Bad Faith Insurance Claim
Bad faith insurance claims can be submitted to a state's Department of Insurance, whose mission is to protect consumers from fraud and bad faith practices committed by insurance companies and other parties. Thousands of bad faith insurance claims are filed each year in the U.S., and these probably represent just a fraction of the actual instances of bad faith perpetrated by the corporations that offer insurance policies regarding:
- health (i.e., illness and injury insurance)
- long-term care
- business losses
- life (which in reality is "death insurance" - they just don't like to call it that)
- auto accident
- renters' and homeowners' losses
- other matters
If you feel that you may have a bad faith insurance claim, a beneficial first step to take is to contact an attorney or law firm that represents individuals harmed by bad faith practices. Legal action may be entirely appropriate for you. Indeed, it may be the most effective way that you can protect your legal rights.
What Is a Bad Faith Claim?
A bad faith claim is made when a policyholder contends that the insurance company has engaged in a bad faith practice such as:
- Not taking action in good faith to offer a prompt and fair settlement of a policyholder's claim, when the benefits should be granted
- Refusing to pay benefits without conducting a reasonable investigation based on the information that is available
- Attempting to settle a policyholder's claim for less than a fair amount
- Delaying the investigation or payment of a claim
- Misrepresenting the facts of a case
- Using an unreasonable interpretation of a policy's language
How Do I File a Bad Faith Claim?
The first things to do if you're considering filing a bad faith claim is to gather all of the documents that are relevant to your case, and to get further documentation whenever possible. A chronology (timeline) that describes every event that has bearing on your insurance case, every phone call and email with the insurer, all the medical records, etc. should be gathered. Next, you should contact a lawyer who has experience fighting insurance companies that engage in bad faith business practices.
Bad Faith Insurance Claim Litigation
The bad faith insurance lawyer will attempt to determine whether your insurer has breached its contract with you by engaging in bad faith conduct. You may be able to avoid litigation (that is, a court case) and instead get the correct action by the insurer. Contact a bad faith insurance lawyer today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights.
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