Our firm has a successful history of fighting insurance companies. When you buy insurance, you are buying a promise from the insurance company. You are buying a promise that in the event you suffer a loss covered by the insurance company, it will do what’s right and pay you what’s fair and what you are owed. Unfortunately, the insurance companies don’t always fulfill their promises.
Insurance claim disputes and insurance bad faith can arise from most all types of insurance policies. Frequently, we see claim disputes and denials arise from homeowners insurance and fire losses, life insurance, disability insurance, and automobile insurance.
Disputes often arise between a policyholder and the insurance company after a loss is submitted. The insurance company may claim that you have not sufficiently documented the claim. The insurance company may claim that there is no coverage for your claim because the policy has a provision in it that excludes coverage under circumstances like yours. In some cases, the insurance company may accuse you of making false statements or misrepresentations in your claim process or in the insurance application.
In fire loss claims, insurance companies will oftentimes hire their own investigators and fire experts. Sometimes the insurance companies will use the findings of these experts to deny your claim or attempt to settle your claim for less than it is worth. In some situations, the insurance company will take the position that there is evidence of arson and will deny the claim completely. In claims like this, hiring an attorney with experience can make all the difference. We have experience litigating fire loss cases and claim denials. We will employ our own experts and fire investigators to perform and inspection and review the insurance company’s work.
Insurance companies use many excuses to avoid paying a claim. It’s true that some insurance companies are worse than others. Oftentimes, these insurance companies will only take your claim seriously and perform a thorough investigation when legal action is taken.
Policyholders have legal rights that the insurance company must not violate. Insurance companies must deal with policyholders honestly and in good faith and they must not engage in unfair claims handling practices. Examples of the legal duties an insurance company owes its policyholders include promptly responding to communications from a policyholder, performing an adequate investigation of the claim, and acting in good faith to effectuate a prompt and fair settlement of all claims submitted.
When an insurance company fails to fulfill the duties it owes to a policyholder, it may be guilty of acting in bad faith. When that is the case, the insurance company may owe the policyholder damages and penalties in addition to what it owes under the policy and even punitive damages.
If you believe your insurance company has wrongly denied or undervalued your claim, you should speak with an attorney who is experienced in dealing with insurance companies. We have experience fighting insurance companies over wrongly denied claims under life insurance, fire insurance, auto insurance and others.