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Insurance Bad Faith

Your insurance company owes you a duty of good faith and fair dealing. Because your policy is a paid-for promise by your insurance company to provide you with insurance protection, the company has a duty to provide that protection and to negotiate and settle claims in good faith. Simply put, this means that the insurance company must not look for ways to escape its obligation to investigate the claim or to pay you. Doing so would constitute bad faith.

All insurance companies are required to investigate, negotiate, and settle claims in good faith. This is due to a longstanding duty which automatically exists in every insurance contract, known as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” It requires the party or parties to a contract to treat each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not prevent the other party or parties from receiving the benefits of the contract.

When an insurance company fails to honor its obligation to act in good faith in handling your claim, you have recourse. Bad faith claims and lawsuits may stem from one or more of a number of actions or inactions by the insurance company, from denial of coverage to failure to negotiate a settlement. Here are some of the typical reasons insurance companies get sued for bad faith:

  • Unwarranted denial of coverage
  • Failure to communicate pertinent information to the claimant
  • Failure to conduct a reasonable investigation of the claim
  • Refusal to pay the claim without investigating
  • Failure to deny or pay the claim within a reasonable period of time
  • Failure to confirm or deny coverage within a reasonable period of time
  • Failure to attempt to come to a fair and reasonable settlement when liability is clear
  • Offering substantially less money to settle than the true value of the claim
  • Failure to promptly provide a reasonable explanation for denial of a claim
  • Failure to enter into any negotiations for settlement of the claim
  • Failure to respond to a time-limit demand
  • Failure to disclose policy limits

Bad faith litigation can take many different forms and will, like the underlying cases from which they stem, either result in a settlement with the insurance company, an arbitration decision, or a verdict one way or the other.

 

At Rudolph & Hammond, we stand up to the powerful insurance companies, giving a voice to the powerless and protecting the rights of all policyholders to be treated fairly and in good faith. We have had cases against nearly every major insurance company, and we are not afraid to go to trial to hold them accountable. Our strong record of success with these cases lets insurance companies know that you are serious about your claims.

 

EXAMPLES OF BAD FAITH INSURANCE TACTICS

There are many different insurance company practices that constitute bad faith. Below are examples of bad faith insurance tactics, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

  1. Denying A Claim Without Giving a Reason

When an insurance company denies a claim following a car accident, it should give a reason. If you made a valid claim to an insurance company after a car accident and it was denied for no reason or for an invalid reason, you may have a claim against the insurance company for bad faith.

  1. Failing to Conduct an Adequate Investigation Into a Claim

The duty of good faith and fair dealing requires insurance companies to conduct prompt and thorough investigations into car accident claims. If an insurance company has delayed its investigation into your claim or conducted a poor investigation, you may have a bad faith insurance claim.

  1. Delaying Payment of a Valid Claim

Insurance companies must pay on claims within a reasonable time frame. If an insurance company has approved your car accident claim but has unreasonably delayed payment of the claim, you may have a claim against the insurance company for bad faith.

  1. Offering Significantly Less Money Than a Claim is Worth

During the claim negotiation process, insurance companies often propose “low-ball” settlements. But when an insurance company refuses to budge from a low-ball settlement offer, it may be acting in bad faith. If an insurance company offered you significantly less money for your claim than it is worth, you may have a claim for bad faith.

  1. Refusing to Pay a Valid Claim

If an insurance company is refusing to settle or pay a valid claim after a car accident, it is likely acting in bad faith. If you filed a claim with an insurance company after a car accident that was clearly covered by your policy or that of the other driver and it was denied, the insurance company may be liable for its bad faith denial.

  1. Making Threatening Statements

Insurance companies should never threaten policyholders or third parties who make claims after a car accident. Insurance companies should treat policyholders and others in a respectful and professional manner. If an insurance company has made threats of any kind against you, contact an experienced car accident lawyer right away.

  1. Misrepresenting The Law or Policy Language

If an insurance company has intentionally misrepresented the law or language in the insurance policy applicable to your car accident claim, you may have a legal claim against the insurance company for bad faith. As part of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, insurance companies must be honest and truthful in their statements about the law and the insurance policies involved in a claim.

  1. Refusing Requests for Documentation

Insurance companies should always comply with reasonable requests for documentation from policyholders and third parties. If you have asked an insurance company to provide documentation in support of its decisions and the insurance company refused to supply it, you may have a claim for bad faith.

PROVING BAD FAITH IN A BAD FAITH INSURANCE CLAIM

In order to establish that an insurance company acted in bad faith, you must show that the facts and circumstances surrounding the insurance company’s actions indicate that the company acted in bad faith. Because the bad faith inquiry is focused on specific facts and circumstances and varies in each case, it can be very difficult to establish that an insurance company acted in bad faith. This is one of the many reasons why you should work with the lawyers at Rudolph & Hammond. We have worked as defense attorneys for these companies and we know what is required to establish bad faith.

It is important to understand that your claim against an insurance company that you believe acted in bad faith is separate from that against the other driver who was responsible for your accident. A bad faith insurance lawyer can help you better understand how a bad faith insurance lawsuit differs from a car accident lawsuit filed against the at-fault driver. Call today so we can review your case and answer your questions.

It is important to understand that your claim against an insurance company that you believe acted in bad faith is separate from that against the other driver who was responsible for your accident. A bad faith insurance lawyer can help you better understand how a bad faith insurance lawsuit differs from a car accident lawsuit filed against the at-fault driver. Call today so we can review your case and answer your questions.

Insurance Bad Faith

Your insurance company owes you a duty of good faith and fair dealing. Because your policy is a paid-for promise by your insurance company to provide you with insurance protection, the company has a duty to provide that protection and to negotiate and settle claims in good faith. Simply put, this means that the insurance company must not look for ways to escape its obligation to investigate the claim or to pay you. Doing so would constitute bad faith.

All insurance companies are required to investigate, negotiate, and settle claims in good faith. This is due to a longstanding duty which automatically exists in every insurance contract, known as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” It requires the party or parties to a contract to treat each other honestly, fairly, and in good faith, so as to not prevent the other party or parties from receiving the benefits of the contract.

When an insurance company fails to honor its obligation to act in good faith in handling your claim, you have recourse. Bad faith claims and lawsuits may stem from one or more of a number of actions or inactions by the insurance company, from denial of coverage to failure to negotiate a settlement. Here are some of the typical reasons insurance companies get sued for bad faith:

  • Unwarranted denial of coverage
  • Failure to communicate pertinent information to the claimant
  • Failure to conduct a reasonable investigation of the claim
  • Refusal to pay the claim without investigating
  • Failure to deny or pay the claim within a reasonable period of time
  • Failure to confirm or deny coverage within a reasonable period of time
  • Failure to attempt to come to a fair and reasonable settlement when liability is clear
  • Offering substantially less money to settle than the true value of the claim
  • Failure to promptly provide a reasonable explanation for denial of a claim
  • Failure to enter into any negotiations for settlement of the claim
  • Failure to respond to a time-limit demand
  • Failure to disclose policy limits

Bad faith litigation can take many different forms and will, like the underlying cases from which they stem, either result in a settlement with the insurance company, an arbitration decision, or a verdict one way or the other.

At Rudolph & Hammond, we stand up to the powerful insurance companies, giving a voice to the powerless and protecting the rights of all policyholders to be treated fairly and in good faith. We have had cases against nearly every major insurance company, and we are not afraid to go to trial to hold them accountable. Our strong record of success with these cases lets insurance companies know that you are serious about your claims.

EXAMPLES OF BAD FAITH INSURANCE TACTICS

There are many different insurance company practices that constitute bad faith. Below are examples of bad faith insurance tactics, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

  1. Denying A Claim Without Giving a Reason

When an insurance company denies a claim following a car accident, it should give a reason. If you made a valid claim to an insurance company after a car accident and it was denied for no reason or for an invalid reason, you may have a claim against the insurance company for bad faith.

  1. Failing to Conduct an Adequate Investigation Into a Claim

The duty of good faith and fair dealing requires insurance companies to conduct prompt and thorough investigations into car accident claims. If an insurance company has delayed its investigation into your claim or conducted a poor investigation, you may have a bad faith insurance claim.

  1. Delaying Payment of a Valid Claim

Insurance companies must pay on claims within a reasonable time frame. If an insurance company has approved your car accident claim but has unreasonably delayed payment of the claim, you may have a claim against the insurance company for bad faith.

  1. Offering Significantly Less Money Than a Claim is Worth

During the claim negotiation process, insurance companies often propose “low-ball” settlements. But when an insurance company refuses to budge from a low-ball settlement offer, it may be acting in bad faith. If an insurance company offered you significantly less money for your claim than it is worth, you may have a claim for bad faith.

  1. Refusing to Pay a Valid Claim

If an insurance company is refusing to settle or pay a valid claim after a car accident, it is likely acting in bad faith. If you filed a claim with an insurance company after a car accident that was clearly covered by your policy or that of the other driver and it was denied, the insurance company may be liable for its bad faith denial.

  1. Making Threatening Statements

Insurance companies should never threaten policyholders or third parties who make claims after a car accident. Insurance companies should treat policyholders and others in a respectful and professional manner. If an insurance company has made threats of any kind against you, contact an experienced car accident lawyer right away.

  1. Misrepresenting The Law or Policy Language

If an insurance company has intentionally misrepresented the law or language in the insurance policy applicable to your car accident claim, you may have a legal claim against the insurance company for bad faith. As part of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, insurance companies must be honest and truthful in their statements about the law and the insurance policies involved in a claim.

  1. Refusing Requests for Documentation

Insurance companies should always comply with reasonable requests for documentation from policyholders and third parties. If you have asked an insurance company to provide documentation in support of its decisions and the insurance company refused to supply it, you may have a claim for bad faith.

PROVING BAD FAITH IN A BAD FAITH INSURANCE CLAIM

In order to establish that an insurance company acted in bad faith, you must show that the facts and circumstances surrounding the insurance company’s actions indicate that the company acted in bad faith. Because the bad faith inquiry is focused on specific facts and circumstances and varies in each case, it can be very difficult to establish that an insurance company acted in bad faith. This is one of the many reasons why you should work with the lawyers at Rudolph & Hammond. We have worked as defense attorneys for these companies and we know what is required to establish bad faith.

It is important to understand that your claim against an insurance company that you believe acted in bad faith is separate from that against the other driver who was responsible for your accident. A bad faith insurance lawyer can help you better understand how a bad faith insurance lawsuit differs from a car accident lawsuit filed against the at-fault driver. Call today so we can review your case and answer your questions.

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