Bad Faith Insurance Claim Lawyer

When you agree to buy an insurance policy, you are entering into a contract. You agree to pay the agreed-upon premium, and in return the insurance company agrees to pay your claims within a reasonable timeframe.

If you suffered losses because an insurer failed to pay as they claimed they would, or if you have a legal claim against another party and their insurer does not pay, a bad faith insurance claim lawyer could help you seek justice. If you can prove the insurance company acted improperly, a skilled attorney could help you file a lawsuit and pursue monetary damages.

Not All Claim Denials Indicate Bad Faith

When an insurer denies a claim, they must provide a reason. There are many legitimate reasons why an insurer could deny a claim. Non-payment of premiums is a common reason for denied coverage. An insurer is not required to cover events that occur when the insured is in arrears on their premium payments. However, the insurer must have notified the customer that the insurance would be suspended, lapse, or be canceled because of the missed payments.

Another common scenario involves an insurance company contending that the customer was not transparent when they applied for insurance. An insurer might deny a claim due to a perceived misrepresentation. They might also claim that the loss was not within the scope of the insured’s policy. Insurance companies often undervalue claims and pay the claimant much less than they are owed.

Whatever the insurer’s stated reasons for denying or undervaluing a claim, a claimant could request that the company reconsider. If the company refuses to reconsider or engages in bullying tactics, an individual should consult with an experienced legal professional to discuss the available legal options.

Circumstances That Indicate Insurer is Acting in Bad Faith

Legally, an insurer must be fair when dealing with its customers. Some claim denials could be legitimate, while others could be excuses to avoid paying a valid claim. Some common indicators of bad faith include:

  • Denying a claim for an illegitimate reason
  • Requiring the claimant to provide excessive information before processing the claim
  • Failing to conduct an appropriate investigation
  • Issuing threats or advising a claimant not to hire a lawyer
  • Delaying a response to a claim for an unreasonable period

If an insurer seems to be engaging in intimidation or delaying tactics, it is wise to get in touch with a seasoned bad faith insurance claim attorney right away. Often, contact from a claimant’s lawyer is enough to force the insurer to address the claim and decide one way or another. If the claimant is unhappy with the result, they could bring the insurer to court with the help of their legal counsel.

Damages in Bad Faith Claim Cases

If a claimant takes their insurer to court and wins because the court decides the insurer failed to pay the claim in bad faith, the claimant could receive large financial awards.

A court will grant a successful claimant the amount that the insurer should have paid out under their policy. In addition, the claimant is entitled to receive consequential damages for losses that arose because the insurer did not pay the claim in a timely manner. For example, perhaps a claimant experienced a flood at their business due to a frozen pipe. If the insurer did not pay and the claimant subsequently lost their business because they were unable to afford the repairs necessary to reopen, those losses could be recouped through consequential damages.

In addition, according to the New York General Business Law §349(h), an insurer that intentionally avoided paying a legitimate claim might be liable to pay punitive damages, as well as the claimant’s attorney’s fees. A knowledgeable bad faith claim attorney could advise a claimant whether such compensation might be likely in their specific case.

Contact a Bad Faith Insurance Claim Attorney to Review Your Case

If you have an outstanding insurance claim and you believe the insurer is being unfair or unreasonable, you have legal options. However, disputing insurance company decisions could be intimidating, and it might be hard not to get emotional when there is so much at stake.

Work with a local attorney who knows the law and is not afraid to take on the big insurers who try to cheat their customers in the times of need. A dedicated bad faith insurance claim lawyer could fight until you get the insurance coverage you paid for. Call today to schedule a case review.