Buying an insurance policy is some sort of a promise that if something happens to you, your business or your loved one, then your insurance will cover your losses. Insurance companies are designed to offer protection to your family and assets in the event of something like a hurricane disaster. That said, at times dealing with an insurance company after suffering damage and losses is not easy. Some insurance companies tend to have habits of bad faith to avoid paying a claim by misrepresenting an insurance contract’s language.
Also, they may fail to disclose policy limitations and exclusion to you before you purchase a policy. Other times they may make unreasonable demands to prove your claim for your incurred losses, pain, or injury. Knowing these common tactics is imperative in protecting yourself from unscrupulous insurance companies. Here are some of the common bad faith insurance tactics you should watch out for:
An insurance company may fail to respond to your efforts to contact them. Your phone calls would go ignored, and your messages left unanswered. In most states, this habit is illegal. If this happens to you, keep a record of the messages and the logs of calls. Ensure you communicate with your insurance company in writing for purposes of record-keeping.
Making of Unreasonable Demands
Your insurance may slacken your insurance claim process by making unreasonable demands. This is actually a common bad faith insurance tactic. For instance, they may ask for an excessive number of documents, information, and evidence. The moment you fail to meet the requirement, it opens an avenue for them to deny your claim.
One way to avoid scenarios like this that can jeopardize your compensation, hire an experienced attorney to deal with the insurance on your behalf. A qualified attorney has the experience and competence and thus can deal with insurance companies better to avoid such scenarios.
Delaying the Investigation and Settling of Your Claim
Once you file your claim, the insurance company is then supposed to investigate the claim. But you may experience a delay in the investigation of your claim. Some of these delays are not justifiable but just bad faith tactics. For instance, in Florida, severe weather like hurricanes is prevalent. They can result in extensive property damage and, as such, cause massive losses. In such a case, you may be required to file your claim swiftly. In such a scenario, it is best to hire a hurricane insurance claims attorney. The attorney will help compel the insurance company to hasten the investigation process. Moreover, the attorney will ensure that ethical and legal methods are used in the investigation to safeguard your claim from being invalidated. Remember, delayed investigation of your claim could mean delayed payment.
Misrepresenting the Terms of Your Policy
Before settling on an insurance policy, ensure you read and understand the policy first. If it is difficult for you to understand, get professional help. Insurance companies are misrepresenting the terms of a policy knowingly as a bad faith insurance claim tactic. They do this to either deny your claim or to undervalue your settlement amount.
Changing Policy terms
Often, some insurance companies change their insurance policy terms for their advantage. Once you file your claim, they then tell you that their terms do not cover your claim, and thus they do not owe you money. To avoid being a victim of this tactic, ensure you have a copy of the policy that was in effect at the time you purchased your policy.
Underpaying Your Claim
Insurance companies are business entities after making as much profit as possible. Thus, you may find insurance companies underpaying your claim. They may delay the compensation to make you impatient and increase your need for money. They will then make the least offer possible.
Do not accept a low-ball offer from your insurance company. The offer will close down the claim, and you might not have an adequate amount to compensate for your bills and the losses. Ensure that you report such insurance frauds. Also, seek the assistance of an attorney, as they will have your best interests and thus will ensure you get fair compensation.
Forcing a Lawsuit
An insurance company sometimes frustrates you and forces you to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit means that you will waste too much time and energy. Moreover, you will be required to hire a lawyer. They use this tactic with the hope of frustrating you so that you can give up your claim.
As much as the law protects the consumers against unfair claim practices like bad faith Insurance tactics, they are still prevalent. These tactics can jeopardize your compensation. In case you encounter bad faith insurance, you must seek professional help from a qualified and experienced attorney. You may even qualify for punitive damages to the policyholder as a form of punishment to them. Also, to avoid such scenarios, you can hire a lawyer to handle the insurance claim on your behalf.