What to Do When Your Insurance Acts in Bad Faith
After finding yourself in a serious car accident, you will naturally turn to your insurance provider for help. After all, the reason you have auto insurance is to have your expenses covered in case you are ever involved in a collision. However, insurance companies exist to make a profit first, and help their customers second. Even if you have been the model client, they may still decide that your settlement isn’t worth what you ask, and deny your claim. This is called acting in bad faith, and it can leave you with no coverage after an accident.
What Is Bad Faith?
Insurance companies have a duty to their policyholders and clients. This means they are expected to treat all clients reasonably, fairly, and with good faith. If you were involved in a serious accident that wasn’t your fault, and you turn to your insurance provider for coverage, then they are expected to look at your policy and offer all compensation that you are owed. However, many insurance companies will try to lowball their compensation offers or find loopholes to deny coverage altogether. Doing so goes against the policy you agreed to, as well as against the idea of dealing in good faith. When this happens, you need to be prepared to fight back in order to receive proper compensation.
Protecting Your Right to Insurance
When an insurance company acts in bad faith, it can leave you feeling lost and unsure of what to do next. Your insurance policy was supposed to provide you with a safety net, ensuring that even after a serious car accident you could get back on your feet. When insurance companies act in bad faith, it means that safety net has been ripped out from under you, which can leave you in a difficult financial situation. That is why fighting for the compensation you deserve is an incredibly important process. But knowing what to do next can be difficult. That is why we at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., have put together a quick guide for you.
Review Your Policy
After your insurance company gives a bad-faith answer, whether it be an insultingly low offer or a flat-out denial, you should first turn to your policy and look it over. There may be a clear stipulation in the policy that works in your favor, or one that lays out that the insurance provider’s offer is actually fair. It is better to know for sure whether or not your insurance company is actually acting in bad faith as soon as possible, in order to save time and money. If the company is acting within the policy, then it may not count as an act of bad faith.
Get the Decision on Paper
If the company is acting in bad faith, then the next step is to request the final decision on paper. If it becomes clear that you are going to fight their decision, then the insurance company may try to claim that you misunderstood their offer, or they may claim they made a different offer altogether. Getting the official offer on paper ensures that you have proof of their bad-faith actions.
Do Not Agree to Anything
Never agree to an offer that you are not satisfied with. The insurance company will try to trick and pressure you into taking their first offer, or into agreeing to a denial. It is incredibly important that you do not agree to anything. Any statement can and will be used against you later, so any agreement, even to something that seems innocent at the time, will be twisted into you agreeing to their offer of compensation. It is best if you refuse to make any statements altogether and instead refer them to your lawyer.
Call Your Attorney
Perhaps the most important step of all, you should contact your attorney the moment you realize that an insurance company is acting in bad faith. We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., have years of experience working with people who were not given their dues by their insurance provider. Everyone deserves proper compensation after an accident, which is why we fight so aggressively for our clients. If you are in need of an experienced personal injury attorney to stand up to your insurance provider, call our firm at (602) 267-1280 today.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer