You depend on your insurance company to be there when something unexpected, like a car accident, happens. An insurance company that fails to observe its contractual obligations by denying a claim payment it rightfully owes could be breaking the law by acting in bad faith. Holding an insurance carrier liable for a breach of contract is difficult, especially without the benefit of the advice and knowledge of an experienced bad-faith insurance lawyer.
How do bad faith insurance claims work?
At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our North Carolina bad faith insurance attorneys have assisted numerous clients in navigating complex insurance disputes following personal injury accidents. This blog contains important information on North Carolina bad faith insurance claims and how our reputable law firm can help you seek the financial compensation you are entitled to.
What Does “Bad Faith” Mean in Terms of Insurance?
All insurance policies are contracts. Insurance companies are required to honor the terms of their policies and negotiate with their policyholders in a manner that is both fair and reasonable. When an insurer does not comply with the terms of its own policy, it is said to have acted in bad faith.
Typically, bad faith insurance practices have to do with insurance companies refusing to make payouts on valid claims to policyholders who, under the terms of their contract, are entitled to financial compensation. Our lawyers can evaluate your case and determine whether or not your insurance company has acted in bad faith and, if so, what you can do to hold them responsible.
Forms of Bad Faith
Some common examples of insurers acting in bad faith are:
- Not paying out on a legitimate claim
- Not giving a reason for a claim’s denial
- Deliberately undervaluing a claim
- Failing to conduct an investigation within a reasonable time frame
- Declining to render a decision on a claim
- Unreasonable delays in responding to appeals for approval of medical care
- Threatening policyholders
- Delaying a claim’s payment
- Fraudulent misrepresentation
- Denying or delaying valid requests for records associated with a claim
- Conducting themselves in such a way that prioritizes the company’s proceeds over a policyholder’s claim
What Are Some Indications of Bad Faith Practices?
An insurance carrier could be acting in bad faith if it:
- Drags its feet making a determination on your claim without a legitimate reason
- Behaves in a threatening manner toward you
- Takes an excessive amount of time to investigate your claim
- Fails to perform a complete investigation
- Allows their representative to insult you or treat you badly during the claims process
- Refuses to answer phone calls or emails
- Refuses to answer questions regarding your policy
- Says they lost your file
- Denies your claim and refuses to provide you with an explanation
- Makes an unsatisfactory settlement offer and refuses to negotiate
Work With a North Carolina Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer
North Carolina bad faith insurance claims are usually very complicated. Our attorneys can defend your rights by pinpointing the insurer’s problem with your claim, handling any legitimate concerns, negotiating a fair settlement, and going to court for breach of contract if necessary. Not every insurance claim that is denied comprises an act of bad faith by the insurance company. If you don’t work with an experienced lawyer, you will most likely find it extremely difficult to figure out and successfully prove if an insurance company was truly acting in bad faith.
Contact Our North Carolina Bad-Faith Insurance Attorneys Today
At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our bad-faith insurance lawyers have decades of experience dealing with insurance carriers. We know the most effective methods for determining when a claim’s denial indicates that an insurer is acting in bad faith. Contact the North Carolina law offices Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our North Carolina bad-faith insurance lawyers by calling (833) 997-1774 or through the form on our website.