Insurance Bad Faith
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Has Your Insurance Company Failed to Live Up to Its Duties and Responsibilities?
In most states and jurisdictions, insurance companies have a legal responsibility to act in good faith and treat insured individuals fairly as outlined by contractual agreement. This obligation is called an “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” which is required and specified in every insurance contract. If an insurance company fails to live up to these terms, you (the policyholder) have a right to sue for damages.
An insurer may be acting in bad faith if the insurer:
Postpones, reduces or denies payment without a reasonable basis for doing so
Neglects to respond promptly to notification of a covered claim
Fails to pay a covered claim due to lack of a thorough and timely investigation
Deliberately deceives or misrepresents the facts to avoid paying claims
Attempts to distort or misinterpret policy language to avoid coverage
Demonstrates unreasonable delay in resolving a claim without explanation
Uses an improper or unreasonable standard to deny a claim
What Do You Do If Your Insurer Won’t Pay?
Insurance companies sell their policies under the pretense that they will pay coverage to policyholders when they’re in a pinch. However, as our Kansas City insurance bad faith attorneys can tell you just from helping so many clients throughout the years, it is frustratingly common for insurance companies to try to sell their own policyholders short.
When your own insurer won’t pay for damages as expected under your insurance coverage policy, you should:
- Get copies of your full insurance policy, including exceptions and addendums.
- Speak with an insurance bad faith lawyer and give them a copy of the policy.
- Discuss your options for challenging the insurance company’s decision.
- Prepare for litigation with the help of your attorney.
Can Insurance Companies Deny UM/UIM Coverage?
If you bought uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance for your auto insurance policy, then you should be covered in case you get hit by a driver with no insurance or not enough to cover your damages. To get the missing coverage, you will have to file a claim against your insurance provider, not that of another driver. Problems can arise if your insurer decides not to accept your claim, which is called a first-party claim.
Unless the auto insurance company that sold you the UM/UIM policy has a legitimate reason for denying your first-party claim, they might be breaking the law. Our attorneys can remind them of their obligation to you and demand compensation to be paid immediately under the threat of a lawsuit, which could lead to them facing criminal consequences as well. In addition to getting the coverage you are owed, you might be able to collect additional damages for the intentional wrongdoing.
Does Your Insurer Have to Defend You If You Cause an Accident?
When you are in an accident that you caused or think you might have caused, your auto insurance provider is contractually bound to defend you against lawsuits filed against you and your policy. It is an act of insurance bad faith for your insurer to try to remove themselves from the claim in most situations. Your insurer must also eventually agree to settle or pay for damages that are within the limits of your policy coverage, which means the insurer can’t pay a smaller amount and put you on the hook for what remains.
No Attorney Fees Unless We Help You Recover Money
We’re experienced in handling bad faith claims against insurance companies. Since 1949, we’ve successfully represented clients who have been denied coverage or reimbursement without proper cause or reasonable standard. We will fight to protect your contractual rights and get you the money, coverage or proper resolution that you deserve.
Contact our insurance bad faith lawyers to learn more about our record of success. Our experienced trial attorneys represent clients in cases throughout Missouri, Kansas and the Midwest.