When Insurance Companies Act on Bad Faith

Insurance Companies Act on Bad Faith

Insurance is meant to protect us against catastrophic, life-changing events like ill health, accidents, natural disasters, and death. Without insurance, one car accident or an unexpected illness can cause irreparable harm to our financial stability. Without insurance, we have no protection against the curve balls that life throws at us—the situations that it’s impossible to prepare for, and impossible to survive without the financial protection that insurance provides.

But what happens when you have purchased insurance or have been given insurance through an employer and that insurance company does not come through for you when you need it the most? What happens when your insurance makes promises through an insurance policy and then fails to keep those promises? When that happens, you call an attorney with experience in what is referred to as a “bad faith insurance” claim.

Expectation of Fairness

When you’re a policyholder and pay your premiums on time, you have certain expectations of your insurance company. First and foremost, you expect fair treatment when you file a legitimate insurance claim, but we all know that the main goal of an insurance company is to pay out as little money as possible on all claims.

Insurance companies, like all businesses, need to make a profit, and they do that by collecting millions of dollars worth of premiums each year and paying out much less than they collect. That’s how insurance companies work, even though they have plenty of money to pay out on legitimate claims. Bad faith insurance occurs when an insurance company denies or delays payment on a legitimate insurance claim.

It can be difficult, however, to determine if your insurance company has acted in bad faith. That’s where an experienced legal team comes in. Bad faith insurance claims are notoriously complex and time consuming. It’s virtually impossible to get the money owed to you by an insurance company without an experienced bad faith attorney on your side.

What Bad Faith Looks Like

Insurance companies may exhibit bad faith in the following ways:

  • Outright denial of a valid claim
  • Offering less than your claim is worth
  • Delaying payment of your claim
  • Engaging in deceptive practices (For example, they may change your policy without informing you or they may bog you down with unnecessary documentation hoping you get so frustrated with the “required” paperwork that you simply abandon the claim.)

Such conduct by the insurance company will cause a financial burden to policyholders because while these tactics are being employed, you’re without the money that’s owed to you. If your claims adjuster or insurance company failed in their duty to investigate, negotiate, or settle your insurance claim in good faith, they may be liable for their actions.

If you have been dealing with an insurance company, you should keep a record of all communications with the adjuster or any other representative. Record your phone calls or make notes immediately after each call. Make copies of any documentation they require of you and keep all emails related to your case. Don’t delete voicemails from your insurance adjuster and keep all receipts of any expenses related to your claim.

Most importantly, contact a bad faith insurance lawyer if you suspect that the insurance company is delaying or unfairly denying your claim.

If you bring all of your records and documentation to an experienced bad faith insurance attorney, you may find that you have a valid claim against your insurance company.

Lynn Fugaro About Lynn Fugaro

Lynn has been writing web content since 2007 after a lengthy career as a middle school English teacher and administrator. Writing web content seemed a natural progression following a career teaching adolescents about the beauty and the power of the written word, and she quickly got hooked on the challenge of writing SEO- and reader-friendly content that could be found on Page 1 of Google and other search engines.

Having written content for physicians and attorneys for the first few years of her writing career, Lynn has most recently produced original, informative, entertaining, and relevant content for the entertainment industry, the automotive industry, senior communities, pet rescues and numerous other businesses hoping to increase website traffic and page views for all clients looking for informative, vibrant content.