When insurance companies refuse to play by the rules, people like you are left to foot the bill for losses and medical treatment that should not be your responsibility. If you believe your insurer is acting in bad faith, reach out to the Van Law Firm for a free consultation. We can review your insurance policy and your case to determine whether your insurance company has adequately investigated and attempted to settle your claim in good faith.
Common Bad Faith Insurance Practices
There are a number of ways an insurance company can breach its duties to policyholders. And many insurers will employ unscrupulous tactics to avoid having to pay. These examples may help you identify whether your insurer may be acting in bad faith.
Claims denials without valid reasons
Anytime an insurance company denies a claim, it is required to provide a reason for the denial. If your insurer denied your claim without giving you a valid reason for the denial, you may have a claim for bad faith practices.
Many insurance companies will delay processing claims to see if policyholders will simply give up and pay for the expenses themselves. Nevada law requires insurers to acknowledge and either accept or deny claims within a reasonable time period. In most cases, insurers are allowed up to 20 working days to acknowledge the receipt of a claim, and up to 30 working days from the date proof of loss is provided to answer. Once a claim is accepted, it must be paid within 30 days.
When you are waiting on an insurance company to approve a request for medical treatment, an unnecessary delay could result in a condition becoming significantly worse. If you suffer injuries because of an unreasonable delay, your insurance company can be held liable.
Insurance companies are required to promptly and thoroughly investigate all policyholder claims. If your insurance company does not adequately investigate your claim, it may be acting in bad faith.
Offering less than a claim is worth
Most insurers will stop at nothing to minimize payouts on claims. In many cases, they will swoop in before the true extent of the damage is realized and make a low settlement offer to claimants in hopes of protecting their own bottom line. While fast settlements and quick insurance checks can be tempting for people who have experienced sudden losses, it’s important to speak with an attorney before accepting an offer to settle from the insurance company. By cashing a check or signing on the dotted line, you could be surrendering your right to recover full payout for your losses.
Refusal to settle a valid claim
If your insurer denies a valid claim that should be covered under your insurance policy, you may have grounds for a claim for bad faith.
Damages Available in Insurance Bad Faith Cases
When an insurance company turns its back on you and bad faith practices cause you harm, you can recover the damages that result from the breach of contract. In addition to recovering the money the insurer should have paid out under the policy, you may be entitled to compensation for losses or injuries you incur because of their denial or delay and legal fees to enforce the policy. When a pattern of bad faith practices exists, punitive damages may also be awarded.
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Proving Insurance Company Bad Faith
There are a number of actions you can take to help us prove the insurance company acted in bad faith.
- Save all correspondence between you and the insurance company
- Document telephone calls and in-person interaction
- Make notes of all activity related to your claim
- Save doctor and hospital bills, photographs of injuries and damage, and any other records that could help prove your case