Five Tactics of Bad Faith Insurance Companies
Accidents that result in injury are traumatic events that can affect your life for the foreseeable future. In addition to getting treatment for your injuries, one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with the aftermath of an accident is dealing with insurance companies. In some cases, insurers don’t handle claims fairly, which can make a bad situation even worse.
An insurance company acts in bad faith when it fails to honor the contractual obligations outlined in your insurance policy. If you feel that you are being taken advantage of by a bad faith insurance company, you should contact a Charlotte personal injury attorney right away. At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we know how to deal with bad faith insurers, and will fight for you get the compensation you deserve.
Bad Faith Insurance Practices
Insurers can treat you unfairly in a number of ways, including:
Unreasonably Delaying the Handling of Your Claim
One of the ways insurance companies act in bad faith is by creating delays in handling your claim. They may do this to see if you simply give up on pursuing your claim. In other cases, the delay may be designed to create time pressures that encourage you to accept an unfair settlement offer or otherwise make a decision without the opportunity to give it full consideration. Unreasonable delays can arise under several circumstances, such as:
- Delays in investigating your claim
- Delays in acknowledging receipt of your claim
- Delays in either accepting or denying your claim
Failing to Conduct a Thorough Investigation
Another common bad faith insurance tactic is when your insurer does not thoroughly investigate your claim. They may decline to cover your injuries without even reviewing your medical records, or they might determine that your treatment was unnecessary. Insurance companies are obligated to handle your claim in good faith pursuant to your policy, which means that they are required to investigate all of the facts, documents, and circumstances surrounding your situation.
Engaging in Misleading Practices
Bad faith can also manifest itself when your insurance company attempts to mislead or deceive you. For example, they may fail to disclose that you have a certain type of coverage that provides a specific benefit, such as coverage for a rental car while your car is being repaired.
Alternatively, they may misrepresent the language of your policy or the law in order to support a denial of coverage. Insurance policies can be notoriously difficult to read and understand, and bad faith insurance companies can take advantage of your lack of knowledge surrounding the topic.
Unreasonably Denying Your Claim
Insurance companies engage in bad faith when they unreasonably deny your claim. If you’ve carefully documented your injuries and other losses, and the accident is covered under the policy, they are legally obligated to provide coverage. They cannot simply deny your claim without an explanation. If they provide an explanation, their reasons for denial must have a basis in the policy or the law.
Making Unreasonable Settlement Offers
Lowball settlement offers are perhaps the most common bad faith practice. After submitting your carefully-documented claim, the insurance company may respond with a settlement offer that is far less than what your claim is worth. While this may be used as a negotiation tactic, it’s definitely bad faith if they refuse to increase their offer.
Have You Been Affected by Bad Faith Insurance Companies? Contact Us Today for Help
Insurance companies are driven by profit, which can sometimes motivate them to handle claims in bad faith. If you suspect your insurance company isn’t treating you fairly, you need someone who will fight for the compensation you deserve. At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we help people hold insurance companies accountable when they’re denied the coverage they are entitled to under the law. To schedule a free consultation of your case with a skilled Charlotte personal injury lawyer, contact us today at (980) 237-4579.