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You pay your insurance premiums under the assumption that if the covered situation ever arises, your insurer will provide compensation for injuries, property damage, or death as promised in the policy. However, many insurers may often attempt to deny your insurance claims, using teams of lawyers to claim your policy does not provide coverage under the specific facts of your accident, often based on some minor perceived technicality in your policy. If your insurer wrongfully denies your claim, you may be able to pursue a bad faith claim against your insurer to seek the compensation they wrongfully refused to provide.
If your insurer has wrongly denied your claim or refused to offer full compensation, an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer may be able to help you pursue any compensation you may be entitled to according to your policy. Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. As our client, you will not owe us anything unless we are able to win your case.
WHAT IS A BAD FAITH CLAIM AGAINST AN INSURANCE COMPANY?
A bad faith claim against an insurance company generally argues that your insurer violated the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that exists in every insurance policy agreement between the insurer and insured. It is important to note, however, that not all claim denials may be sufficient to support a bad faith claim against your insurer. To prove the insurer wrongfully denied your claim in bad faith, you will generally need to allege and prove that your insurer breached the contract between the company as your insurer and you as the policyholder.
CAN YOU SUE THE INSURANCE COMPANY FOR DENYING A CLAIM?
While an insurer may dispute in good faith the validity of your claim or the amount of compensation you may be entitled to, the insurer may not deny your claim or offer an unreasonably low amount to settle your claim in bad faith simply to maximize its own profit margin. If your insurer denied your claim in bad faith, you may be able to pursue a bad faith claim against the insurance company.
EXAMPLES OF BAD FAITH INSURANCE PRACTICES
Some common actions that may indicate bad faith on the insurer’s part include:
- Refusing to settle your claim
- Offering an unreasonably “lowball” settlement
- Denial of coverage
- Canceling or rescinding the insurance policy
- Refusing to defend you in a claim made by a third-party
- Delaying the processing of your claim
- Denying your claim
WHEN YOU MAY BE ABLE TO SUE THE INSURANCE COMPANY FOR BAD FAITH
At the end of the day, your insurance company’s goal is to increase its profits by using any reason to justify denying your claim or reducing the amount it pays to settle the claim. The insurer may attempt to manipulate the facts of your claim or look for various loopholes or technicalities in your insurance policy to deny your claim. While an insurance company may dispute in good faith what coverage may exist or what compensation you may be entitled to, the insurer may not behave unreasonably in delaying your claim, misleading you about the value of your claim, or denying your claim in bad faith simply to increase profits for the insurer.
If your claim has been denied or the insurer refused to provide the compensation you may be entitled to, you may be able to sue the insurer for bad faith. With the help of an experienced insurance attorney, you may be able to show evidence of the insurer’s bad faith handling of your claim and prove your claim was unfairly treated despite its validity. If there is sufficient evidence of bad faith by the insurer, you may be able to sue the insurer based on this evidence to seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
COMMON BAD FAITH CLAIMS
Bad faith claims against insurers may arise in many instances, such as:
Car accidents are a common occurrence across the United States, and you expect your insurer to pay for your damaged car. However, your insurer may often deny your car accident claim or may instead offer significantly less compensation than your car is worth or that your insurance policy provided for. Despite fully expecting your claim to be paid, you may suddenly find yourself with a serious financial burden as you try to repair or replace your vehicle following your accident. Your insurer may claim your losses were not as substantial as you reported or incorrectly assign fault to you for the accident in order to deny your claim or refuse to pay as much compensation as you may be entitled to. An experienced bad faith insurance attorney may help you understand the coverage provided by your insurance policy to determine if you may be able to dispute the insurance company’s actions in handling your claim.
Life Insurance or Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Coverage
Unfortunately, insurance companies may also prioritize profits even in tragic cases of a loved one’s death or accidental death and dismemberment. Insurers sell policies to provide coverage for each of these possibilities, while their team of lawyers often may try to keep the insurer’s payments as low as possible when these tragic situations do happen. The insurer may resort to tactics such as claiming the victim’s death was not truly accidental or was caused by an uncovered event, such as suicide or illegal drug use. The insurer may also claim the insured provided false medical information, even when the victim was unaware of an underlying health condition at the time or it was unrelated to the victim’s death.
You are often at your most vulnerable after suffering a disability, and you expect your insurer to provide compensation according to your disability insurance policy. However, your insurer, in its effort to maximize profits, may instead deny your disability claim by arguing that your disability was caused by an uncovered event. Your insurer may also attempt to offer an unreasonably low amount of compensation by disputing the extent of your disability or its negative impact on your life.
HOW TO FILE A BAD FAITH CLAIM AGAINST AN INSURANCE COMPANY
If your insurance company has denied your claim or offered an unreasonably low amount to settle your claim, you may still have some options, such as to potentially file a bad faith claim against your insurer. To file a bad faith claim, you may need to take several steps, including:
1. File A Claim with Your Insurer As Soon As Possible
The first step in pursuing compensation from your insurer is to make sure you file a claim under your insurance policy as soon as possible after the covered accident or loss. Many insurance policies may require you to file a claim within a specified time period, such as 30 days, with the insurer denying any claims filed after this time period. To file a bad faith claim against your insurer, you will likely need to prove that you filed a claim within the necessary time period under your policy.
2. Maintain Documentation and Gather Evidence
You should also be sure to maintain detailed and accurate documentation of your claim, any supporting evidence such as an accident report, proof of death, medical bills, correspondence with your insurer, and other documentation that could be crucial to proving your insurer acted in bad faith in refusing to provide the compensation you were entitled to under your policy.
3. Contact an Experienced Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
If your insurer has denied your claim or offered an unreasonably low amount to settle your claim, an experienced attorney could be your best hope to seek the compensation you may be entitled to. An attorney may help you understand your options, discuss how to file a bad faith claim against your insurer, gather additional documentation and evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf. If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney may also take your case to trial to prove your insurer acted in bad faith in denying your claim or by offering an unreasonably low amount to settle the claim.
GET HELP FROM ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our bad faith insurance lawyers may be able to assist you with your claim. We help our clients pursue the compensation they may be entitled to, even when their own insurer is refusing to perform their end of the insurance agreement. An experienced attorney may be able to find helpful nuances in your policy language, present a well-reasoned argument supported by your policy and relationship with the insurer, and ultimately demonstrate that the insurer denied your claim in bad faith, therefore improving your chances of receiving compensation.
Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with one of our experienced bad faith insurance lawyers. As one of our clients, you will not pay anything unless we can win your bad faith claim. That’s our No Win, No Fee guarantee.
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