When an insurance company needlessly delays or denies a legitimate claim, it is known as acting in bad faith. Bad faith can cost claimants tens of thousands of dollars and more, leaving them suffering from their injuries as they wait for the compensation they need to recover. Fortunately, wronged injury victims have legal recourse for issues of bad faith: insurance carrier bad faith claims.
A bad faith claim is a way for an individual to seek compensation for the economic damages he or she lost as a result of an insurance carrier's bad faith practices. It can often be difficult to determine the difference between bad faith and good faith practices, especially to those who are not familiar with how insurance claims and policies work. Essentially, good faith practices are those that align with the insurance company's values and promises to its policyholders. Standard practices such as conducting full investigations, requiring claimants to provide sufficient evidence for their claims, and working with objective experts to appropriately value claims are all examples of good faith practices. Bad faith practices, on the other hand, are practices done solely for the insurance company's profit with no regard for the policyholder's needs.
If you feel you have suffered because of bad faith behavior on the part of an insurance carrier after suffering an injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a bad faith claim. Your attorney will examine your case to determine whether you have been a victim of a bad faith practice and if so, determine how you can proceed with your bad faith claim.
Examples of Insurance Carrier Bad Faith
Any action that deliberately attempts to minimize or dismiss a policyholder's claim without a full, fair investigation is considered to be an action committed in bad faith. Examples of bad faith actions include the following:
· Improperly filling out the paperwork for a claim, resulting in a delayed or denied claim.
· Claiming to have never received a claimant's claim information despite his or her sending it to the company.
· Losing a claimant's information.
· Paying a claimant only partial benefits for his or her claim despite that claimant's policy stating he or she is entitled to receive full benefits.
· Hiring experts to side with the insurance company while evaluating claims, rather than providing an objective evaluation, in an attempt to justify a lower settlement or denied claim.
· Failing to conduct a full investigation for a claim.
· Giving a claimant the wrong information about his or her policy and what he or she is entitled to receive for his or her claim. For example, neglecting to tell a policy-holder about the extent of his or her coverage.
· Requiring a claimant to provide an unreasonable level of documentation for his or her claim.
· Failing to provide the services that the company claims to provide in its marketing materials or other discussions with the policyholder.
· In Florida, violating one of the state laws regarding insurance company rates and contracts.
Insurance providers have the obligation to provide their customers with financial protection from unexpected costs that would otherwise be too expensive for the insured to pay without help. Although insurance companies are businesses and thus in business to make profits, failing to meet their promises to their customers for the sake of increased profit is unethical and grounds for a bad faith claim.
If you are a victim of bad faith
Contact a supervisor at your insurance company and explain your experience to him or her. If the company does not resolve the issue internally, contact an experienced insurance attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a claim with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.3
If you decide to file an appeal with the state regulatory office, you will need to provide documentation of your accident and your interaction with the insurance provider. The office then reviews your claim and determines a fair settlement.
Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida personal injury attorney today
Work with an insurance attorney you can trust by working with a member of Dolman Law Group. We are an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury firm who can guide you through every step of the personal injury claim process, including how to work with your insurance provider, so please call today at 727-222-6922.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL33712