Posted in General on March 22, 2021
In the United States, we will find that each state has laws regarding the duties of insurance carriers. In general, all insurance carriers have an implied responsibility to act in good faith and fair dealing with every client. Unfortunately, there are times when insurance carriers do not uphold their duty to clients. When this happens, a client may have grounds for a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
However, proving that the insurance carrier has acted in bad faith can be challenging. Usually, proving bad faith insurance practices requires assistance from a skilled personal injury attorney who has a thorough understanding of insurance laws as well as what it looks like when an insurance carrier does not uphold their duties.
Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Practices in Long Beach
There are various ways that insurance carriers perpetuate bad faith towards clients. We want to point out that, while these examples may seem obvious, it is usually not clear that the carrier is operating in bad faith. Insurance carriers are not going to come out and say that they are acting in bad faith. Usually, it takes assistance from a skilled attorney to help recognize when bad faith has been perpetrated against a client.
Some of the most common examples of bad faith insurance cases include:
- The insurance carrier undervaluing or denying a claim after failing to adequately investigate the damages.
- The insurance carrier intentionally misrepresenting or misinterpreting their own policy to minimize the payout.
- The insurance carrier taking an unreasonable amount of time to pay the claim or respond to the insured.
- The insurance carrier denying the claim without giving a satisfactory reason.
Additionally, bad faith insurance claims can be brought against an insurance carrier if they fail properly defend a person facing an injury lawsuit from a plaintiff. Insurance carriers have a duty to defend their policyholders if a liability lawsuit should arise. If they fail to do so, or if they do not meet the duty they owe to the policyholder, then the policyholder may be able to file a bad faith insurance lawsuit against the carrier.
How to Know if You Have a Legitimate Bad Faith Insurance Claim
Not every claim denial will rise to the level of bad faith insurance practices, despite whether or not the insured person believes they have been mistreated. There are legitimate situations where the insurance policy simply may not cover the claim in question.
The first step for any person who suspects bad faith insurance practices is for them to thoroughly review the insurance policy. Unfortunately, insurance policies are complicated, long documents that include language that is not all that common. Insurance contracts are meant to be complicated, generally to minimize claims that the insurance carrier has to pay. Often, these insurance policies contain hundreds of exemptions that protect the carrier from paying certain claims.
Any person who thinks they have been the victim of bad faith insurance practices should speak to a skilled attorney who has experience handling complex insurance claims. An attorney will be familiar with the language used in insurance policies, and they will be able to analyze the entire situation to determine whether or not the insurance carrier has acted appropriately according to the terms of the policy.