Dont Be Afraid of the Big, Bad Insurance Company!
Every insurance contract has an unwritten, invisible, or implied term referred to as the covenant or promise of good faith and fair dealing. This is a promise imposed by law upon an insurance company to always act fairly towards its insureds in handling their claims. Whether or not the clause can be found in the wording of the policy, judges will read it as if it is there.
Part of the insurance companys duty to you as a policyholder is to meet your reasonable expectations when you have a claim. If you believe they have not done so, and you file a bad faith lawsuit, a jury will decide if the insurer acted reasonably under the facts offered. Denying benefits, delaying payments and paying less than what is owed are examples of acting unreasonably and constitute bad faith. Other actions or inactions that may be bad faith are if the insurance carrier fails to thoroughly and promptly investigate your claim. Even if the insurer later on tries to right their wrong by offering a settlement, you can settle with them and still sue them for bad faith if any of the previously discussed unfair practices took place.
Dont be afraid of the big bad insurance company! If they are not dealing with you fairly, they should be afraid of you! It is not even necessary in a bad faith suit to show that the insurer intended to cause harm. To prove they breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, you need only show that the insurer failed to honor their agreement and had no cause not to pay what was due under the contract.
Its simple; all you need to do if you are not being treated fairly by your insurance carrier is to contact an experienced attorney who specializes in insurance bad faith cases. He or she will go over the facts with you and determine if you have a good case. Leave it in the attorneys hands, and watch the insurance company squirm.
For a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your case, fill out our free case evaluation form and a top-rated attorney will contact you. Our Insurance Advice site has links for all state departments of insurance.
For more information about bad faith insurance practices and claims, see the following articles: