When Your Insurance Company Acts in Bad Faith
If you have faithfully paid your insurance premiums, you have every right to expect that your insurance company will be there for you when you file a legitimate claim. Unfortunately, many policyholders find when they most desperately need their insurance benefits — when suffering a disability, mourning the loss of a loved one, dealing with damage to their homes and in other serious situations — the companies refuse to pay just and adequate compensation.
If your insurance company unreasonably denied the payment of a legitimate claim, delayed payment, failed to thoroughly investigate a claim, misinterpreted your policy or underpaid a claim without a valid reason, it acted in bad faith. At the DL Law Group, based in San Francisco, we help individuals hold insurance companies accountable under the terms of insurance policies and all applicable laws. With 30 years of combined experience handling these types of cases, our San Francisco bad faith insurance attorneys have taken on the largest and most litigious insurance companies in the nation and recovered millions of dollars in settlements.
What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
Insurance bad faith in California generally involves insurance companies who engage in deceptive, unfair or unreasonable business practices.
If you believe your insurance provider unreasonably denied your life, health, disability or home insurance claim, then you should speak with a California insurance bad faith lawyer. Each case is different. An attorney can help you understand whether you have legal options you could pursue against your insurance provider.
What Are Examples of Insurance Bad Faith in California?
You could contact our San Francisco insurance bad faith attorneys if you have questions about your claim. Possible examples of insurance bad faith in California may include:
- Your insurer engages in deceptive business practices, such as by misrepresenting the terms of your policy.
- Your insurance company fails to respond to your valid insurance claim.
- Your insurance provider fails to provide sufficient reason for denying a claim.
- Your insurance company fails to investigate your claim in a timely manner.
- Your insurance company requires you to undergo unnecessary medical testing.
If any of the above happened during the claims process, then consider reaching out to our insurance bad faith attorneys. We can help you determine whether you have legal options you could take against your insurance provider.
Can I Sue an Insurance Company for Bad Faith?
Whether you can sue an insurance company for bad faith depends on the specifics of your policy and the insurance company’s actions during the claims process.
For example, if you have a policy covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), then you generally have fewer legal options to pursue against the provider. These are policies provided by an employer that are covered under this federal law. Our San Francisco ERISA attorneys can help you determine if you have other legal options. You can also check out the ERISA FAQ page on our site.
If you have a private insurance policy and believe your provider acted in bad faith, then you may have options to pursue a bad faith claim.
San Francisco Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys
If the court determines an insurance company committed bad faith, the insurer is liable for a host of damages, including emotional distress and attorney fees. Attempting to defeat a bad faith claim, insurance companies often argue they made an honest mistake, which they hope will sway the jury or judge into thinking the behavior was not unreasonable. Alternatively, they may claim they made a reasonable decision regarding a genuine dispute.
Because we can anticipate the arguments insurance companies make, we know how to build strong cases against them. We know how insurance companies operate. We know the excuses they make. More importantly, we know how to expose their unethical behavior.
What Should I Do if My Insurer Has Acted in Bad Faith?
If your insurance company acted in bad faith, you should:
- Send a letter to the insurance adjuster and company president
- Document and save any correspondence with the insurer
- Keep track of who you speak with as well as the date and time of all conversations
- Contact our San Francisco insurance bad faith attorneys
While it is helpful for you to learn about California insurance laws, the rules regarding these matters are complex. Having an experienced professional on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your situation.
San Francisco Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys Fighting the Insurance Companies
Whether your bad faith claim involves life, health, disability, auto, property or other type of insurance policy, we can help. Call (415) 678-5050 or contact our firm online to schedule a free consultation with a San Francisco bad faith insurance attorney today.
Our office is conveniently located on Franklin Street in San Francisco, just blocks from the courthouses.
We handle bad faith insurance cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no legal fees until we successfully resolve your case.
Read more about bad faith insurance cases in David M. Lilienstein’s article in Plaintiff Magazine