Insurance is a tool meant to protect your financial security in the wake of an unpredictable event, whether it’s a natural disaster or a human-caused incident. Companies that provide insurance are expected to maintain a fair and honest approach to compensating policyholders when the unexpected happens.
Unfortunately, some insurance providers act dishonestly or unfairly, and shortchange or deny coverage that is otherwise deserved. This is known in the legal profession as insurance bad faith.
Not every disagreeable decision is the result of a bad faith insurance practice, but there are distinctive hallmarks that it’s potentially happening. Here are some of the signs of insurance bad faith:
· Being denied a claim for inexplicable, deceptive or unspoken reasons – if you aren’t provided an explanation of why your claim was denied, or have been given an otherwise deceptive answer, it’s possible you can file a claim against the company.
· Denial of a claim for invalid reasons – your policy should outline the circumstances in which an insurance claim can be made. A bad faith denial may attempt to argue against coverage in those circumstances.
· Providing a misrepresentation of your coverage and its terms – if your insurance provider attempts to persuade you that your policy terms are different than the ones you agreed to, it’s advisable to contact an attorney.
· Failure to fully investigate a claim – insurance providers are required to conduct a thorough investigation. Not doing so is a reason to suspect a bad faith effort.
· Not offering the full amount the claim is worth – bad faith attempts to shortchange you can be fairly tough to spot. An attorney can help you determine whether you should receive more.
Because insurance is intentionally complicated, it can be difficult to spot errors or deception, intentional or not. That’s how many insurance providers are able to get away with bad faith practices.
Legal representation is crucial for that reason. It can take a trained eye to spot insurance bad faith or confirm your suspicions.