When an insurer is attempting to repudiate their obligations to the insured through unscrupulous means, they are acting in bad faith. Unfortunately, bad faith insurance is not all that uncommon, and many people don’t get the compensation they deserve.
If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what you can do:
Make sure they are acting in bad faith
You won’t call an experienced Uber accident lawyer without making sure that you have grounds to sue. Make sure you understand bad faith insurance before making a claim and getting a lawyer. Here are some examples of an insurance company acting in bad faith:
- Lowballing compensation. If an insurer offers a compensation amount that is way too low, they are acting in bad faith.
- Denying a claim without proper reason. To get out of their legal obligations to the insured, some insurers will outright deny a claim without giving a proper reason or explanation.
- Not conducting a timely and complete investigation. This is a bad faith insurance practice wherein the insurer does not investigate the claim properly and in a timely manner to lowball the insured.
- Refusing to pay or delaying payment. If an insurer is either denying to pay a valid claim or intentionally delaying payment, you can sue them for bad faith insurance.
- Pressuring or threatening the insured. This is the completely unethical practice of making threats or pressuring the insured to accept an unfair settlement or otherwise drop the claim.
These are just some examples of bad faith insurance practices. If you aren’t sure if an insurance company is acting in bad faith but something doesn’t feel right, consult with a lawyer right away.
When you decide to file a bad faith insurance claim, start gathering documentation as soon as possible. Here are the documents that you must have:
- A full copy of your insurance policy and contract, dated before you filed your claim
- Documents involved in your insurance claim (evidence, photos, correspondence, police report, etc.)
- Proof that your claim was denied
- Correspondence with the insurance company
- Other proof of bad faith insurance practices
Push for reconsideration
Before you sue your insurer, try to push for a settlement amount that you deem fair according to your coverage. If they still don’t budge, send them a written demand letter with your claim details. Include your intent to sue for bad faith insurance if they don’t respond or provide fair coverage. After they receive the letter, your insurer has 15 to 60 days to respond. You can only file a lawsuit if they fail to respond within the given time.
File a bad faith insurance lawsuit
Still no response from your insurer after the given time? Contact a lawyer and initiate the bad faith lawsuit either in a state or a federal court. If you want to avoid going to court, you can try filing a complaint to your state’s department of insurance first.
When you file for an insurance claim for a devastating incident, bad faith insurance can make the situation ten times worse. That said, if you find yourself facing an insurer who is practicing bad faith tactics, you know what to do in order to get the compensation you deserve.