One thing that people need to realize about car insurance companies is that, no matter how much they may benefit you, they are in it for a profit before anything else. Unfortunately, many car insurance companies will do all too many things to improve profits, regardless of whether these business tactics are good faith or bad faith. However, these insurance industry leaders didn’t get to where they are without savvy, so discerning the difference between good and bad faith tactics is going to be tricky, so we are here to help you identify them.
Examples of Bad Faith Tactics Used by Car Insurance Companies
The ultimate goal of bad faith tactics used by car insurance companies is to avoid having to pay out for a contract that they have with you. There are inevitably going to be contracts they have, where the insured legitimately failed to meet their own contractual obligations, but all too many instances can be summed up as the car insurance company trying to twist wording to cheat them out of their money. Sometimes, the bad faith tactic can simply involve wording the contract in such a way that it is indecipherable from the very beginning. The contract may also have absurd restrictions that you never even noticed until the insurance company pointed it out. In both instances, a good tactic is to consult with an auto insurance bad faith attorney, who can identify whether such tactics were employed in crafting the contract between you two. Not only is it a frustrating situation to have to wade through the weeds of potential bad faith tactics, but it can also prove to be legitimately harmful, as it delays compensation that you may need in the here and now. An auto insurance bad faith attorney can expedite things for you to get this compensation as quickly as possible.
Of course, the contract is likely going to be fairly well crafted, but that does not mean that there will not be problems with it. One such problem is when an insurance representative tries to mislead you on the information in the contract in order to make sure that a claim that should qualify actually does not. They may also attempt to withhold important information about the contract in order to mislead you into thinking that the contract works in a way it does not actually. When filing a claim with a car insurance company, it is important to be prepared for these kinds of situations. If you feel that you are being jerked around by an insurance company, the best path to take is to have your auto insurance bad faith attorney examine the contract, as well as your issues with the insurer. If they determine that the contract information was misrepresented by the car insurance company, they can put on some muscle in order to help convince the insurance company that you are not the kind of customer who is willing to roll over when confronted by injustice.
Sometimes, the insurance company will attempt to wear you down through attrition. In this case, the car insurance company will do an investigation into your claim in order to determine whether you are eligible. The bad faith tactic is employed by making the investigation take longer than is reasonable, hoping that the claimant may either forget all about the claim or will simply give up on trying to get the compensation they deserve. They may eventually deny the claim, though, for a bad faith insurance company, you should not be at all surprised if they fail to consider all the relevant information. For example, if you get into a car accident, and they determine that the damages sustained were pre-existing, despite you having a repair shop estimate showing that the damages occurred after the date of the damages. Your insurance provider has an expectation to not only conduct an investigation into your claim but also to conduct an investigation that covers every reasonable aspect.
Another tactic is that they may simply decide to ignore you altogether or decide to drag their heels when getting back to you about your claim. Regardless of any other claims by the insurance company against your own claim, the difficulty in you getting in contact with them will be viewed as a bad faith tactic. One final tactic they may employ in your claim is to simply offer less than your claim is worth, hoping that they can make some money in the end.
When all is said and done, you also need to be able to demonstrate that action was a bad faith tactic rather than the insurance company simply making a mistake. You also cannot use the fact that they simply disagree with you to call it a bad faith denial either, though if they cannot properly substantiate their position, this would likely not do them well if they were confronted. An attorney can do a world of good to help you figure out when it is a difference of opinion or a mistake, and when it is a bad faith tactic being employed.
Due to the propensity of bad faith tactics being employed by car insurance companies, several states have created laws specifically designed to combat these tactics. If your auto insurance2 bad faith attorney can demonstrate that a bad faith tactic was employed by you, you would likely be able to employ this law against them. Make sure to look up your state laws to verify if your state has such a law in the books and if so, the various circumstances involved in the law.