Give us a call to find out how a Los Angeles insurance attorney can help you get the benefits you’re entitled to.
You can purchase insurance for just about anything. And if you purchase it, you expect to get the benefits you’re entitled to when you need them. Sadly, many Los Angeles residents find out that insurers aren’t really on their side at the moment when they need help the most.
You shouldn’t be left empty-handed after years of paying premiums on an insurance policy, no matter what kind of policy it is. If the terms of your agreement with the insurance company are met, the insurer needs to pay up.
The attorneys at Haffner Law are prepared to make sure that happens. Leave your case in the capable hands of a Los Angeles insurance lawyer to reduce your stress and help ensure that you get the benefits you’ve paid for.
Fighting Bad Faith Insurance
Bad faith insurance is a broad term that describes situations in which insurers refuse to negotiate in good faith or hold up their end of your policy. For example, if your homeowners insurance company refuses to consider your claim after a fire has destroyed your home, the insurer may be acting in bad faith.
Your Los Angeles insurance claim lawyer can assess your situation to determine whether your insurance company is acting in bad faith. If so, we will have to gather the evidence to prove it in court.
In some cases, you might disagree with your insurer’s decision to deny your claim or feel wronged by the insultingly low settlement offer it made, but that might not constitute bad faith insurance practices. However, if the insurer denies your claim and can’t provide a coherent explanation as to why, you might have grounds to accuse the insurance company of acting in bad faith.
Proving bad faith insurance may entitle you to compensation for any additional damages you’ve suffered during the process of dealing with your insurance company—in addition to the compensation you originally deserved for your insurance claim.
Here are a few examples of bad faith insurance practices in LA:
- Denying your claim without a valid reason
- Failing to inform you of important benefits you’re entitled to or purposefully withholding that information
- Canceling your policy because you made a claim
- Not following established time frames for investigating your claim
- Offering a settlement amount that is considered unreasonably low
- Unnecessary delaying the processing and paying of a claim
Types of Insurance Claims
If it exists, there is probably some kind of insurance for it, but Los Angeles insurance claims tend to involve a few common types of insurance. You may have reason to work with a Los Angeles insurance attorney while working with any of the following types of insurance companies:
- Vehicle Insurance – Vehicle insurance can include cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. Most states, including California, require residents to carry auto insurance if they drive, but auto insurers too often act like they aren’t required to cover you in the event of an accident. We’ll work to make sure the deal works both ways.
- Home Insurance – Homeowners insurance covers the many types of accidents and damage that can happen on your property. When someone is hurt after slipping on your front steps or when your home is damaged, your policy should cover you. A refusal from your insurer can place a significant, potentially debilitating burden on your finances.
- Flood Insurance – Not everyone in Los Angeles has flood insurance, but if you have paid your premiums, you deserve coverage when floodwaters destroy your home.
- Life Insurance – Your loved one paid his or her life insurance premiums as a gesture of love and support to you. If, during this tragic time, your loved one’s life insurance policy isn’t paying up, a life insurance lawyer in LA can put pressure on the insurer.
- Insurance for Your Business – Your business is likely your livelihood and your life’s work. If you chose to insure it, you likely did so to protect it from disaster. You deserve the protection you paid for.
The common thread between all of these types of insurance is this: When you file a claim with your insurer, something terrible has happened, whether it’s a car accident, earthquake, or the death of a loved one. In moments like that, you’re already suffering. Don’t let your insurer make your life even harder than it is right now.
Laws That Govern Good Faith Insurance Practices
Insurance is a strange business. The concept is a good one—you pay a monthly premium so that, if something catastrophic happens in your life, you will be financially protected. Smart, right?
Unfortunately, insurance companies have conflicting obligations and interests. They are obligated to pay out on legitimate claims, but they are interested in making money. Paying out on claims takes money out of their pockets.
The good news is there are laws that regulate insurance companies to keep their business practices fair—as fair as possible, at least. Attorneys make sure the insurance companies are following the laws so you won’t be mistreated.
Some of the rules that insurance companies must adhere to are as follows:
- Maintenance of Files and Records – All insurance companies are required to maintain files and records of claims, as well as communications with their policyholders. They must maintain these records for the current year and for several preceding years.
- Disclosing Policy Information and Benefits – Insurance companies are required to communicate to you all the benefits you’re entitled to if you ask. They cannot conceal your benefits or withhold information, especially when that information would pertain to payments you’re eligible to receive.
- Timely Communication – There are rules that specify how quickly your insurance company must respond to your written communication, usually within fifteen calendar days. If they fail to follow these rules they could be considered to be acting in bad faith.
- Properly Training Agents – Agents working for the insurer must be properly trained so they are aware of these laws. They can’t claim they didn’t know what the rules were.
- Prompt and Fair with Settlement Negotiations – When handling claims, insurers are required to investigate the claim quickly and come to a resolution. They must document delays and inform you of reasons for delays.
Understanding the Denial of Your Claim
If you have received a denial from your insurance company, you are no doubt frustrated and worried about your financial future. Instead of wasting time arguing with the insurer or contesting your claim, take the denial letter to a Los Angeles insurance denial lawyer.
We’re happy to take a look at your claim and the insurance company’s supposed justification for denying you what you’re owed. We’ll advise you of your best next steps and answer any questions you have.
Insurers often deny valid Los Angeles insurance claims because of picky technical errors, and sometimes they will even fabricate a reason to justify their denial. Below, we’ve detailed a few common reasons insurers cite for denying valid claims:
- Factual errors on claim paperwork
- You are not current on your payments to the insurer
- The claim isn’t necessary or technically covered under your policy
- You don’t have enough evidence to support the facts of your claim
Of course, these justifications are often false or, at the very least, inaccurate. Ask your insurance lawyer how to win this fight.
Pushing for a Fair Settlement
Sometimes, the problem with your Los Angeles insurance claim won’t be a denial but will instead involve a settlement offer that doesn’t even begin to cover what you need. For example, if your home took on $20,000 in damage during a severe storm, you expect $20,000 from the insurance company. What do you do when the insurer’s offer doesn’t even come close?
If you accept the insurer’s word as law, then you’re left paying out of pocket for things that shouldn’t have cost you a cent. We think that’s unacceptable.
That’s why the attorneys at our firm tirelessly fight for the rights of consumers whose insurance companies make lowball settlement offers. The last thing the insurance company wants you to do is get your lawyer involved. Insurers think they can manipulate you, but they know an experienced attorney will see right through their tactics.
Los Angeles Insurance FAQ
You probably have all kinds of questions to ask your attorney when dealing with insurance companies. Whether you’ve just started insurance negotiation, or you’ve already received a denial from the insurance company, an attorney from Haffner Law would be happy to discuss your insurance claim with you during a free case review.
In the meantime, peruse the frequently asked questions we’ve already answered here.
Why do insurance companies deny claims?
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. That means their goal is to make money, and they will cut costs wherever they can. If they can get out of paying out on a claim, they will. In fact, they have strict rules and procedures to make certain that not every claim is paid, and they surely don’t pay all claimants what their claims are worth.
How will an LA insurance attorney help me with a claim denial?
The attorneys at Haffner Law are well-versed in how to get an insurance claim accepted. We can help you complete the paperwork accurately and gather the documentation and other evidence needed to prove your claim, regardless of what type of claim it is. Also, when you have legal representation, insurers are less likely to mess with you.
Is an insurer allowed to investigate my claim?
Insurance companies are allowed under the law to investigate suspected fraudulent claims. If you feel you are being harassed or unfairly investigated, contact a lawyer.
How quickly must an insurer pay out on an approved claim?
Insurers are required to tender payment, or at least take action, for an approved claim as soon as possible but within thirty days.
Should I speak with an insurance representative without a lawyer?
Insurance companies will try to contact you about your claim. They will need to discuss the claim with someone, but it doesn’t have to be you. If you speak with them, they will likely attempt to record the conversation because they know they can use the recording against you. Your attorney can speak to the insurance company on your behalf.
Contact a Los Angeles Insurance Attorney
If your insurer isn’t treating you fairly, you don’t have to stand for it. You can empower yourself to win this battle by working with an attorney from Haffner Law.
We’re prepared to take on reluctant, manipulative insurance companies so you don’t have to worry with it. We’ll do everything in our power to get you the benefits you were initially owed—plus compensation for any hardships your insurer caused you while it was mistreating you.
To schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles insurance lawyer, give our firm a call at 1-844-HAFFNER (423-3637). If you would prefer to reach us online, head to the bottom of this page to fill out our online contact form.