What You Need to Know About Insurance Bad Faith Cases
November 11, 2019 by GKwriter
You pay for insurance and expect it to be there for you when you need it. But when it isn’t, you can actually bring about a lawsuit for insurance bad faith.
Insurance bad faith is when an insurance company does not keep its commitments to its customers. This can come in a variety of forms from failure to defend a lawsuit to refusing to pay in a covered lawsuit or settlement.
The title gets its name from the faith that you place in an insurance company when you purchase a policy. You might be on the receiving end of insurance bad faith if you’re dealing with the following:
- Inadequate claims investigation
- The insurance company threatening the insured
- Delaying your claim
- Not defending you in a lawsuit your contract covers
- Unreasonable settlement offers
- Interpreting an insurance policy in an unfair way
To help you better understand insurance bad faith cases, here’s a breakdown of terminology and what to expect.
First party insurance bad faith
First party cases are more common for insurance bad faith. This is when an insurance company does not complete adequate investigation into a claim. These cases also include situations when an insurance company undervalues the damaged assets in an insurance claim.
Insurance contracts cover a specific item, such as your home or automobile. When there is damage to the covered good, the insurance company is required to complete a full investigation into the claim. This includes taking a look at the circumstances surrounding the damage, your specific policy agreements and the extent of the damage to your covered property.
Your insurance policy might have language in it that defines reasonable timeframes for responding to your claim. If your insurance company is delaying paying a claim, you have a case to seek reimbursement of those funds.
These delays can cause you undue stress and financial hardship as you’ll have to pay out of pocket to repair your damaged goods. In these cases, you can seek additional financial restitution to help offset those hardships.
Third party insurance bad faith
Third party bad faith cases deal with liability insurance. This is when you face a legal battle that is within your policy’s coverage and your insurer refuses to defend you in the lawsuit. This is also applicable when an insurer refuses to pay a reasonable settlement for a lawsuit resulting from a covered incident.
The insurance company is responsible for settling claims that are reasonable and within policy limits. For example, if you are in a car accident involving another driver that sustains serious injuries from the incident, you might face a lawsuit. Your insurance company is required to represent you in that lawsuit and pay out a reasonable settlement based off of the circumstances.
If your insurance company is refusing to represent you or pay out in a lawsuit, you can bring about a third party insurance bad faith case. A Virginia insurance law attorney can guide you through the process and ensure you get what you deserve from years of paying insurance premiums.
Hiring an attorney for insurance bad faith litigation
If your bills are adding up and insurance isn’t keeping their commitment, it’s time to find an insurance law attorney. An insurance law attorney will build your case and help you fight for your rights under your insurance policy contract.
Gore and Kuperman is a local Virginia law firm with experience ensuring that insurance companies hold up their end of the deal. You place your faith in insurance that they will pay out when you need them. That’s why you pay regular premiums, so why shouldn’t they pay you when you need it.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your case with you. During your consultation, we’ll review your experience and the difficulties you’ve faced when dealing with an insurance company. Bring any documentation you have as far as your insurance policy and reports of the damage to your covered property.
As your legal partner, we work with you to ensure we can create a fee structure that works with your stretched budget as you await closure to your insurance claim. All details will be clear before we work together so that there aren’t any surprises later on in the process.
To get started, call us at 703-385-7300. We have many years of experience protecting Virginia residents against insurance bad faith. As advocates for the community, we look forward to serving you in your legal matter.