What to Do When You Get Hit With “Bad Faith” Insurance
You are involved in a car accident, but you have insurance, so there’s nothing to worry about, right? Unfortunately, that might not be true: you could become a victim of “bad faith” insurance and have your claim unreasonably denied, delayed, or reduced. Insurance companies are experts at finding loopholes in their own policies and discovering new ways to justify denying, delaying, or reducing your claim.
What is “Bad Faith” Insurance?
Insurance policies exist to provide financial assistance during a crisis in exchange for paying a premium. While many insurance claims are paid fairly and promptly, the fact remains that insurance companies exist to make a profit. Some insurance agencies and their adjusters act unfairly and attempt to deal in bad faith with their policyholders. Unfortunately, they often get away with it because victims are not up for a fight, or they feel they have no option – leaving them with massive debt and a reduced quality of life. Bad faith dealings often include:
- Wrongfully denying insurance claims
- Unreasonably delaying insurance claims, claiming that an adjuster will be by to investigate and then never showing up
- Partial payments on insurance claims, unreasonably asserting they don’t owe the full amount due to an error made by the victim
“Bad Faith Insurance”: You Have Rights
The good news: insurance companies are legally obligated to deal with policyholders in good faith. The Official Code of Georgia states in Title 33, Chapter 4, Section 33-4-7:
“(a) In the event of a loss because of injury to or destruction of property covered by a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, the insurer issuing such policy has an affirmative duty to adjust that loss fairly and promptly, to make a reasonable effort to investigate and evaluate the claim, and, where liability is reasonably clear, to make a good faith effort to settle with the claimant potentially entitled to recover against the insured under such policy. Any insurer who breaches this duty may be liable to pay the claimant, in addition to the loss, not more than 50 percent of the liability of the insured for the loss or $5,000.00, whichever is greater, and all reasonable attorney’s fees for the prosecution of the action.” (O.C.G.A. § 33-4-7).
In other words, insurers are legally required to:
- Adjust a loss fairly and promptly,
- To make a reasonable effort to investigate and evaluate a claim, and
- Where liability is reasonably clear, make a good faith effort to settle the claim and pay what the policyholder is owed under the policy
While this law refers explicitly to automobile accidents, the same principle translates into any form of insurance, whether it’s life insurance, health insurance, or homeowner’s insurance.
Your Next Step When Facing “Bad Faith” Insurance
If you find yourself fighting an insurance company who acts in bad faith, an experienced Atlanta bad faith attorney can help file a lawsuit on your behalf and protect your right to compensation. We help victims who are victims of bad faith in both:
First-party insurance claims: In cases where you are the direct beneficiary of your insurance policy, we refer to claims as “first-party” claims. This type of claim includes such forms of insurance as automobile insurance, health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and renter’s insurance.
Third-party insurance claims: Many insurance claims are those where you are filing a claim against the insurance policy of another individual or company in cases where they are legally liable for your injury or loss.
If you find yourself struggling to get the insurance claim you deserve, contact the Grant Law Office today at (404) 995-3955 or toll-free at (866) 249-5513. We are here to help you.
Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.
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