Have you been a Victim of Bad Faith Insurance?

Jeremy Thurman on September 23, 2014

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Anyone who owns a car or home is required to have an insurance policy. For your vehicle, you’re insured so that in the event of an accident or other loss, the policy will cover the cost of the vehicle, your medical expenses and the expenses incurred by the other party if you’re found to have been at fault in a collision. For your home, you’re protected against theft, fire, and other loss or catastrophe. Of course, many of us have lots of other kinds of insurance, too – health, life, professional or umbrella policies. As you pay your insurance premiums, do you ever wonder… what if my insurance company refuses to pay?

Bad faith insurance is when an insurance company wrongfully denies coverage for a claim. An insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company that requires that the insurer must provide certain benefits upon receiving proof of loss. On occasion, however, an insurer will commit bad faith by failing to pay deserved benefits. If an insurer refuses to pay your claim or offers an insufficient amount, you should consult with the attorneys at McIntyre Law, P.C. to see whether the insurance company’s obligations can be enforced.

What is “bad faith” conduct?

Among other things, bad faith can include the following:

  • Failure to promptly and thoroughly investigate a claim
  • Refusal to settle a case or reimburse for your entire loss
  • Unreasonable denial of benefits for a claim
  • Unreasonable termination of an insurance policy after a claim has been made
  • Unreasonable delay in making payments
  • Unreasonable failure to defend the insured (you) if you’ve been sued under a policy with a liability provision
  • Unreasonable attempts to under-settle or lowball payment of a claim
  • Deceptive practices or deliberate misrepresentations so that the company can avoid paying the claim
  • Using improper standards to deny a claim
  • Abusive or coercive tactics used in settling a claim
  • Failure to disclose or explain policy limitations or exclusions

Can the insurance company deny my claim?

The simple answer is yes. Not every claim is worthy of a settlement. If you didn’t fulfill your end of the contract (by nonpayment of the premium, for example), then the insurance company might not be obligated to pay your benefit. Also, if the claim is fraudulent or is not covered under the policy, then the company is not obligated to pay it. Bad faith occurs when you have a legitimate claim under a policy that is in good standing and the insurance company is acting wrongly by not paying your benefit.

insurance by Alan Cleaver, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Alan Cleaver 

How do I know if the insurance company is acting in bad faith?

It can be hard to determine on your own how much a loss is worth, or whether the insurer is acting in bad faith. Especially in case of loss, you might think that the value of your possessions is higher than it actually is. That’s why the attorneys at McIntyre Law, P.C. are here to help you every step of the way. We will help you determine whether you’ve been the victim of bad faith so that you don’t have to face the insurance company alone. Call us today for a free consultation: (877) 917-5250.

Jeremy Thurman

Jeremy Thurman is an attorney at McIntyre Law who focuses primarily on semi-truck accident and catastrophic injury cases. He is known as a meticulous attorney whose work ethic and small town values translate into excellent results for his clients. Read more about Jeremy Thurman.

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