Insurance Bad Faith

Under United States law, insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to each person they insure. This is called a “covenant,” or promise.  This covenant is automatically enacted when insurance policies are signed. If the insurance company denies a claim when it shouldn’t, this may be “insurance bad faith,” and the policyholder can sue the insurance company on a tort claim of insurance bad faith in addition to breach of contract. The advantage of the tort claim is that the plaintiff can sue for additional damages, such as emotional distress and punitive damages.  Therefore, should the court find in favor of the plaintiff, he or she may obtain an amount that is greater than the insurance coverage in their contract.

If you feel your insurer acted in bad faith, the first step is to consult with an insurance bad faith attorney. When you consult with Robert F. Brennan and Associates, you have the benefit of decades of experience along with detailed knowledge of this particular area of the law.

Potential long term effects

The basis for an insurance bad faith case is not limited to unwarranted denial of coverage. Other examples of an insurance company not complying with the law include failure to communicate important information, refusing to pay a claim without a thorough investigation, offering a significantly lower amount than the fair value of the claim, failure to settle a claim within a reasonable time period, failure to offer a fair settlement amount even when liability is clearly established, etc. In all of these instances, the insurance company is not fulfilling their legal duty of fair dealing and good faith, and the impact on the claimant can be severe.

For example, if you were injured in an automobile accident, medical bills can pile up very quickly. And if your injuries prevented you from resuming your job, the accumulation of debt can be devastating to your financial well-being. Your insurance company denying or delaying payment on your claim can even force you into bankruptcy.

Hiring an attorney

Fortunately, you don’t have to accept unfair treatment from your insurance company, and you don’t have to try to fight them alone. Robert F. Brennan, an insurance bad faith attorney located in Los Angeles, California, will go to bat for you. And he won’t stop until you receive the full compensation you deserve.