Bad Faith Insurance Attorney : Bad Faith Insurance Information
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
What is bad faith insurance?
An insurance policy is basically a contract between an insurance carrier and an entity it insures. The contract requires that the insurance company act in "good faith" in meeting its obligations under this contract. One example in which an insurance company fails to do this is when it unreasonably withholds insurance benefits you, as an insured, are entitled to. This is known as bad faith insurance.
What are some other examples of potential bad faith insurance?
- Termination or denial of an insurance claim that should have been paid
- Other unreasonable delays in payments to the insured
- Failure to defend a policyholder with a liability provision who's been sued
- Attempting to settle at a lower amount than the insured is reasonably entitled to (also known as "lowballing")
What if a clause in the policy is not clear?
Although insurance law varies from state to state, most policies are subject to "rules of construction". This means that if a word, phrase, or clause in the policy is ambiguous as to the coverage, the interpretation is to err on the side of granting it.
What if the insurance company's settlement offer seems low?
If your insurance company intentionally offers a settlement that is unreasonably low, it may be lowballing, which is a form of bad faith. Insurance carriers have an obligation to deal with those they insure in a fair and reasonable manner.
Can I appeal a claim denial?
Certainly. Your policy should contain details on how to proceed. Begin by making sure you have the specific reasons for the denial in writing. Usually, you must then follow the appeal steps as outlined in the policy prior to pursuing legal action.
What if my insurance company continues to deny my claim?
Take your policy and all documentation to an experienced insurance attorney. Insurance law tends to be a highly specialized field, and a qualified insurance attorney should be able fairly quickly to determine whether you may have a viable bad faith insurance case.
What damages could I recover in a bad faith lawsuit?
If the court finds for you, you could be eligible to recover damages including:
- The benefits of the policy
- Additional losses and damages suffered as a consequence of having wrongfully been denied the claim, including your attorney's fees
- Punitive damages if the insurance carrier's conduct was flagrant or intentional