Ways Your Insurance Company May Be Acting in Bad Faith | Belt, Bruner & Barnett

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Ways Your Insurance Company May Be Acting in Bad Faith

Trying to get a settlement from an insurance company can be difficult, especially if they are failing to honor their legal obligation to you. This concept is known as “acting in bad faith.” If you suspect you are the victim of a bad faith deal, you may want to seek legal assistance. The Alabama bad faith insurance lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. can review your interaction with the insurance company and determine if you have a case. If so, we can also help you through every step of your lawsuit.

If you’re worried your insurance company has acted in bad faith, contact us today at (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free case consultation.

Examples of Bad Faith Actions

While every case is different, there are certain behaviors that could be considered bad faith actions. Examples of these include:

Lengthy Delays

It’s not uncommon for a few steps in the claims process to take more time than usual, so you should be prepared for some sort of waiting period. But an unusually long wait is a red flag. If the company is taking excessively long to respond to you and is not communicating the reason for the delay, they may be acting in bad faith.

Unnecessary or Unexplained Denials

If the insurance company didn’t spend much time on their investigation (or didn’t investigate the claim at all) and decided instead to deny your claim, their actions could be considered bad faith. Insurance companies have an implied duty to work with customers who have experienced a loss in order to make them whole again. If the insurer has refused to work with you, they are violating their duty.

Trying to Settle Your Claim for Much Less Than You Should Get

It’s not unusual for an insurance company to try to lowball your settlement. If this happens, don’t worry, you can always reject their first offer and work with them to come up with a better figure. However, a company that flatly refuses to give you the amount you expected to receive is not exactly fulfilling their good faith covenant to give you fair and proper service.

Using Unsavory or Illegal Tactics to Try to Avoid Paying You

There are insurance companies who drag their feet because they’d rather pocket more money than they pay to you. Then there are the unscrupulous businesses that resort to tampering with evidence, withholding witnesses, or other deceitful actions to try to undermine your claim so they can pay you less or deny your claim entirely.

It’s important to note that you cannot claim an insurance company acted in bad faith if you simply don’t like their offer, or don’t like the adjuster who is working with you. The company must actually display obvious bad faith actions before you can make a case against them.

Different Types of Bad Faith Claims

It’s not always another driver’s insurance company that may be acting in bad faith; your own insurers could be reluctant to pay your claim as well. These examples fall into two different categories:

  • First-Party Bad Faith Claims – When you make a claim with your own insurance company, it’s known as a first party claim. If your adjuster is making it difficult for you to get your settlement, it’s considered a first-party bad faith claim.
  • Third-Party Bad Faith Claims – Third party claims (and third-party bad faith claims) involve a claim you made to another person’s insurance company.

Our Alabama Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers Can Help

It’s not always easy to figure out if an insurance company is acting in bad faith. You shouldn’t be expected to know the difference. When this is the situation, the bad faith insurance lawyers of Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. can help. We can listen to your story and determine whether the company is simply sluggish, or if they are actively trying to avoid meeting their good faith requirements. We don’t think you should have to deal with an unreceptive insurance company after all you’ve been through, and we will fight to get you the settlement you deserve.

For a free evaluation of your case, contact us today at (205) 933-1500.