More than 85 percent of Americans carry health insurance, while more than 87 percent have auto insurance. Yes, we purchase insurance coverage for financial protection against accidents, traumatizing events, illnesses, and disease.
To tell you the truth, we place too much of our trust in insurance companies and we expect them to have our back when we need it most. The sad reality is that you cannot and should not expect most insurers in Pennsylvania to provide fair compensation.
What is insurance bad faith?
Many Americans seem to forget that every insurance company is a business, which needs to make money one way or another. Unfortunately, more often than not, this prompts insurance companies to pay their customers as little as possible and deny legitimate claims for inadequate reasons.
In other words, many insurance companies are engaging in a bad faith practice to minimize the value of claims or avoid providing compensation altogether. Luckily, if this happens to you, you can contact a car accident attorney to fight against an insurer that denies your legitimate claims or fails to pay you what you actually deserve or were promised under your insurance policy.
Types of insurance bad faith in Philadelphia
Under federal and state law in Pennsylvania, insurance companies are required to handle all types of claims filed by their policyholders in “good faith.” In other words, they need to treat each and every claim fairly and in compliance with federal and state laws and live up to their promises outlined in the policy coverage agreement.
Our experienced insurance bad faith attorney Philadelphia from Dan Doyle Law Group says that there are two types of bad faith on the part of insurance companies: first-party and third-party.
First-party insurance bad faith
You can sue your own insurance company for the following acts of first-party bad faith:
Failure to properly or adequately process claims. The following acts may fall under the category of “inadequate claim processing”:
- Failure to respond to claims in a timely manner
- Failure to verify the policyholder’s proof of loss
- Failure to conduct investigation of the claim within an adequate amount of time from the filing of the claim
- Failure to determine the coverage properly or fairly
- Failure to evaluate the amount of damages and
- Denying legitimate claims or not paying the maximum amount
Failure to fairly and unbiasedly investigate a claim.
For example, an insurance company may knowingly omit or provide false information, tamper with or destroy evidence, delay conducting the investigation when the evidence is lost or damaged, or even being overly intrusive when conducting investigation.
Unreasonably delaying payment: If you are eligible to receive compensation under your insurance policy but the insurer fails to make the payments in a timely manner, this may be a sign of bad faith.
Paying as little as possible: If your insurance company failed to fairly evaluate your claim and agrees to pay you less than what you actually deserve, you may be able to sue your insurance company with the help of a Philadelphia insurance bad faith lawyer.
Unreasonably denying a claim: When it comes to denying claims, an insurance company has a duty to explain why the claim is being denied. However, many insurance companies cite some non-existent ”conditions” from the insurance policy agreement to deny legitimate claims.
Third-party bad faith
You may be able to sue your insurance company for third-party bad faith for any of the following acts:
- Failure to settle an underlying claim against the insured within policy limits
- Failure to inform the insured about settlement demands
- Failure to defend the insured in an underlying claim against him or her filed by a third party and
- Negligently handling the defense of the insured
Consult with our bad faith insurance lawyers from Dan Doyle Law Group to determine whether or not you can sue your insurance company for failure to handle your claim or an underlying claim against you in good faith. Call our offices to get a free consultation.