Top Signs You’re Dealing with a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
Insurers help you recover your losses after an accident, lawsuit, or other harmful event. At least, that is what they are supposed to do. Far too often, an insurer will use bad faith to avoid paying you what you deserve. At Starpoint Law, we’ve seen countless examples of bad faith insurance claims. Read the list below and contact our law firm if your insurer is not acting fairly.
What Are Bad Faith Insurance Claims?
Bad faith insurance claims occur when insurers fail to act fairly toward policyholders. Insurers must reasonably investigate, evaluate, and settle valid claims. Insurers sometimes breach this duty by using deceptive tactics, delaying payouts, or offering inadequate settlements. These acts constitute bad faith.
California law identifies these as unfair practices. When an insurer engages in bad faith, policyholders can file a lawsuit to enforce their policy.
Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Claims
There are some typical ways insurers try to avoid paying out valid insurance claims. It may help to speak with an attorney if your insurer does any of these bad faith insurance examples.
Unreasonable Delay in Processing Claims
Insurance companies must process claims quickly. But they sometimes take longer than promised to review a claim. They might hope that the policyholder abandons their claim because of the delay. Delaying a payment can cause a policyholder financial hardship and emotional distress.
Inadequate Investigation of Claims
Insurance companies should conduct thorough and fair investigations when evaluating claims. Some insurers might not collect the right documents, skip steps, or never complete the investigation. Such poor investigations can lead to denials or low settlements.
Unreasonable Documentation Requests
Insurance companies often need documentation to process claims. In some cases, they make excessive requests to avoid paying a claim. The insurer might ask for irrelevant documents that aren’t necessary for processing the claim. Such tactics can cause delays or lead to a denial of your claim.
Insurers should keep you up to date on the status of your claim. They should also ask you for documentation when needed. Some insurers might refuse to speak with you or not ask for supporting documents, which frustrates the claim process.
Insurers are meant to help you when you’re in need. But sometimes, they will use rude or threatening language to intimidate you. Some adjusters might blame you for the damages to avoid providing compensation. These tactics might make you feel defeated and lead you to accept a low settlement offer.
Lowball Settlement Offers
Insurance companies sometimes offer significantly less than the actual value of a claim. This can cause policyholders to accept inadequate settlements. Lowball offers can be a red flag of bad faith, especially when combined with pressure or threats.
Misrepresentation or Concealment
Insurance companies must provide accurate information and be transparent in their dealings. Bad faith happens when they misrepresent facts, hide critical information, or deceive policyholders. Policyholders may unknowingly accept unfair settlements or have valid claims wrongfully denied.
Denial of Valid Claims
One of the most concerning signs of bad faith insurance practices is the wrongful denial of valid claims. Under their policies, insurance companies are obligated to assess claims fairly. It’s a clear breach of this duty when they deny legitimate claims without proper justification.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you are experiencing these examples of bad faith insurance claims, it may be best to work with an attorney. Their advocacy and support can help you get your claim approved and maximize your compensation.
Some of the benefits of hiring an attorney include:
- Experience—lawyers know all the tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying claims;
- Negotiation—your attorney will communicate with your insurer and pressure them to honor your policy;
- Litigation—if your insurer continues acting in bad faith, a lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf to request the compensation you deserve; and
- Stress relief—your lawyer will handle all the paperwork so you can avoid the headache of dealing with your insurer.
Remember that you are always entitled to representation during this process. Don’t let your insurance company discourage you from getting a lawyer.
Schedule a Consultation
The attorneys at Starpoint Law are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. We can fight back against your insurer and make them take your claim seriously. We used to represent some of the largest insurance companies, so we know how to fight back against their tactics.
Call today to schedule your case review.