Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith
Insurance companies often present themselves as reliable partners, ready to assist in times of need. However, some insurers engage in practices that betray this trust, leading to what is known as ‘bad faith insurance practices.’ After an accident, you don’t have time to deal with bad-faith actors who want nothing more than to waste your time and limit their financial obligation to you.
Tactics of Bad Faith Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are expected to provide support in times of crisis. Many accidents, particularly car accidents, rack up extensive medical bills and leave the victims unable to earn. Insurance companies have a duty to assist their policyholders to help them through this tough time. However, some engage in unfair or unethical practices that betray the trust of policyholders and add stress to the lives of struggling people.
One common practice is the unnecessary delay of payments. Insurance companies may use bureaucratic procedures to postpone payment, even if it’s clear-cut that they have to pay.
Another tactic is the outright denial of rightful claims without conducting a proper investigation or providing a valid reason. This leaves many without the financial support they relied upon, causing downstream effects as bills and payments are missed. Some insurance companies misinterpret policy terms and deny claims based on faulty reasoning.
Lastly, some insurers resort to making false promises or threats to policyholders. This could involve promising a swift payout to get a policyholder to accept a lower settlement or threatening a policyholder with policy cancellation or premium increases if they challenge the insurer’s decisions. It is important that you, at all times, are in control. Any insurance company that uses its position of financial power over you might be acting in bad faith.
How to Protect Yourself Against Bad Faith Insurance Practices
- Understand Your Rights and Policy: Familiarize yourself with the insurance policy terms in question. You should know precisely what is covered and what isn’t, in addition to what conditions the company has for paying you. Knowledge is power, and understanding these details can help you identify when an insurer may be acting in bad faith.
- Document All Interactions and Keep Receipts: Keep a detailed record of all your interactions with the insurance company. This includes phone calls, emails, physical mail, and any other forms of communication. If an insurance company goes back on a promise or implies potential retaliation, these pieces of evidence are vital to building a solid argument of bad faith.
- Seek Help From A Lawyer: If you suspect an insurance company you’re dealing with is acting in bad faith, don’t hesitate to seek legal help. An attorney experienced in dealing with bad faith insurance cases can provide valuable guidance and representation, helping you navigate the complex legal landscape and fight for your rights. When an attorney starts communicating with an insurance company on your behalf, that company quickly realizes that any tricks they were attempting before are much more challenging to pull off.
Proving Insurance Company Bad Faith In Court
When taking legal action against an insurance company for bad faith practices, it’s crucial to present evidence that displays the company’s explicit goal to go against its obligations. Here are some ways an attorney can help prove this in court:
- Demonstrate the insurer denied your claim without proper investigation.
- Show the insurer unnecessarily delayed the claim process or settlement through poor communication or delays.
- Provide evidence of an unfairly low settlement offer from the insurer, much lower than what the insurance company knew the value to be.
After an accident, the last thing you need is someone trying to block your rightful compensation. While not every insurance company is engaged in these practices, it is best to have representation to protect your rights.
If you have been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys at Hale Law will speak to the insurance companies on your behalf and ensure you are properly compensated. Call today to learn more.