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Treated Poorly By Your Insurance? You Need a Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

Written by™ on behalf of Stephen Nagle with Stephen G. Nagle & Associates.

Treated Poorly By Your Insurance? You Need a Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

We purchase insurance to protect ourselves in case we get hurt or if our property becomes damaged. Is your insurance company really looking out for your best interest? If you believe they aren’t being fair to you and actually just looking for reasons to shortchange you, that means you may be dealing with an insurance company that is acting in bad faith. Companies that choose to behave like this against their policyholder rather than honestly investigating, negotiating, and settling claims often use slippery tactics, and they aren’t rookies at it, either. It is a known fact that insurance companies have the upper hand financially and in the amount of expertise. But fighting them can feel a bit like a David and Goliath situation. For this reason, you want a bad faith lawyer to step in, help set things right, and hold the bad faith insurance company accountable for the additional hardships they have caused you.

How Can I Be Sure My Insurance Is Acting in Bad Faith?

All insurance companies are expected to be fair in their dealings with policyholders and act in good faith. When it comes to bad faith, however, every state has this defined a bit differently. Basically, it boils down to poor customer care and dishonest practices. Some states are broader than others as far as what is acceptable for insurance companies to do. It is in your best interest to consult a lawyer experienced in bad faith tactics practiced by shady insurance companies.

Some general examples of bad faith or that contribute to bad faith are:

  • Unreasonable time lags in acknowledgment and/or processing
  • Poor, harassing, intrusive, or fraudulent efforts to investigate your claims
  • Severe lagging in determining whether the policyholder’s proof of loss is approved or denied
  • Failure to adequately explain why a claim was denied
  • Attempting to settle a claim for less than a reasonable amount that is due to the insured
  • Misleading information regarding relevant facts or policy provisions
  • Requesting an unnecessarily large amount of arduous paperwork or evidence that is not required by the policy
  • Unsubstantiated and unwarranted accusations
  • Insurance advising not to hire a lawyer and treating policyholders that have hired a lawyer as adversaries
  • Having the same person handle claims for both sides of a conflict
  • Denying treatment for a covered benefit and encouraging a less expensive option

How Can My Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer Help Me Fight Back?

A bad faith insurance lawyer can ultimately help you not just get justice, but actually get compensation that is larger than the amount you were due under your policy in the first place. Your lawyer will help you determine if you have a case based on either common law or violation of a state statute. If your insurance was indeed acting in bad faith, then your lawyer can help you prove that the treatment from your insurance was “unreasonable without proper cause” or that your denial was not “fairly debatable.” Together, you will work to prove one or both of the following:

  1. Were your policy benefits withheld, and do you have proof?
  2. Was there no reasonable excuse for why the insurance withheld your benefits?

If a bad faith insurance claim case is won, it is not just the damages that the insurer will have to pay, they will also have to pay additional penalties. A comforting thing to consider about this kind of legal battle is that the worse you are treated by the insurance company, the more money the will owe you when they get caught. Some cases have forced insurance carriers to pay millions over the amount that they would have originally been expected to pay if they had acted in good faith—we are talking about $2 million for some and even over $30 million for others. Get the compensation that is due to you and hold your insurer accountable if they are acting in bad faith. Find a bad faith insurance lawyer in your area and come out on top.


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