BAD FAITH INSURANCE CLAIMS
In its most simplest terms, bad faith is when your own insurance company treats you unfairly. In most states the insured have a way to prevent abuse by insurance companies. Most of us have had experiences with claims being paid late or wrongfully denied.
Historically, most courts have recognized an insured's right to bring a bad faith lawsuit against an insurance company for "bad behavior." However, until now, there have not been adequate remedies mandated by statute. Under new laws in most states the insured can file suit when their insurance company unreasonably delays, decreases or denies a claim. If a claim is clearly excessive or frivolous it can still be denied. However, the days of offering substantially less with the hope that an insurer will take the money and "drop it" or "go away" are gone. Most states will allow for increased damages and attorney's fees for an insured who wins. Previously, some insurers could get away with a denial with the only fear being that they would have to pay the insurance benefits actually due should they lose. Forcing an insurer to pay what was due anyway did not give the insurance company incentive to pay in a timely manner. The insurance companies are now accountable for their actions.
A good lawyer can help you understand your rights and protect you against bad faith behavior by your own insurance company.
Prohibited actions by an insurer which may amount to bad faith include:
• Delays in processing your claim or communicating with you.
• Trying to settle your case for an unreasonably low offer.
• An adjuster lying or simply being inaccurate with information.
• Threatening to cancel your policy or raise premiums to get a low settlement.
• Asking for the same information again and again to get you to drop a claim or settle.
Each case must be looked at individually to determine if your insurance company is acting in bad faith. You should obtain the advice of an attorney who can recognize bad faith actions.
This website is not meant to serve as legal advice of any kind and is only intended for informational, educational, and entertainment purposes only. As Personal Injury Law varies from state to state we recommend you seek legal advice from an attorney or law firm in your state. The information used on this website is copyrighted and used with permission by Dallas Norton, Esq. Denver's Personal Injury Attorney serving personal injury victims in Denver Metro Area and all of Colorado