What is a Bad Faith Claim?
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If you’ve ever filed a claim with your insurance company, you expected they would honor that claim. To do otherwise would seem illegal, and it is. If you make a claim and the company you’re working with refuse to honor the contract you have with them, you have the foundation for a bad faith claim. Your insurance company has a duty to work with you fairly and honestly. When they do not, you should take action.
What Constitutes “Bad Faith”?
There are a number of different actions or inactions your insurance company takes that can be considered bad faith. This includes everything from refusing to pay out on a claim without doing any sort of investigation to even failing to communicate all relevant information to you. Other actions or inactions that can be considered bad faith include the following:
- Failing to investigate a claim or failing to investigate the claim in a timely manner.
- Failing to pay on a claim in a reasonable amount of time.
- Denying you coverage without a firm reason for doing so.
- Failing to tell you if they are providing coverage or not in a reasonable time.
- Offering less money than you should receive.
- Failing to give you a reason why a claim is denied.
- Refusing to disclose information about your policy to you.
It’s not always easy to win a bad faith case due to the subjective nature of some of these items. For example, just because you believe the insurance isn’t paying as much on a claim as you think it should, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a bad faith claim. You would need to have experts in insurance, repairs, and other areas be willing to testify that they believe your insurance company was offering you substantially less than they should.
There’s No Need to Show Malicious Intent
One of the helpful factors in one of these cases is that you don’t have to show that the insurance company was out to harm you or to make money. You simply have to show that they did not honor the contract between the two of you. That can make it easier to win your case since intent has no bearing. Do you believe you have a bad faith claim? If so, contact Held & Hines LLP today to discuss your situation.