Implied in every insurance policy there is a “duty of good faith and fair dealing.” This duty precludes the insurance company from doing anything to deprive an insured person of the benefits and/or protection provided in the policy. Unreasonable conduct by the insurance company in denying or failing to adequately investigate a claim may constitute a violation of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing.
When an insurance company searches for or relies solely upon evidence which serves to support a denial of an insured’s claim, it holds its own interest above that of its insured and may be deemed to violate the implied promise to deal with its insured fairly and in good faith.
It is not unusual for an insurance company to limit or even deny coverage of a claim without proper justification or warning. Not every act of an insurance company with which you disagree is bad faith, but if you have been treated unfairly and have been denied coverage or a reasonable settlement wrongfully, you may have a case for bad faith against your carrier.
Bad faith insurance claims involve helping clients:
- Evaluate rights based on their insurance policy
- Determining whether they have a viable case against an insurance company
- Determining the laws applicable to the case state bad faith law
- Identifying and organizing documentation pertinent to the case
- Identifying the errors, intentional or otherwise, the insurance company made when denying claims
- Pursuing benefits and compensation based on the applicable laws
Generally, there are two types of insurance: first-party claims and third-party claims. First-party bad faith claims are those brought by the policyholder directly against his or her insurance company. For example, a bad faith claim brought by a driver against his or her insurer for refusing to pay an auto-collision claim after an automobile accident. Third-party bad faith claims are those brought against an insurance company by a party who is not a named policyholder. This happens most commonly in liability claims, such as when a driver is rear-ended and files a claim with the other party’s insurance company.
In order to proceed with a bad faith lawsuit, it’s highly recommended to do the following. Document everything. This includes up-to-date status updates on the denied claim, any direct correspondence with the company, and any detailed descriptions of the company’s actions, including the date on which they occurred. Request the claims adjuster to provide written documentation stating an explanation for his or her decision. If they deny this request, send the insurance company a letter indicating that you feel they may have acted in bad faith. Highlight any explicit reasons why you think so, including actual facts and not opinions. Contact a reliable bad faith insurance attorney. They have all the skills and familiarity necessary to give you the peace of mind during this stressful time.
If you or a family member have been the victim of bad faith by your insurance company, you can trust in our years of experience with these difficult cases to help you navigate through this difficult process to a fantastic result.