What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?

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You’ve been involved in an accident or had your property damaged. You make a claim with the insurance company. An adjuster comes out and assesses the damage, then your claim is denied. If the claim should have been covered under the contractual agreement you have with the insurance company, this is known as a bad faith insurance claim. You can read more about bad faith claims at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurance_bad_faith.

It’s considered a bad faith claim because the insurance company has no intention of fulfilling its obligation to pay the damages and because the policyholder is left to cover the entire cost. If you believe that the adjuster has acted improperly, there are steps you should take to handle the situation. It’s never a good idea to make threats or harass the adjuster.

Some signs of a bad faith insurance claim include a failure of the insurance company to acknowledge the claim and investigate, a failure of the insurer to reply in a timely manner, the insurer paying the claim at a much lower amount than would be considered normal under the circumstances, and failure to process a claim by not conducting a proper investigation. There are many other situations that constitute a bad faith claim. They all involve the way a claim from the insured party is handled or the length of time it takes to handle the claim.

There are several steps you can take to address the situation when an insurance company unfairly denies your claim. The first is to write a bad faith claim letter to the insurance company. You will need to provide complete details of the damage, such as how it occurred and why you think the adjuster acted inappropriately. You can also start by speaking with a supervisor or manager, explaining the situation and why you think your claim should be processed or handled differently.

Often, when an adjuster fails to process the claim properly, it is due to lack of experience or not understanding the proper basis for claim denial. So, it is always a good idea to speak with someone of higher authority in the insurance company. Sometimes simply talking to a person of authority can get the desired results, especially if the claim is legitimate and the insured has a right to file the claim.

A bad faith claim can occur in nearly any situation in which a claim is filed. It can occur as the result of an auto accident. It can also occur as the result of personal injury. It can occur because of fire damage. It is called bad faith because a legitimate claim must be handled within certain guidelines. Refusing to pay or settling for a much lower amount is a sign that the insurance company representative may be acting in bad faith. It may also be considered bad faith, if the insurance company fails to provide an adequate explanation as to why the claim is being denied.

When contacting the insurance company to explain the situation, it is also a good idea to make note of the adjuster’s behaviors and actions. The adjuster should be able to provide written documentation as to why the claim is being denied or handled with less than desirable results. The adjuster may not be wrong. However, he or she should be able to provide a good reason for the decision.

By keeping good notes and documenting any contact with the insurance company, you are making it easier should a lawyer who specializes in bad faith insurance claims become involved later. Any letter you send should be copied and kept in a file, along with any responses from the insurance company.

The time to hire a lawyer is when the insurance company continues to deny your claim or ignores your request to further investigate the situation. An experienced lawyer knows how to navigate the claims process and can often get more accomplished. When a lawyer gets involved, it sends a strong message to the insurance company that you’re not satisfied and want the situation resolved.

Another option for following up with a claim denial or low payment is to file a complaint with the state insurance board where the insurance company operates. In some instances, the insurance board can fine the company for failing to process the claim adequately. A lawyer may still be needed to handle the claim and represent you in a bad faith insurance claim suit.

Hiring a lawyer in the event of a bad faith claim is always a good idea. A lawyer knows how to navigate the system. An experienced law firm such as the attorneys found here https://www.haffnerlawyers.com can file a bad faith claim lawsuit and provide further guidance on how to proceed. If you think you’ve been cheated by an insurance company, you need to take action right away and take the proper steps to handle the bad faith insurance claim.