In 2020, only 9.7% of Americans chose to forgo health insurance. The vast majority recognized the importance of insurance and took out the proper policies. Yet, some of these people will have fallen victim to bad faith insurance practices and been left devastated.
Luckily, the law is on your side in such unfair circumstances. If you’ve been a victim of insurance fraud, you can take the insurer to court and make sure you get your dues.
However, before setting down that road, it’s important to recognize when a claim denial is unfair.
Bad Faith Tactics
Insurance companies have a legal duty to act in good faith and uphold the terms of your policy. However, this doesn’t mean that they always will. You may encounter dishonest tactics used by insurers. Luckily, in such cases, California law protects you as a policyholder.
But, if you can identify bad faith practices, you can hold your insurer’s feet to the fire and get the benefits you deserve. Let’s take a closer look at what the court may consider as bad faith.
Failure To Respond to a Claim
Most states, California included, have a set deadline by which an insurance company must accept or deny a claim. Failing to do this within the required period can constitute a bad faith tactic — the company might hope you will give up on your claim over time.
Failure To Provide Justification
The insurance company should provide a reasonable justification for the denial, and failure to do so can be considered deceitful and bad faith.
Delays in Claim Processing and Failure To Conduct a Full Investigation
Just as your claim has to be processed in a certain amount of time, the insurer must conduct a thorough investigation within the same timeframe and cannot deny a claim without a comprehensive examination.
Deceiving or Threatening Policyholders
Interpreting policy language deceptively to deny a claim, failing to inform a policyholder of coverage, or making threatening statements can all constitute bad faith practices.
Refusal to Pay Out Policy Benefits
An insurance company is legally obligated to pay out clients for all valid claims, such as those that fulfill their policy terms. If the insurer refuses, they can be held legally accountable.
Refusal to pay out a valid claim is more obviously deceitful than low-balling. However, both are acts of bad faith. A company may try to offer less money than your claim is worth to bolster its profits.
The Next Step: Contacting a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
These are ways to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit against an insurer. In Los Angeles, you can always turn to Haffner Law — an established provider of insurance and personal injury law services that prioritizes your best interests.
Haffner Law looks out for you every time with no hidden fees involved and no obligation to expand the case beyond the initial review. If you are in need of legal representation, call 213-514-5681 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.