When you buy insurance for your business or for your home or car, you expect your insurance company to honor the terms of your policy. If you pay for insurance protection, you expect the insurance company to pay when you must make a claim. The concept is simple and straightforward—until the insurance company flexes its muscles and denies payment.
This happens more often than people realize. It happens in both commercial and personal claims. And, in either case, the insurance company is often acting in “bad faith.” This is a legal concept that means you are not being treated fairly by your company.
Examples of Bad Faith Behavior
Under most states’ laws, the insurance company owes you a duty to act in “good faith.” It cannot look for ways to escape its obligations that it agreed to, in a policy for which you’ve paid. Nonetheless, many companies consistently and intentionally do the following types of things to avoid paying on claims:
- Deny coverage without a valid reason or offer only a small fraction of what your case is really worth
- Withhold information from you that helps you recover
- Fail to conduct a proper and timely investigation into the cause of an accident or basis for a claim
- Neglect to pay a claim within a reasonable time or provide an explanation for the delay
- Fail to simply confirm coverage, disclose policy limits or respond to a demand for payment
What Legal Options Do You Have?
In many cases, just getting a lawyer involved increases the chances that the insurance company will stop taking advantage of you and either start negotiating or pay up. This behavior happens often in disability claims, damage to commercial buildings and in homeowner claims after natural disasters.
Even though insurance companies have strong and effective lobbies that seek to limit your rights as policyholders, the courts often protect you—the policyholder—if you have to file a lawsuit. Depending upon the facts of your case, the investigation, the coverages and other factors, your attorney will come up with a strategic plan targeted to get them to honor the terms of your policy.
Contact Us if Your Insurance Company Is not Being Fair
Our Texas attorneys have experience handling bad faith insurance claims. Schedule a consultation with us to discuss your case and how we can help you. We’ll review your policy and determine how best to protect your rights under your policy. Call us at 972-450-1418 or contact us online.