Have you been a victim of bad faith insurance? If you have, you probably need to make a claim against your insurance company. The wise thing to do is to contact a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.
You may not know it, but every insurance contract contains something that is referred to as an “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” What this means is that both parties entering into the contract will not do anything to hurt the right of the other party to receive the benefits in the contract agreement.
Unfortunately, there are times when an insurance company does not act in good faith. There are instances in which an insurance company does not honor and fulfill their contractual obligations.
If you believe this has happened to you, your insurance company may be guilty of what is called bad faith. The legal definition of bad faith is an “intentional dishonest act by not fulfilling legal or contractual obligations, misleading another, entering into an agreement without the intention or means to fulfill it, or violating basic standards of honesty in dealing with others.”
Put simply, bad faith insurance is when an insurance company is not negotiating in good faith. It is when an insurance company acts dishonestly or commits fraud in a transaction.
If your insurance company is not treating you fairly, that is insurance bad faith. Your insurance company is contractually obligated to show equal consideration to your interests as well as their own. Insurance bad faith is when an insurance company considers their interests above yours.
There are several ways in which an insurance company may be guilty of bad faith insurance. These include:
Failing to promptly and thoroughly investigate a claim
Unreasonably denying benefits to a claim
Unreasonably delaying payment on a valid insurance claim
Refusing to reimburse you for the entirety of your loss
Unjustified denial of a valid insurance claim
Refusing to settle the case
Using unreasonable interpretations in translating policy language
Misrepresentation of the facts of a claim
Misrepresentation of policy provisions
Failing to assist you in maximizing your available policy coverage
Intimidating you in an attempt to induce you to accept a lower settlement amount than you deserve.
The law allows you to bring a lawsuit against your insurance company with a breach of contract when it is guilty of bad faith insurance. You are also allowed to file a tort claim of bad faith against your insurance company.
Damages that may be recovered in a tort claim of insurance bad faith include foreseeable financial losses, emotional distress and attorney’s fees for compelling your insurance company to pay their contractual obligations. In addition, you may also be compensated for punitive damages if your insurance company is found to have acted with malice, oppression or fraud. Punitive damages are intended to punish your insurance company.
Again, if you believe you have been a victim of bad faith insurance, the best thing to do is to contact a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.
Article written by James Shugart
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