When you purchase insurance, you trust the insurance company to do its job. The last thing you want or need is for your insurance company to turn its back on you just when you’re counting on receiving the benefits you’ve paid for. After all, you wouldn’t need your insurance if you weren’t going through a period of stress or trauma. You may be dealing with significant property damage, serious injury, or the death of a loved one. What good is purchasing insurance for security and peace of mind if the company is just going to say no?
When an insurance company unjustly denies your claim, this is known as acting in “bad faith.” Every insurance policy has bound into its contract an obligation to act in the spirit of “good faith and fair dealing.” If you believe that your insurance company has violated this tenet, you may need an experienced attorney to go to bat for you. After all, you know that your insurance company has a team of attorneys. Why shouldn’t you have the same representation?
What Constitutes Bad Faith?
Bad faith can happen in several ways, including when your insurance company:
- Fails to investigate the circumstances of your claim fully
- Does not fully pay the claim
- Denies coverage for a covered event
- Does not pay a claim in a timely fashion
Insurance companies have teams of investigators and attorneys who have developed techniques that are meant to confuse the issue, find discrepancies in your story, and discover reasons to deny or delay your claim. They often hope, when they deny your claim, that you will simply “take their word for it” and will not pursue the matter further. This is when you need an attorney from Calbom & Schwab, P.S.C., on your side. Your initial consultation is free.
Third-Party Bad Faith
Insurance companies may also engage in something called “third-party” bad faith. For example, if you have been in a car accident and are being sued, you depend on your insurance company to represent you fully and act on your behalf. Third-party bad faith occurs when your insurance company:
- Handles your defense in a negligent manner
- Neglects to defend you at all
- Fails to settle in a third-party suit
What Happens in a Bad Faith Claim?
While you are not allowed to collect punitive damages for negligence from your insurance company in a bad faith insurance claim, you may be entitled to up to three times the amount of your original claim, plus attorney fees and other costs.
Are you tired of being intimidated by your insurance company? Is fighting with them starting to weigh you down? Don’t give up. You are entitled to the coverage for which you paid. Contact Calbom & Schwab for assistance. We go up against insurance companies all the time and can get you the payout that is, by rights, yours. Your first consultation with us is free.