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100 Most Influential Lawyers in America
– the National Law Journal

Signs that your insurance company is acting in bad faith

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Personal Injury

You regularly pay your insurance premiums so that you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be taken care of if something goes wrong. But all too often, those who turn to their insurance policies wind up seeing their claims delayed or outright denied. Others are paid far less than they deserve. Why does this happen?

Simply put, the insurance company wants to maximize its profits, which means paying you as little as possible. Therefore, the insurance company might do anything it can to try to justify giving you less than you deserve. As frustrating as that can be, there are laws in California that protect policyholders like you from insurance bad faith practices. Put simply, bad faith occurs when the insurance company acts unreasonable in processing and paying your claim.

How can you tell if your insurance company is acting in bad faith?

The insurance claims process can naturally take longer than you’d like, especially if your claim is complicated or seeks a large payout. So, how can you tell if your insurance company is merely taking advantage of you? Here are some signs that your insurance company is acting in bad faith:

  • Poor communication: Your insurance company should be responsive to your questions and your requests. They should also keep you apprised of where they’re at in the claims process. If your insurance company has been giving you radio silence, then there’s a chance that they’re acting in bad faith and are just hoping that you’ll go away without filing any kind of complaint.
  • Lack of investigation: Your insurance company should investigate your claim, at least to a certain extent. If they’re dragging their feet on sending an appraiser out to assess your situation, then they may have no intention of paying you. This is a bad faith practice.
  • Unreasonable demands: A classic delay tactic implemented by insurance companies is making unreasonable and hard to fulfill demands. If you find yourself questioning why the insurance company is asking you to provide certain documentation and the process has already been strung out, then there’s a good chance that bad faith is in play.
  • Claim denial without reasoning: When your insurance claim is denied, the insurance company should give you a justification for the denial. If they don’t, then they’re probably covering something up. You need to push for answers. If you don’t get any or the insurance company just gives you the runaround, then you might be able to successfully argue that they’re acting in bad faith.
  • Sudden policy changes: Another sneaky tactic used by insurance companies is making unrequested modifications to your existing policy. By making these changes, the insurance company tries to argue that your claim falls under the new provisions, which will likely pay you less than the original policy would have. If your claim was modified without your knowledge and to your detriment, then you should consider pursuing a bad faith claim.

Don’t let your insurance company get the best of you

You’ve dutifully paid your insurance premiums. Now it’s time for the insurance company to pay what they owe. Regardless of the tactics they might try to deploy to prevent you from acquiring the payout you deserve, don’t be dissuaded. Instead, educate yourself on the law and how best to pursue a bad faith claim. By doing so, you’ll hopefully be able to hold your insurance company accountable for their bad acts and recover the compensation you’re owed.