Indianapolis Attorneys for Bad Faith Insurance Claims
Car insurance, home owner’s or renter’s insurance, health, and life insurance all require you to pay regular premiums for a policy that is meant to cover your costs when something bad happens. Insurance policies can provide you with peace of mind and financial security since when a claim is filed, the insured (you) typically would pay a small deductible and the insurance company would pay the rest of the bill. Now imagine if you submit your claim to the insurance company and are denied payment. What would you do? When an insurance company wrongfully denies a legitimate claim, it is considered “bad faith.”
First party bad faith
Insurance bad faith is generally divided into two types: first party and third party. First party bad faith can include an insurance company’s failure to properly investigate or value a claim. Consider the situation of your car being involved in an accident in which you filed a claim. If the insurance company failed to review the damage done to your car, determined incorrectly that the damage was not covered by your policy, or failed to pay the appropriate amount for the vehicle damage this would be an example of first-party insurance bad faith.
Third party bad faith
Another type of insurance bad faith can occur when an insurance company refuses to defend a lawsuit filed against a policy owner or refuses to pay a judgment or settlement of a covered lawsuit. This is called third-party bad faith. If you, the policyholder, are sued by an individual in a covered lawsuit, your insurance company has a responsibility to defend or settle the claim against you.
It is important that your insurance provider act in a prompt, reasonable manner whenever a claim is filed against you in order to avoid a third-party bad faith claim. This is also the case when a judgment is issued or a settlement is agreed upon. The insurance company cannot refuse to pay damages on a lawsuit or settlement that is covered under your policy without committing third-party bad faith.
The relationship between an insurance company and its policyholders is an interesting one. Individuals basically transfer their risk of loss to a company willing to assume that risk for a fee. The insurance company makes money by collecting these fees, or premiums, from many people. Therefore the less a company pays out for claims, the more profit it makes. However, when an insurance company puts profits ahead of paying legitimate claims from its policyholders, insurance bad faith occurs.
If you or someone you care about has been denied an insurance claim in Indianapolis, and you believe that the insurance company is acting in bad faith, contact us to learn of your legal rights and options. There is no charge for the initial consultation. Our Indiana car accident personal injury attorneys have experience negotiating with insurance companies regarding various insurance claim issues such as denial or improper valuation of a claim. If negotiations break down, our attorneys also have the skill to take your fight to court.