Facing injuries or property damage is dreadful enough as it is but it can be even more frustrating when your insurance agency refuses to provide coverage for your losses. Your insurer’s duty and responsibility is to investigate the matter and offer you a fair settlement for your claim and when the time comes when their good faith is in question, insurance companies can be held accountable in court for their actions.
Bad faith generally refers to any unfair or dishonest practice and insurance companies sometimes in an attempt to prioritize the company’s welfare and revenue. This article will allow you to learn how to identify such bad faith tactics and later provide you with tips to deal with such occurrences.
Signs of a bad faith action and how to deal with them
If your insurance provider is operating in bad faith, you ought to know how to deduce such an action. All over America and beyond, bad faith claims occur, and it could be possible that you are a victim of this derogatory occurrence. Check the following signs to make sure you are aware of bad faith action.
Denying to settle a claim unreasonably
The unreasonable denial to settle the claim is the most obvious sign that will instantly make you aware of the insurer’s bad faith situation. Insurers often reject paying for a claim offering no valid reason. They might deny paying by confusing you, highlighting a complicated citation from the contract. They will always use some part in the agreement as an excuse to try fabricating a valid reason and refusing the claim.
Not investigating the claim as per the protocol
If your insurance agency refuses to pay or starts stalling, consider it a sign of bad faith. For instance, if your house was demolished due to a fire, the chances are that one or more of your family members also got injured in the event. In such a case, you would expect the insurer to work fast to investigate, negotiate, and provide sufficient coverage so you can rebuild your property.
Unfortunately, the company may delay the settlement claim, making excuses of various sorts, even when you have offered them all the required information. If this happens to you, consider filing a bad-faith lawsuit. If you live in Oakland, California, a quick visit to this website will help you understand how to deal with such a situation better. Gathering information from verified sources can help you settle your claim quickly and fairly.
Offering a lower settlement than you deserve
Being awarded an amount lesser than you deserve is another tactic that insurance companies try to follow so they don’t have to spend more to compensate for an insured person’s losses. Such companies have to maintain their profits as high as possible. So, they are legally obligated to settle claims in as little amount as possible. The ugly truth is that insurers are businessmen, not philanthropists.
Role of jurisdiction in bad faith claim
Depending upon your location, the requisites of a bad faith claim may differ. Most laws defining the claim for a bad faith action follow the general definition as implemented in California, which was also the first state of understanding this negative tactic’s reality. To prove that an insurance company practiced a bad faith claim, you will need to prove that they caused a breach of good faith. This can happen based on the signs that we mentioned earlier in this post.
Furthermore, several judicial committees across America and other regions have added clauses to define such an act. According to them, a plaintiff can prove the presence of bad faith action by highlighting that the insurer denied the benefits of a policy without any legitimate cause or reason. If that happens, it is acceptable to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. Even if you sense that the insurance company’s action is in bad faith, you might find it hard to prove it in court. We recommend hiring professional lawyers to help you settle the claim with their experience and skills.
What all does a bad faith claim cover?
Filing a bad faith insurance claim lawsuit can help you win the obligatory compensation to reduce your personal and property losses. Besides covering the amount for a settled bad faith claim, an insurance agency is also required to pay for the following:
- Liability for Judgements over Policy Limits
- Emotional Distress
- Statutory Penalties
- Attorney Fees
- Statutory Interest
- Economic Loss
- Punitive Damages
You should never ignore the ill or unfair treatment of your insurance company, even if you’re experiencing emotional distress following a personal loss. Getting a fair settlement for your insurance claim is a right for which you have paid with regular premiums. So, use the power of the law to claim for what you deserve. Take help from a professional if you need to in order to improve your chances of winning your case.