When you buy an insurance policy, you are purchasing a sense of security for you and your loved ones. So, when something unexpected happens, you naturally expect your insurance company to act in good faith and help you get back to normal. That’s why you buy insurance in the first place, right?
Sadly, the unfortunate truth is that insurance companies are just that— companies—and are ultimately more interested in their bottom line than your wellbeing.
When you file a legitimate insurance claim and your insurance company deliberately fails to fulfill its obligations, you can be left feeling uncertain and upset. These cases, called bad faith claims, are complicated and can be hard to fight. By hiring an experienced insurance bad faith attorney, you can remove the burden from you and your loved ones, as well as help to increase your chances of getting the fair compensation you deserve.
At Insurance Claim HQ, we’ve been fighting bad faith claims against a variety of insurance companies for years, and are here to help you do the same. In this article, we will cover what a bad faith insurance claim is, common examples, and how hiring an attorney can make or break your case.
What is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
After you take the time and effort to file an insurance claim, you expect your insurance company to analyze the evidence and give you the fair settlement you deserve. Unfortunately, insurance companies act in bad faith more often than you would expect and often deny valid claims.
When an insurance company fails to keep its obligations to you—for example, by denying legitimate claims without explanation or refusing to make a reasonable investigation—it is acting in bad faith.
Bad faith goes beyond a simple difference of opinion between the insurance company and the policyholder. It is deliberate misrepresentation, deception, or unreasonable denials and delays on the part of the insurer. When this happens, policyholders can attempt to hold the insurer accountable and get the compensation they deserve by filing an insurance bad faith claim.
After insurance companies renege on their promises, policyholders naturally feel betrayed. It is important to remember that when your insurance company wrongfully denies your claim or gives you an unfair settlement offer, you do not have to accept their decision. Cases like these often lead to bad faith insurance claims and give victims the opportunity to fight back.
How to Tell if You Have a Bad Faith Case Against Your Insurance Company
Remember, just because you disagree with insurance company’s decision doesn’t necessarily mean they were acting in bad faith. But if you or a loved one believe that your insurance company has acted in bad faith, then you may consider filing a bad faith insurance lawsuit. There are a few steps you should take before filing a bad faith claim to increase your claim’s chances of success.
- Check your insurance policy: Before filing, get a full dated copy of your insurance policy and check to be certain your claim is covered by your policy. This can also help you be sure if there was a breach of contract under insurance law.
- Gather evidence: Make sure you keep all the evidence from your original claim, as well as any new proof of wrongful denial or lack of reasonable settlement offer.
- Send a written demand: By sending a written demand letter with proof of sending, you can prove you tried to settle your case before filing a lawsuit. Your insurance company has 15-60 days to respond to this demand letter before you can file a lawsuit. If they deny you again before or within this window, you can file after receiving that denial.
- File a complaint: If you feel wronged by your insurance company, file a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Insurance. They will either help to reach a settlement through mediation or give you the opportunity to file a lawsuit against your insurance company.
Insurance Company Bad Faith Examples
No two bad faith insurance claims are exactly alike. There are, however, some common signs that can help you understand if your insurance company acted in bad faith or not.
If one or more of these examples describes the actions of your insurance company, it may constitute bad faith on their part:
- Refusing to pay a valid claim
- Undervaluing a claim or offering an unreasonable settlement
- Denying facts even when provided with evidence
- Taking too long or delaying claim decisions
- Ignoring communication from the claimant
- Trying to intimidate claimants
- Creating unnecessary work to deter claimants from filing
- Lying about your coverage or twisting the facts
Benefits of Hiring a Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
Filing a bad faith claim can be intimidating, especially with policies and rules varying from state to state and company to company. The amount of work and proof it can take to win a bad faith lawsuit can be overwhelming for those without experience. That’s why hiring an experienced attorney can be vital to the success of your claim.
Your attorney is there to help you work through all the difficult and complicated parts of a bad faith lawsuit. Experienced attorneys can handle the communication with your insurance company, analyze and build your case, and sometimes even demand punitive damages for your emotional distress. Most bad faith attorneys will work on contingency and only take their attorney’s fees out of your final settlement, so you don’t need to worry about further financial burden. If they don’t win, you don’t pay.
When hiring an attorney, be sure to check and see if they have worked with your specific insurance company in the past. Homeowners and auto insurance policies may vary significantly depending on the provider, so your case may benefit from a lawyer with a specific set of skills or experience.
Insurance Claim HQ: Fighting for Victims of Insurance Bad Faith in Louisiana
When you or a loved one are wrongfully denied for a legitimate insurance claim, your insurance company should be held accountable.
At Insurance Claim HQ, our team of experienced bad faith lawyers are here to help you navigate the frustrating and complicated bad faith insurance claims process, create strategies that fit your needs, and protect your rights. We know how and why your insurance company acts in bad faith and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.