We purchase insurance as a protection against loss, injury or catastrophic events. However, most people don’t deal with insurance companies on a frequent basis and assume, usually to their detriment, that when they purchase a policy they are in good hands and will be compensated if they suffer the loss for which they bought insurance. This is not always true. In fact, insurance companies often look for ways to deny claims, even if their excuses for denying claims are unsubstantiated.
Insurance bad faith is the term used to describe mistreatment by insurance companies towards consumers and businesses. All insurance companies owe its insured an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. If an insurance company fails to honor its implied contractual obligations, the insured may have an independent breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing clause against the carrier for emotional distress and other consequential damages and in an appropriate case, even punitive damages.
The covenant of good faith and fair dealing is implied by law in every insurance contract. When that covenant is violated, the insurance company can be held accountable. Some examples of this insurance fraud include:
- An insurance company denying a consumer benefits that are due under their policy.
- An insurance company offering less money than is due under the policy.
- An insurance company delaying payment to an insured.
- A consumer being mistreated by an insurance adjuster, or left to defend him or herself when their should be insurance protection.
All these actions obstruct the insured’s right to receive benefits under the insurance contract, and to compensate for their losses. These strategies are frequently utilized by the insurance companies. When they are caught, their conduct can be punished, including assessment of punitive damages.
Remember, Insurance companies do not make money paying out claims. They make their money from collecting premiums from policyholders. Keep that in mind when you submit your claim.
California Lawyers Group attorneys are experienced in handling insurance bad faith cases. Call us today at 1-800-4-INJURED or Contact Us Online.