurers requesting medical records, it is important for consumers to be aware of their rights. While an insurance company may have a right to request certain information from you as part of a claim, they are not allowed to go back more than two years without your express written consent. If you do not want your past medical records released to an insurer, make sure to speak with them directly about this before submitting any paperwork.

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