If you’ve had a less-than-satisfactory run-in with your insurance company recently, then you may have been involved in what’s known as a bad faith insurance claim. But what exactly is a bad faith insurance claim and what are some common examples of bad faith insurance claims?

What is a bad faith allegation?

Your insurance company is supposed to help you in times of need. For example, if your home is flooded or your car is totaled, your insurance provider is there to make sure you have the means to recover. But what if things don’t go that way, and instead, they do anything but help you?

In this case, you may have a bad faith denial of an insurance claim on your hands, and you might be wondering, “Can you sue an insurance company for bad faith?” or even, “Can I sue for negligence in a car accident?

But before we answer that question, you first need to understand what a bad faith denial of an insurance claim is. Simply put, it’s when an insurance provider “acts in bad faith” and fails to exercise the “good faith and fair dealing” they promise to their policyholders.

Rather than sticking to their promise to properly insure you, an insurance company acting in bad faith is looking for ways to avoid compensating you or handles the claims process in a way that keeps you from proper compensation.

Examples of bad faith insurance claims

A bad faith insurance claim can play out in many ways, but here are some of the most common examples of bad faith insurance claims:

  • They don’t thoroughly investigate damage/loss or the claim in general
  • They don’t pay on time or in a reasonable amount of time
  • They don’t handle the claim (deny or approve it) within a reasonable amount of time
  • They deny a claim based on unreasonable grounds
  • They fail to defend or handle the defense inadequately (third-party bad faith)
  • They offer a settlement that is far below the cost of damage or loss
  • They don’t offer an adequate explanation for denial
  • They don’t properly communicate (or fail to communicate) during the claims process

Can you sue an insurance company for bad faith?

Yes. You are able to sue an insurance company for a bad faith claim. But before you can do this, you need to review your situation for elements of a bad faith claim. Generally speaking, you need to check for dishonest or unfair practices by asking the right questions:

  • Did the insurance company fail to properly investigate? For example, did they go above and beyond a simple phone call and investigate the damage in person?
  • Did they take an unreasonable amount of time to complete the investigation and claim? For example, if you’ve undergone serious damage to your home (damage that makes it unlivable), did they start the investigation immediately or did they wait a few months?
  • Did they offer you a reasonable amount of money for your claim? For example, does your coverage and the damage estimate line up?
  • Did they tell you to get a lawyer or threaten you with legal action?
  • Did they leave out important information or details about your policy? For example, did they fail to inform you of an important deadline?

Psst … while you’re researching bad faith insurance claims, check out these examples of wrongful death cases, our post that answers the question, “Is Texas a no-fault state?, and our article on what to look for in a good Houston brain injury lawyer

Think you may be involved in a bad faith insurance claim?

Don’t let your insurance provider take advantage of you and your situation. Take charge and contact Thiessen Law Firm today. Get the help of a Houston personal injury lawyer and bad faith insurance claim experts and receive the compensation you deserve! Call Thiessen Law Firm at (713)-864-9000 or contact us online today to set up your free consultation.

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Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.