Has Insurance Bad Faith Affected Your Disability Insurance Claim?
Call an Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer From Our Firm
Individual disability insurance includes policies not purchased through a group or employer. This type of insurance protects you in the event that you become disabled and cannot work. In this situation, your insurance company should provide financial support for you and your family.
This support is often needed because a disabling condition can be painful, cumbersome or prevent you from returning to work. However, your insurance company may deny your claim even if you have fulfilled all your requirements for holding the policy. Insurance companies cite various reasons for denying claims, but sometimes these reasons are illegitimate. When this occurs, you should contact a disability insurance bad faith lawyer.
Was Your Individual Disability Insurance Claim Denied?
If you received a denial on your disability insurance benefits claim, the first thing to do is figure out why. There are some legitimate reasons for a disability claim denial. Legitimate reasons may include:
- Failure to meet the policy’s definition of disability
- Lack of medical evidence
- Missed application deadlines
However, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny claims in bad faith. When an insurance company acts in bad faith it means that your benefits were unfairly denied. In this situation, the insurance company failed to uphold their end of your contract without good reason.
If you are in this situation, you should speak with a bad faith insurance lawyer about your legal options. A lawyer can fight to secure the benefits you were unfairly denied.
Examples of Bad Faith Practices for Disability Insurance Claims
It is important to know when a claim denial is legitimate or the result of bad faith, so that you can address the correct issue. Bad faith claim denials occur when a claim is improperly handled by the insurance company. If your insurance company acted in one of the following ways, your claim may have received a denial in bad faith:
- Provided no reason for your claim denial
- Delayed the claims process or delayed in payment
- Terminated your claim
- Underpaid your claim
- Failed to reach a decision on your claim in a timely manner
- Failed to properly investigate your claim
- Misinterpreted your policy to deny your claim
Can I Sue for a Denied Disability Insurance Claim?
Your legal options after a claim denial depend on the type of policy you have. Additionally, your insurance company’s actions during the claims process also matter.
For instance, if you have a long-term disability policy covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), then your legal options are more limited. You can contact us to learn more about pursuing legal options for a denied ERISA claim.
If you have an individual policy, meaning one not covered by your employer, then you may be able to sue your insurance provider under the correct circumstances.
Why Do Insurers Deny Benefits in Bad Faith?
It may seem odd that insurance companies frequently fail to uphold the terms of their own policies. However, it is important to understand that denying claims is profitable for insurance companies. This is because denied claims translate to money kept in their pockets.
On top of this, many individuals who receive a denial do not seek help from an insurance bad faith lawyer to investigate the denial further. This means that insurance companies sometimes get away with their bad faith practices.
California’s Laws on Bad Faith Insurance Practices
By law, your insurance company has a duty of good faith to you. Sadly, this is not always the case. A disability insurance bad faith lawyer can use California’s Insurance Code §790.3 to help you secure your benefits.
This code outlines what insurance companies are not allowed to do in the state. These practices include:
- Making deliberate misrepresentations of facts or policy language to avoid paying claims
- Unreasonably delaying a decision on a claim
- Unreasonably delaying investigation into a claim
- Failing to investigate a claim
- Arbitrarily or unreasonably requesting evidence for a claim
- Using coercive or abusive tactics to convince a policy member to settle a claim
- Advising a policy member to not hire an attorney
Fight Back With Help From a Disability Insurance Attorney in California
In California, policyholders can sue their insurance companies for a breach in contract. This means that claimants denied their benefits in bad faith can still secure these benefits through litigation. It is also possible to recover tort damages, punitive damages and contract damages as well.
If you suspect bad faith practices influenced your disability insurance denial, contact DL Law Group. We handle bad faith disability insurance cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not charge fees unless we successfully resolve your case. To schedule a free initial consultation, give us a call at (415) 678-5050. You can also leave your contact information and a short message by filling out this online form.