When Do Insurance Companies Engage in “Bad Faith” Conduct?
Your Insurance company is suppose to be a safety net for you when unforeseen accidents occur; and, it is suppose to always engage in good faith and fair dealing with its insured. When you purchase an insurance policy, you are entering into a good faith contract with your insurance company. You agree to pay a premium and in return, the insurance company is required to investigate claims in a timely fashion, communicate information regarding claims in writing and if necessary, issue payment promptly. When an insurance company disregards these obligations, it is acting in bad faith and you may have a case against them.
How do I know if my insurance company acted in bad faith?
If you submitted your claim, whether it’s an automobile accident or damage to house, in a timely fashion and with all of the required documents, your insurance company should act and communicate quickly. If you think the insurance company is giving you the runaround or delaying your payment, it may be acting in bad faith. Other examples of insurance companies acting in bad faith include:
● Denying claims with no reasonable justification
● Interpreting your language in your contract in an unreasonable fashion
● Not paying claims in full
● Not fully investigating your claim
● Refusing to provide you a legal defense
What are my obligations when making a claim?
Reading and understanding your insurance policy is step one. If there are any parts that you do not understand, go over it with an attorney. Be sure to file your claim in a timely manner and document and keep all phone, email and snail mail communications you have with your insurance company or any representative. Continue to hold up your end of the contract by continuing to pay your premiums.
My insurance company is acting in bad faith. What do I do?
One option is to address the situation yourself. Write a letter to your claims adjuster, not your agent. Your agent is a salesperson and has little of any say in your claim. Find out who the claims supervisor is and send the letter to him or her as well. Follow up with a phone call, be polite and give them every opportunity to respond. If the insurance company continues acting in what you think is “bad faith,” Contact Wilson Law, P.A. for a FREE consultation and don’t let your insurance company put their bottom line above your well-being.