If you’ve had an accident, the last thing you need to deal with is getting treated poorly by your insurance company. After all, you pay premiums so that it will pay your claim. Unfortunately, there are times when insurance companies will put their bottom line ahead of your financial security in a way that goes beyond a denial. Those are times when you should consider hiring an insurance bad faith attorney.
What Bad Faith Looks Like
It can be difficult to know what constitutes bad faith. If your insurance provider doesn’t give you what you think you deserve or they outright deny your claim, this generally isn’t bad faith. However, the way they go about denying you compensation could be grounds for a bad faith lawsuit.
Look for these signs in your possible case, and remember to keep a record of everything if you suspect that you’re being dealt with in bad faith:
- Unreasonably refusing to investigate a claim, or delaying the investigation
- Repeating requests for information or making requests that are unreasonable, like in cases where the provider already has the information or the information wouldn’t be relevant to the claim
- Putting off making a settlement offer within a reasonable timeframe
- Not offering a settlement once liability is established
- Misrepresenting information, including the facts of the case and the details of your policy
- Canceling your policy if you refuse to accept a low offer, or else threatening to cancel your policy
- Refusing to provide any reasons for their decision
- Apparently bullying you into going to court against them
- Otherwise behaving in a dishonest, sneaky, or malicious way
Being dealt with in bad faith and feeling powerless can be overwhelming. Fortunately, if it’s possible to prove bad faith in your case, there are options that you can take that could get you to the settlement that you need to move forward with your life.
Your Options in a Bad Faith Claim: Contract and Tort Claims
Your bad faith insurance case could take two forms. In a contract claim, you would be seeking damages for a breach of the legal contract between you and your insurance provider. In this case, you could recover compensatory damages up to the value of the policy itself and nothing more.
In a tort claim, you’re making a case based on acts that aren’t outlined in a contract and that you didn’t consent to. You are able to recover punitive and compensatory damages in cases like this, meaning that you could recover more than the value of your policy. How you proceed depends on your individual case. It would likely be worth it to look into hiring an attorney experienced with insurance bad faith if you suspect that your insurance company has been dealing with you in bad faith.
Was Your Insurance Claim Wrongfully Denied?
Insurance is hard enough to navigate without the sweat of worrying about denials and complications after a claim. An insurance bad faith attorney, like those at Wilson Kehoe Winingham, could help you with your bad faith insurance case. If you’re planning on filing a claim, or even just want a free look at what your options are, call our office at 317.920.6400 or fill out our contact form online.