Bad Faith Insurance
Is Your Insurance Company
Refusing to Defend You?
Failure to defend claims are contractual: they arise when the insurance company fails to do something required by the insurance contract. Every insurer has many obligations to its policyholders. They must abide by the terms of the contract (policy), act in good faith, and avoid unfair trade practices. These obligations typically require the insurance company to refrain from the following:
- An inadequate and delayed investigation into the claim
- Refusing to pay a claim where liability is reasonably clear
- Failing to approve or deny a claim within a reasonable or specified time frame
- Denying a claim with little or no explanation as to the reason for the denial
- Failing to defend you in a liability lawsuit where at least one of the claims is potentially covered by your liability policy
- Denying a claim based on an application misstatement after the period of contestability has past
Insurance companies are in business to make money. They accomplish this by taking in more premiums than they pay out in claims. It should be an honest and straightforward business and most of the time it is. Unfortunately, some insurance companies don’t play fair, they either refuse to pay valid claims or refuse to pay a fair amount. Most of the time you won’t know if your insurance company operates this way until it is too late and that could lead to financial ruin for you, your family, and/or your business.
If your feel you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company, we can help you level the playing field. Our experienced Insurance Lawyers know how to hold insurance companies liable to you, the insured, and can work on your behalf so you do not suffer more damage than you already have.
TIME TO SEEK AN ATTORNEY
Don’t Go Up Against
Your Insurance Company Alone
Individuals and businesses purchase insurance to protect themselves and their assets. For example:
- Automobile insurance to protect them in the event of an accident involving a motor vehicle
- Homeowners insurance to protect their house and property
- Commercial general liability insurance to protect their businesses
- Professional liability insurance to protect professional business activities
Each of these types of insurance generally protects the insured in the event a lawsuit or legal claim is filed against them. Often, insureds expect that if a claim is filed against them, their insurance company will step up and defend the person or business. This is where it can get tricky.
It’s important to understand that just because the insurance company asserts that your policy does not provide coverage, does not necessarily make it true.
Insureds are sometimes faced with situations in which a legal claim is asserted against them, but their insurance company denies coverage and refuses to defend them. This leaves insured wondering what to do and where to turn. Individuals or businesses could face significant expense to defend against the alleged claims. This is especially difficult when the insured has been paying premiums expecting that their insurance company would protect them in the event of a lawsuit.
Any time an insurance company does not agree to provide coverage under an insurance policy, it is important for an attorney to review the insured’s legal rights and options.