Winning a Bad Faith Insurance Claim: Can It Be Done? (Continued)
While there is no federal standard of conduct for insurance company-consumer relations, bad faith
dealings are illegal in every U.S. state. These include ways to exclude individuals from coverage or to get out of paying for situations where coverage was promised.
Insurance companies act in bad faith by:
- Discriminating against applicants with lower credit scores
- Using unclear language that masks coverage terms or limits
- Putting profits before the legal duty of good faith
Allowing your insurance company to get away with planning to deny your claim regardless of the facts hurts others in the long run.
Consult an insurance dispute attorney
as soon as you suspect unfair handling of a claim. Get advice from bad faith insurance attorneys how to file a complaint with the state department of insurance and about whether to pursue a lawsuit in court.
Record Awards and Public Awareness Justify Bad Faith Lawsuits
Insurers have a lot to lose, so they put a lot of resources into legal defense regarding their liability to consumers. This may actually work against them in some jury trials. The more ammunition they use to skew facts in their favor, the higher the damage awards can be when they are found wrong. It is not unusual for awards to be two to twenty times more than what the original, correct indemnity sum would have been.
Six-figure judgments make wary consumers sit up and take notice of these high-profile lawsuits. Keeping bad faith insurance companies in the public eye increases the pressure that the laws exert. The outcomes of bad faith lawsuits are no longer a slap on the wrist for wrongful insurance practices. As compensatory and punitive damages add up, insurers may think twice about how they deal with their customers and individual claims.
Depending on the type of claim, personal injury or real estate attorneys can help you fight the denial of a valid claim. For a list of qualified bad faith attorneys in your area, complete our short questionnaire.