For those who make monthly insurance premium payments or have insurance through their employer, it is assumed that insurance companies will act in good faith when we need it. However, all too often bad faith insurance occurs, and the insurance company fails to provide coverage for a legitimate claim.
By law, insurance companies must conduct good faith with those they insure. Yet when your insurance company attempts skirting you on rightfully made claims, you need the assistance of a bad faith insurance attorney who will fight diligently against the corporate interests of insurance companies to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
What does “Bad Faith Insurance” Mean?
When an insurance company has intentionally delayed payment of a claim, denied a claim or failed to pay the claim without a reasonable basis and knew that it acted with no reasonable basis or didn’t conduct an adequate evaluation or investigation to determine if there was a reasonable basis for its action, then bad faith damages may be awarded.
What Are Some Examples of Bad Faith Conduct?
Insurance companies are required to act in good faith and deal fairly in regard to every insurance policy. When the insurance carrier does not do so, the company may be forced to compensate the insured above and beyond the value of the unpaid benefits of the policy. Bad faith insurance can occur during any stage of claim filing, review and payment. Some examples of bad faith insurance can include:
- Failure to investigate a claim, quickly and thoroughly
- Denying coverage of a legitimate claim using unreasonable policy interpretations
- Refusal to pay legitimate claims
- Refusing to settle the case or reimburse the insured’s entire claim
- Settling claims with a forged application
- Failure to act in a timely manner when liability has been established
- Blatant misrepresentation of policy coverage facts
- Failure to offer appropriate settlements to the insured
- Unreasonable cancellation of the policy
What Should I Do If My Insurance Company Is Not Honoring My Policy or Delaying Payment?
First, you should attempt to get everything in writing, including your claim, the insurance company’s denial and any statements given. Record the name of your insurance adjustor and his or her supervisor. If your claim is not getting the attention it deserves, you may want to prepare a professionally written complaint for the adjuster. If that letter does not move things along, you may want to continue to send one to the adjuster and copy his or her supervisor. When that action doesn’t speed the process, it’s time to consult an attorney knowledgeable in bad faith insurance claims.
What Are the Limits of Bad Faith?
A bad faith insurance attorney can help you understand the nuances of bad faith insurance laws. Just because you have been denied coverage, doesn’t mean the insurance company has acted in bad faith. However, when an insurance company denies or delays a claim unreasonably, maliciously, outrageously, or without appropriate cause, there may be a bad faith claim where damages may be awarded.
What damages can be recovered after bad faith has been established?
In bad faith claims damages are allowed beyond the unpaid benefits that should have been paid directly to you, the insured. Damages can also include monetary loss, damage to credit reputation as well as for anxiety, emotional distress, humiliation and inconvenience.
What Steps Should Be Taken After an Insurance Claim Denial?
If your insurance company has denied your insurance claim, you may have the basis for a bad faith claim, but first you may want to ask that a supervisor at the insurance company to review the claim and denial. If the claim is not reversed, consider contacting the Arizona Department of Insurance for assistance with your claim.
Not every claim denial can be considered bad faith insurance. Absent a reasonable basis, such as a fraudulent claim or a claim for something not covered under the agreed-upon policy, insurance companies are required to fully honor their policies.
You can also speak to the bad faith insurance attorney Jerrold A. Mayro at The Mayro Law Firm in Phoenix, Arizona. To learn if you have a bad faith claim, please schedule a no-cost consultation today.
Why You Need a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
Insurance companies are massive corporations with nearly unlimited resources at their disposal. Insureds can be greeted by massive capital and time, which inevitably wears down their will. When an insurance company operates in bad faith, it assumes you will simply bow down and accept their treatment.
However, at The Mayro Law Firm, bad faith insurance attorney, Jerrold A. Mayro, has more than 30 years of litigation experience. He understands the tactics employed and will fight diligently against the insurance companies attempting to scam you out of rightfully made claims for your property damage or personal injuries.
If you live in the Phoenix, Mesa, or Tucson, Arizona area and believe an insurance company is acting in bad faith, please contact our Phoenix, Arizona bad faith insurance office today or call (602) 604-8400 to schedule your confidential consultation with Jerrold A. Mayro.