Your insurance company is supposed to help during bad times. Isn’t that the unwritten promise? For example, State Farm says, “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There.” This implies that you can count on the insurance company to assist you when your property is damaged, when you’ve been injured, etc. Unfortunately, as many people dealing with insurance companies know, this is not always true.
Often, especially during personal injury claims, the insurance company will be focused on the bottom line. Insurance adjusters will be more worried about the amount of money they might have to pay than the health of the person insured. Sometimes, the adjuster will help the injury victim through the claims process quickly and fairly; other times, the adjuster will drag their feet, refuse to pay damages, and etc.
If you’ve had problems getting the benefits to which you are entitled according to your insurance policy, you might be able to file a bad faith claim against your own insurance company. Insurance bad faith means filing a claim that the insurance company has not fulfilled the contract you agreed upon.
There are several sources of ground for a claim against your insurance:
- Denial of payment for a claim, without any reasonable basis for denial
- Failure to investigate the claim fully, in a timely manner
- Failure to fully explain all policy exclusions and provisions
- Use of intimidation or even abusive behavior to get a claim settled
- Intentional misuse of the policy’s wording to avoid payment responsibility
- Deceitful behavior or practices
- Unreasonable demands of proof for damages
- Coercion, extreme lack of communication, etc. to force
claimant to settle
Bad faith behavior can occur before and after filing a lawsuit. Insurance companies are required by law to fulfill their contractual obligations, just like many other types of businesses – don’t let yourself be bullied. Don’t give in to their unreasonably bureaucratic demands. Insurance companies know they can outwait you when it comes to paying bills, because they have more resources. But federal and state laws state that they can be sued by their insured, and by anyone (even those who are not technically customers of the company) who should have been compensated but was not.
Personal injury attorneys are very experienced with dealing with insurance companies who are reluctant to pay. This is their job. So if you feel that your fight for due compensation was unnecessarily difficult and that the insurance company failed to provide you with the benefits provided for in your contract, contact a personal injury attorney today about filing a bad faith claim.