Insurance Company Bad Faith
Insurance Company Bad Faith: Most of us carry insurance–on our home, our car, our lives. The insurance company who sold you the policy probably tried to tell you that it was selling you peace of mind. You made your payments every month and then when you finally do have a claim–surprise–it is denied. Sometimes the denial is proper because the claim truly is not covered. Many times, however, the denial is improper. And the claim you have made really should be covered by the insurer to whom you have paid all those premiums. If you don’t know better…What then?
The answer is you may have an insurance bad-faith claim against your insurer. “Bad faith” by an insurance company can occur any time your insurer refuses to honor a legitimate claim made by you.
Examples of bad faith by an insurance company can include things like:
- Denying a legitimate claim.
- Unnecessarily delaying the payment of a claim.
- Neglecting to investigate the facts to determine if a claim is covered or not.
- Refusing to settle one claim unless you agree to settle another unrelated claim.
Texas law prohibits insurance company bad faith.
Texas law prohibits bad faith by an insurer. Yet, like all laws, it is not always followed. In fact, insurance companies often test the limit of laws against bad faith. They do so by counting on the fact that the person with insurance is unlikely to go talk to a lawyer and find out his rights. The reason for this is simple: Every time that the insurer does not pay a claim it should have covered, the insurer increases its profits.
So what can you do to protect yourself? First of all, an insurance adjuster is not your friend. Once you make a claim that could subject the insurer to liability, your relationship just changed. The adjuster is now usually focused on nothing but keeping the size of the payout as small as possible. Be aware that most insurance adjusters are not lawyers. Even the ones who are, are not always right when they say a claim is not covered. For this reason, do not hand over any documents to an adjuster until you talk to a lawyer. The insurance company may use them against you.
No matter what the adjuster tells you… Talking to a lawyer IS ALWAYS a good idea, especially one that isn’t going to charge you upfront. Sometimes adjustors will try to coerce you that the expense of consulting a lawyer is too high. Even though to do so with us is no-charge. Coupled with the time it takes to pursue a case through the courts means that you should take what is being offered right now. When that conversation takes place, remember: The adjuster is not looking out for you, and the “advice” not to talk to a lawyer is intended to discourage you from finding out if the offer is fair.
If you suspect that your insurer is not dealing fairly with you, call us. We want to help you get what you deserve under the law. There is never a fee, unless we take your case and win it.
Finally, if you need a personal injury lawyer or a wrongful death lawyer, Dan Street at STREET LAW FIRM is here for you. Contact our legal staff if you’d like free no-obligation assistance with your case.