How to Determine if Your Insurance Company Acts in Bad Faith in Oklahoma City
It should be your expectation that an insurance policy will protect you if you experience a covered loss. However, if your agent is negligent, you may not have the protection you need and expect. If you’re getting the run-around by your insurance company, they may be acting in bad faith, which could mean you could seek compensation.
Insurers sometimes use unscrupulous tactics to deny claims unfairly. They may undervalue claims or drag out the process to harm you. Just because you’re experiencing bad faith in Oklahoma City doesn’t mean you’re without resources, options, or support. You can count on an experienced Oklahoma insurance lawyer to help you understand the process.
“Bad Faith” Claims – What Are They?
You’ll typically pay your insurance policies in good faith for years. Your goal and your honest belief are that your insurance payments will ensure you the benefits you deserve at the time when they are needed. In addition, that contract with your insurance company stipulates that they will support you if covered events occur. Typically, it’s when something goes wrong.
So, when you’ve paid your monthly payments, and your insurance company refuses to cover the policy, you may be experiencing a “bad faith” insurance coverage incident. The “bad faith” term means your insurance company refuses to meet its obligations under your insurance policy. They may be refusing to cover the policy promptly and reasonably. Or there may be other ways you don’t get the compensation you deserve.
You may find examples of bad faith here:
- An investigation that takes an unreasonable amount of time
- Benefits denied without reasonable cause
- Claim processing is delayed beyond reason
- Claims that are undervalued
- Defining policy language unreasonably
- Delaying the offer of a fair settlement amount by forcing a claimant into litigation
- Denial of a claim without explanation
- Fraudulent insurance policies
- Inaccurate representations of coverage and benefits
- Limits not disclosed by the insurer
- Claiming within an arbitrary period
- Negligence on the part of agents
- Payment of claim in full is not made
- Purchased a policy but did not submit the paperwork
- The insured does not defend third-party claims
So Why Do Insurance Companies Act In Bad Faith?
Insurance companies are businesses. Like most businesses, the goal is to make a profit. Insurance companies and agents profit by collecting more in premiums payments than they pay out on claims. So, to achieve the highest return on investment (ROI) for business, some insurers use excuses and bad faith actions to avoid paying your claim. In some cases, they may try to reduce the amount they spend on your claim.
Since the insurance company probably has their interests in mind when they pay out on your policy, you need a bad-faith attorney to represent you. Experienced and knowledgeable insurance attorneys prepare to challenge the insurance company’s bad faith. The goal of a bad-faith attorney is to force insurance companies to follow the policies that have already been paid for. They also work to ensure you have the support and compensation you need.
What Types of Insurance Policies Could Involve Bad Faith?
The type of policy does not matter. An insurance company can deny a claim, delay payment, offer lowball or partial payment, and refuse to defend an insured against third-party claims regardless of the type of policy. Here are some of the types of insurance that might involve bad faith:
- Auto insurance
- Commercial liability insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Credit insurance
- Disability insurance
- Health insurance
- Homeowners’ insurance
- Liability insurance
- Life insurance
- Personal injury settlements
These types of insurance are just some of the most frequent types of insurance where you might experience bad faith from our insurance company.
What Can You Do if You Suspect Insurance Bad Faith?
It is possible to file a bad faith claim if you suspect that you have been damaged because of insurance bad faith. You must prove the following in Oklahoma to file a bad faith claim:
- A reasonable insurer would not have acted in these circumstances
- The policy covers this type of loss
- There was a lack of fairness and good faith by the insurer
- You suffered damage because of the breach.
Aside from deciding whether to file your claim in state or federal court, it would help if you chose the compensatory value of the claim you’ll seek. But, again, an experienced attorney can help guide you through the bad faith claims process.
Bad Faith Litigation in Oklahoma
Litigation may be your only effective and efficient option if the insurance company doesn’t treat you fairly. You can often get a much more fair and just settlement right away from the insurance company if you hire a lawyer right from the start. A trial may be necessary if your attorney cannot reach a better settlement.
How Much is Your Bad Faith Claim Worth?
You may be able to recover more than you initially claimed from your insurance company if you file a bad faith claim. In Oklahoma, insurance companies are discouraged from being unfair or negligent, so you may be entitled to additional compensation for the following:
- Your claim’s original amount;
- Losses incurred through business interruption claims (such as lost wages);
- Punitive injuries.
There are only three ways to limit punitive damages:
- It can either be the claim’s value; or
- The sum of $500,000.
- If the insurance company behaved cruelly, the Court could award unlimited damages.
How Oklahoma’s Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Can Help
Insurance attorney Doug Terry assists you with litigation when disputing insurance coverage or benefits. He understands the standards of conduct that insurance companies must follow toward their policyholders. We’ll help you stand up to the insurance company.
Doug Terry and his team stand by to serve you and your best interests in your Bad Faith Insurance case. He will hold your insurance company accountable if it fails to uphold the standards. Get in touch with us if you need more information about our services.