Are you outraged about being wrongfully denied or underpaid on an insurance claim for which you paid premiums? Bad faith insurance exists when a consumer or insured’s insurance claim is wrongfully denied, unreasonably delayed or underpaid by an insurance company. Bad faith can also include the insurance company’s failure to adequately investigate a claim or their unreasonable misinterpretations of policy language.
The Insurance Industry’s “Wall of Silence”
The occurrence of bad faith has rapidly increased and has become a serious problem that now threatens all Americans.
One reason you do not hear about bad faith is because generally the insurance company will settle a claim for a large amount and agree not to appeal any decision only if the plaintiff will agree to a gag order preventing them from divulging any information regarding their settlement.
This is the industry’s “Rule of Secrecy” or “Wall of Silence.” Experts estimate that 50% to 80% of all bad faith cases decided in favor of the plaintiff are erased from Court records.
What can you do when your insurance claim is denied?
When your insurance company tries to shirk its obligation to pay benefits that are due to you, or refuses to investigate the claim, representation from an experienced insurance claim lawyer becomes paramount.
Our law firm deals with insurance companies every day. We understand their strategies for lowballing claims and the tactics they use in refusing to pay claims. Some bad faith insurance cases can be satisfactorily settled out of court; in other cases, insurance claim litigation becomes necessary. In either case, knowledgeable attorney representation is essential to ensure that your rights (and insurance benefits) are fully protected.
Insurance adjusters are not your friends.
Insurance adjusters are paid to pay the least amount of money from policies written by their company. Most adjusters are taught that the best way to make a case go away is to control the insured, “you.” They do this by being friendly or by being mean, depending on what they think will work best for a given individual.
Insurance company adjusters are experienced negotiators with extensive experience in intimidation, hassling and other psychological methods to get you to settle for the lowest possible dollar. This includes discouraging people from using the professional services of an attorney.
Just because an insurance adjuster calls you to talk does not mean you have to talk. Listen, but do not get into a discussion. When he or she is finished talking, just say: “I will think about it and get back with you.” You should always contact an insurance claim lawyer who is experienced in negotiating settlements with insurance companies to evaluate your case prior to any communication with the insurance company.
There are many signs of a bad faith insurance case.
These signs are not to be interpreted as legal advice, but are listed to make you aware that you may be dealing with a bad faith insurer. Listed below are some, but not all of the signs of bad faith:
- An insurer may be acting in bad faith if the insurer delays or denies investigation or payment without a reasonable basis for its delay or denial.
- Making payment for claims without an accompanying statement indicating the coverage for which payments are being made.
- Failure of insurer to promptly settle claims, where liability and coverage is reasonably clear under one portion of the insurance policy in order to influence settlements of coverage for another portion(s) of the policy.
- Failure of insurer to provide reasonable explanation and basis when denying or making a compromise offer of settlement.
- Requesting over-burdensome documentation not required by the policy.
- Failure of an insurer to settle a claim directly, when and where settlement is required, and instead requiring the insured to pursue a claim against another party first before offering settlement.
- Unjustified contention and/or “lowballing” regarding the value of a loss.
- Unsubstantiated and unwarranted accusations of arson.
- Wrongful threats not to pay claims.
- Treatment of insured’s represented by attorneys as adversaries.
- Treatment of insured’s and claimants as adversaries.
- Cancellation of a policy as a result of making a claim or as a result of an accident where the insured was not at fault.
- Changing or altering policy coverage without informing or receiving consent of the insured.
- Repeated and constant reference and intentional miscommunication and misrepresentation by insurer downplaying the size of a claim to insured’s attorney.
- Abusing and/or misusing the judicial system in order to delay or settle in good faith payment of a claim where liability for the claim is clear and amount of the claim is reasonable in order to delay insurer’s having to make payment of a claim.
- Fraudulently misrepresenting and revealing various conflicting financial information that mischaracterizes the true financial information and status of an insurer.
- Attempting to shift blame and responsibility of investigation to the insured and away from insurer.
- Insurer refusing to settle a third party claim against an insured within the limits of the insured’s policy thereby exposing the insured to additional liability.
- Unreasonable denial of a covered health benefit because of its expensive cost.
- Unreasonable misinterpretation of policy language.
- Making health insurance patients pay their standard copay when the cost of both the drug and the pharmacy’s fee for dispensing the managed care prescription is lower than the copay amount.
- Health insurers not acting in the best interests of the patient and/or acting for their own self-enrichment at the expense and disadvantage of the patient.
Don’t Fall Prey to the Insurance Company. Contact Us.
If you or a loved one is a victim of bad faith by your insurer, the insurance claim attorneys at Davis & Crump can help. Our law firm has achieved exceptional results for our clients, and we are ready and able to assist you.
Whether you are in a dispute with the insurance provider, or have a claim that was denied or underpaid, call us at 1 800 277 0300 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
Fill out a free claim evaluation or call us at 1-800-277-0300 to get started.