Insurance companies owe their customers a duty of “good faith” when a claim is filed. This is the law in every state in this country. This means that when you file a claim, the insurance company MUST treat you fairly and honestly. The insurance company MUST act properly and promptly to investigate any claims you make. The insurance company MUST NOT delay, deny or reduce payment on a claim without a reasonable basis.
If your insurance company doesn’t act in good faith as described above, then it may be possible to bring a claim against them for acting in “bad faith.”
How do You Know if Your Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith?
It’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies are, by their nature, not necessarily aligned with your best interests. If you are involved in an car accident or otherwise suffer personal injury under circumstances where you may have to file an insurance claim, it’s important that you receive the guidance of an experienced attorney who has your interests in mind.
Bad faith on the part of an insurance company can take many forms. Here are some examples of unfortunate situations in which you may have a bad faith claim:
- The insurance company does not conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of your claim.
- The insurance company is not responsive or otherwise is not communicative to you during the claim process.
- The insurance company denies your claim without giving you any reason or without giving you a valid reason.
- The insurance company refuses to pay or settle on a valid claim that is clearly covered by your policy.
- The insurance company delays payment on your valid claim.
- The insurance company offers to settle for much less than your claim should be worth.
- The insurance company requests documentation from you or other parties that is unnecessary or duplicative, thereby making an already painful process even worse.
- The insurance company ignores or refuses valid requests for documentation by you or by other parties involved in the accident.
- The insurance company tells you that your policy doesn’t cover the particular situation or otherwise attempts to misrepresent the policy language.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you feel you that your insurance company is not acting in good faith, please call the Law Firm of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. for a free consultation with an experienced injury attorney at (516) 358-6900. We will help you determine if you have a basis for a bad faith claim.