At Marc Whitehead & Associates, we’ve helped many clients prove bad faith after their claims are rejected by disability insurance companies.
A business, home, auto, or individual disability insurance policy is a contract between a policyholder and an insurance company. With this contract comes an “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing” between the two parties signing the contract. What this means is that both sides agree to treat each other with honesty, fairness and respect and not deny the right of the other party to receive the benefits agreed to in the contract.
However, when an insurance company:
- Denies paying benefits due as outlined in the policy;
- Unreasonably delays payment of benefits owed;
- Fails to promptly or properly investigate a claim in accordance with company’s procedures;
- Fails to disclose policy benefits;
- Deliberately misrepresents the details of an insurance policy;
- Arbitrarily or unreasonably demands proof of loss; and/or
- Employs abusive and coercive tactics to settle your claim, then
They can be said to be acting in bad faith. In Texas and a lot of other states, this is illegal, and a policyholder can take an insurance company to court for acting in bad faith.
Steps to Take If You Believe an Insurance Company Was Acting in Bad Faith
Do you believe that your insurance company was acting in bad faith when it denied your claim? If so, you’ll want to take steps to protect your rights.
Keep in mind, just because an insurance company rejected your claim doesn’t necessarily mean they were acting in bad faith.
First, contact your insurance company and ask them to review their decision. You can also contact your state’s insurance regulatory agency (in Texas, it’s the Texas Department of Insurance) and ask them to investigate.
A Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Can Help
If that does not resolve the matter, you may want to hire an experienced bad faith insurance attorney. They’ll be able to review your policy to determine if the insurance company was violating the terms of the agreement and were acting in bad faith when they rejected your claim.
Your attorney can also ask to review your claim file, which includes the details about how your claim was handled and how the insurance company arrived at the decision to deny your claim. This could contain the proof you need to show that the insurance company was negligent in considering your claim and disposed of it in a fraudulent manner.
If your attorney finds evidence that the insurance company violated the terms of the policy, the first course of action will usually be to notify the insurance company about their mistake and ask them to reconsider their decision. If the insurance company refuses to respond, the next step may be to file a lawsuit.
Proving An Insurance Company Acted In Bad Faith
Proving an insurance company acted in bad faith can be difficult. In order to prevail in a bad faith insurance lawsuit, you must be able to prove that not only did the insurance company have no reasonable basis for denying you the benefits of the policy, but also that they knew you had a valid claim and decided to deny it anyway.
The more evidence you may have to support your claim — medical records, photos, police reports, etc. — the stronger your case will be.
Unfortunately, a state’s bad faith insurance laws only apply to private individual or business insurance plans and don’t cover federally regulated ERISA group disability benefits policies. While you can take an insurance company to court for unfairly denying a disability claim, your recovery will be limited to only the benefits you are owed.
Speak with a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
If you believe your insurance claim was acting in bad faith when they denied your claim, it’s important that you act quickly to protect your rights. Marc Whitehead & Associates have been representing clients who have had their claims unfairly denied by private insurance companies for over 27 years. We’ve had plenty of dealings with the insurance companies and we’re all too familiar with the many tactics they employ to delay and deny a claim.
Contact the offices of Marc Whitehead & Associates today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced bad faith insurance attorney to discuss your case. We handle most individual and business bad faith insurance cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no up-front costs to our clients, and we only collect a fee after we’ve secured your settlement with an insurance company.