When it comes to settling an insurance claim, insurance companies often have the upper hand. They are much more experienced than the average person in insurance policies, and have more negotiating strength and financial resources than the policyholder in question.
Due to this, the majority of courts find an obligation of good faith and fair dealing in every insurance policy. When the insurer does not act reasonably in investigating, processing, or compensating your claim, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Every state differs in their definition of bad faith insurance cases. Under common law established by courts, a claim may go on, or you may have a claim based on the violation of a state statute. If you are filing a case against your insurer, it is important to understand how bad faith functions. Your Insurance Attorney is a top property damage lawyer in Miami. Call us today for a free initial consultation!
Common Law Bad Faith
What constitutes common law bad faith varies from state to state. Certain states define bad faith as conduct that is “unreasonable or without proper cause,” while other states have a narrower stance. The insurance company is aware that liability can only be found where a denied claim is not “fairly debatable.”
Moreover, this is complicated as certain states will view the claim as a breach of contract versus other states in which it’s a tort. The insurer in question holds a duty of good faith to its policyholders and fair dealing on account of the special relationship between the parties, when it comes to common law torts theory.
There are two elements that need to be proven in a common law claim of bad faith by the policyholder and their property damage lawyer. The policyholder would need to prove that benefits due under the policy were withheld, and that the reason for withholding these benefits was not within reason. There are also certain actions that courts have identified as bad conduct, such as California ruling that certain factors can be considered in deciding if an insurance company acted unreasonably.
Statutory Bad Faith Insurance Case
A lawsuit can also file for both a statutory bad faith claim and a common law bad faith claim. A state’s legislative law will be the basis of a statutory claim. There are many states which hold statutes specifically there to protect policyholders from unfair or deceptive practices by insurance companies.
The prohibited actions of insurance companies and possible solutions available to the policyholder will be delineated by these statutes. An example of a statutory bad faith claim in Connecticut is if the policyholder in question brings a separate claim for a violation of the state’s Unfair Insurer Practices Act. Other states have their own laws, which is why it’s important to call an insurance attorney such as Your Insurance Attorney to present your best possible case and receive the compensation you deserve.
Your Insurance Attorney
Insurance companies are a business, which is why they will try to hold on to your money. If you are filing a bad faith insurance claim against your insurer in the Miami area, call Your Insurance Attorney today for a free initial consultation!