Insurance policies are often thought as safety nets that will be there to protect us when we are in an accident, when we are injured or when something bad happens. While people may be diligent about paying their premiums and having coverage for their cars, homes, health, etc., the facts are that:
- Insurance companies (like casinos) will always take your money but are typically very hesitant to make payouts. This is because many insurers are more focused in their own profits instead of doing the ethical thing or looking out for the wellbeing of their policyholders.
- This means that many insurers do not always hold up their end of the policy contract when policyholders file claims.
- When this happens, insurance companies may be acting in bad faith, and policyholders will likely be able to go after the insurer for the compensation they deserve (as well as possibly punitive damages).
Here in this article we’ll discuss some of the most common signs of insurance bad faith that everyone should be familiar with. If you end up making a claim with your insurer and recognize at least one of these signs of bad faith, it’s likely time to talk with one of our trusted Boulder insurance dispute attorneys to learn more about your rights and best options for getting the payouts you deserve.
Bad Faith Sign 1: Your insurer says you don’t have an active policy.
This is a common way that insurance companies practice bad faith, and it may be referred to as post-claim underwriting. What happens with this type of bad faith practice is that:
- Policyholders pay all of their premiums on time.
- They trust they have an active policy, as the insurer never tells them otherwise (and accepts all of their payments)
- They get into an accident and file a claim against their policy.
- The insurer responds that they don’t have an active policy.
In such cases, insurers may try to claim that policyholders have missed a payment or that some other factor has resulted in the cancelation of their policy. However, if insurers have never notified policyholders of the cancelation of their policy and have accepted all of the policyholder’s payments towards the policy, then it’s likely in these cases that the insurer is acting in bad faith to try to avoid paying the policyholder.
Bad Faith Sign 2: Your insurer says your policy doesn’t cover the accident in your claim.
While insurance companies may try to say that you don’t have an active policy (as discussed in Part 1 of this blog), it’s also common that they try to tell policyholders that, even though they do have an active policy, the specific accident or incident associated with their claim is not covered by the policy.
One example of this may be with uninsured motorist coverage in an auto policy. For instance, insurance companies may try to avoid paying policyholders after hit-and-run accidents by stating that these people’s car insurance policies doesn’t have uninsured motorist coverage. Alternately, insurers may try to claim that a policyholder doesn’t have flood coverage for a homeowners’ policy.
The examples of this type of bad faith practice are endless, but the bottom line is that, when policyholders know they have been paying for specific coverage and their insurer claims they don’t have it, this is an act of insurance bad faith.
Bad Faith Sign 3: You have been waiting months for a payout.
A more subtle way that insurers may act in bad faith to try to avoid paying policyholders involves prolonging the investigation of their claim. In many cases, insurers’ motivation here is to try to make policyholders desperate enough for money that they end up agreeing to accept a settlement that is far less than their claim is worth.
If you have been waiting an excessively long time for a payout from an insurer, it’s time to consult with a Boulder insurance dispute attorney at Cederberg Law.
Bad Faith Sign 4: Your insurer says that you aren’t as badly injured as you really are.
This common type of insurance dispute arises when insurers try to tell policyholders that:
- Their injuries are minor or are not as severe as they really are.
- They don’t need the medical treatments they actually need.
- They are trying to claim coverage for a pre-existing condition (for instance, if a person states he has sustained a neck injury in a car accident, the insurer may try to claim that the neck injury existed prior to the accident and, therefore, won’t be covered by the policy).
Although such disputes can be complicated to prove, experienced attorneys will know how to gather evidence like medical reports, test results, etc. to:
- Establish the true nature and severity of policyholders’ injuries.
- Help policyholders get the full compensation they deserve so they can get the ongoing (or possibly even long-term) medical treatments they may need.
Bad Faith Sign 5: Your insurer says that you caused the accident or injury.
In some cases, insurers may argue that policyholders are not entitled to a payout for their claims because the policyholders caused the accident, event or injury associated with their claim. When claimants know that this is not the case and that they are, in fact, the victims, they should not try to confront the insurer by themselves to dispute the claim.
In many cases, insurers will give policyholders the runaround, try to use what they say against them and/or try to get them to settle their case for a small fraction of what it is actually worth.
Contacting the Boulder Insurance Dispute Lawyers at Cederberg Law
If you are embroiled in a dispute with your insurance company, don’t try to fight the company on your own. Instead, contact the Boulder insurance dispute lawyers at Cederberg Law. We are skilled at going up against insurers, proving when they have acted in bad faith, and ultimately helping our clients get the compensation and settlements to which they are entitled.
We offer free, no obligations consultations to people battling insurance companies, and we are ready to help them fight for their rights. To set up a meeting with one of our skilled and trusted attorneys, you can call us at 303-499-0449 or email us using the form one the side of the screen. For individuals who choose to move forward with us, we will not charge them any legal fees until or unless we are able to get them compensation for their claims.