Insurance companies have many duties to their policyholders, but probably the most obvious one would be to adhere to the terms of the policies they sell. In order to do so, they must follow their protocol, which includes investigating the incident that resulted in the loss or injuries, determine the amount that is covered, and then pay for that value. Additionally, they must do all of this within a “timely” manner.
Bad faith cases can arrive in instances of both “first party” and “third party claims.” First-party claims include things such as collision insurance on your car, but also can include health or life insurance claims. Third-party claims would be something like liability insurance on your home or auto policy.
Now in many cases insurance companies will look for ways to avoid having to pay for a claim, even when it is their duty to do so. They can do so through a number of uncouth tactics, including lengthy delays (often to let critical deadlines pass without action), requiring unnecessary paperwork, or denying claims without adequate reason.
In third-party claims, your insurance company has another duty as well in several states: the duty to defend you. This means that in the event you are sued for being liable for an accident, your insurance company has the duty to defend you to the best of their legal ability, even if your policy only partially covers the incident. Therefore they must hire you an attorney on your behalf when someone else pursues you for damages.
Why Would You Need to File?
Insurance at its core is a business, which means they frequently keep their bottom line and profit margins at the forefront of their business decisions. As a result, in cases where insurance companies think they can get away with paying less than what they should (or none at all), and they can justify it reasonably to themselves, then they will frequently deny claims for which they should be held responsible.
A decision like this can be potentially devastating to those who are reliant upon insurance companies to financially cover things like their medical treatment and lost income from missed work. When you feel as though you have been mistreated, speak with a skilled Corpus Christi personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out if you may have a valid Insurance Bad Faith case.If you are having issues with an insurance company, call Sico, Hoelscher, Harris & Braugh, LLP today by dialing (877) 631-9965.