Insurance is designed to be a safety net, a contract whereby the insurance company agrees to provide protection so that you or your family will be compensated if you suffer a loss, whether it be for a car accident, damage to your home, or a medical emergency. It also provides protection if you are sued by a party claiming that you injured them. You have paid premiums for years to your health insurance, car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or life insurance company and expect to be treated fairly when accidents and injuries occur that put you in jeopardy.
It is all too common for insurers to deny or low-ball your legitimate claim even when it does not have a valid reason. When your insurance company breaches your trust, you feel betrayed. The company that told you it would be there for you and your family is now stonewalling you when you need it the most. Like any business, insurance companies are interested in protecting their bottom line first, which often leads to them trying to minimize the amounts they may owe you. When this occurs, the company may be acting in bad faith, which is a violation of your contract and quite possibly the law. Generally, insurers employ tactics that will try to wear you down. They count on you giving up and not wanting to wade through the volumes of forms, estimates and red-tape. This isn’t fair, nor is it ethical. It’s known as bad faith and it happens every day.
What is a Bad Faith Claim?
When an insurance company does not have legitimate or reasonable basis for denying your claim for payment, downplays the severity of your injuries or loss, or delays or stalls in investigating your a claim for too long, they are breaching your contract and may be acting in bad faith.
While no single one of the following factors necessarily indicates that your insurer is acting in bad faith, any combination of them means that a bad faith claim is probably worth considering:
- Denying a claim based on trivial technicalities
- Claiming a certain kind of claim or loss is not covered (the “fine print” argument) under the insurance policy
- Claiming you had a pre-existing condition or that your loss was caused by some other event
- Repeated requests for information that it already has, or that is unrelated to your claim
- Failure to make a settlement offer within a reasonable amount of time
- Offering you an amount that is much lower than your actual losses or low-balling you
- Threatening to cancel your insurance or an unfair rate increase after you refuse a low settlement
Insurance companies are required by law to pay all legitimate claims with good faith – promptly and properly. The law calls this obligation a “covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” When an insurance company breaches this covenant and fails to pay their policyholder what he/she deserves, you can file a bad faith insurance case against them to hold them accountable.
Commonly Denied Insurance Claims
The following types of insurance claims are denied the most:
- Car accident claims
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claims
- Life insurance
- Health insurance claims
- Property damage claims from storms
- Fire damage and loss
- Wind and water damage, including mold
- Contribution and indemnification
- Construction defect and liability claims
Experienced Bad Faith Insurance Claim Lawyers
If your insurance company is acting in bad faith, don’t give up. The company is hoping you will give up and go away, so they can resolve your claim by paying little to nothing of what you deserve. If you have paid your premiums and filed a legitimate claim, Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Mr. Plotnick’s years of experience working as an insurance defense lawyer has given him inside knowledge of the tactics that insurance companies use to deny and lower settlements for legitimate claims. We will investigate your insurance company’s practices, question the claims adjusters, and challenge the company with industry experts to make sure your claim is paid fairly if necessary.
If your insurance company is giving you the run-around, please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced Maryland bad faith insurance attorneys.
We represent clients throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.