Is my insurance company taking advantage of me?
You’ve paid insurance premiums for years or even decades with no trouble. As a valued customer, you assume that your chosen insurance company will stand beside you and fight for your best interests after a serious accident. Unfortunately, many people have found their insurance carriers to act in bad faith when it matters the most.
Your insurance company has a duty to treat you – and your claim – fairly. If your insurance claim is denied, delayed or devalued without proper investigation, it can be said that the company acted in bad faith.
“Insurance bad faith” is a general phrase legal professionals use to describe an insurance carrier who intentionally puts their own best interests above their clients – to the degree that a claim might be delayed or refused without a proper investigation.
Simply not paying on an insurance claim is – itself – not evidence of bad faith. There are numerous factors that must be examined, including:
- Was the insurance company prompt when responding to you?
- Did the insurance company initiate a proper investigation prior to refusing your claim?
- Did the insurance company attempt to settle your claim for an amount far less than what would reasonably be expected?
- Did the insurance company offer a fair explanation regarding a claim denial or delay in investigation?
- Did the insurance company respond to your claim – either settlement or refusal – within an acceptable period of time?
While not all of these elements must be touched upon in a bad faith insurance claim, they are important factors to consider when you are navigating the process.
Your insurance company is a company
This is an important factor to remember. Even though you might envision your insurance carrier as your financial protector, the bottom line is that the insurance company is a company. Ultimately, they must be concerned with their own profitability. It is not uncommon for a company to devalue, delay or deny a claim in an effort to protect their own bottom line. This does not mean that all insurance carriers are evil – just that they look at a claim from all angles. You need to protect yourself.
Don’t sign anything until you talk to an attorney. Don’t admit any level of fault for the accident. Don’t blindly trust that your insurance carrier will act in your best interest over and above their own best interests.