The majority of homeowners and business owners cannot afford to pay for damages when a catastrophic loss or natural disaster occurs. This is the reason why most people have insurance—for those unexpected times when a burglary occurs, a home or commercial building catches fire, or powerful storm wreaks havoc on the roof, siding, and overall property. When any of these unfortunate things occur, policyholders typically turn to their insurance carrier to report such damages.
When a residential or commercial property claim is filed with the insurance company, the insured expects that the insurer will cover the damages. Unfortunately, there have been many times that the already-unfortunate circumstance gets worse because the insurer participates in bad faith and unfair practices to get out of paying the policyholder fair compensation.
What Are Considered Bad Faith and Unfair Practices?
The insurance company is obligated to act in good faith and fulfill the obligations of the policy. When they do not act in good faith, the policyholder will know it because the insurance company will use the following different tactics:
- Misrepresenting facts and provisions in the insurance policy for their benefit
- Failing to conduct a reasonable investigation
- Delaying or underpaying claims
- Failing to communicate honestly with the policyholder
- Refusing to settle for a fair amount
- Failing to pay or deny benefits within a reasonable time period
- Neglecting to promptly settle claims even when liability has become reasonably clear
- Having a “so sue me” attitude, forcing the policyholder to take them to court
When the insurance company participates in any of the above actions, they are knowingly and intentionally acting in bad faith to underpay or deny legitimate claims. Sadly, insurance companies often get away with their bad behavior because many policyholders accept too low of a settlement, are unfamiliar with their rights, don’t know they can appeal the decision, or don’t know that the check they are given to begin repairs may also be the final settlement offer.
Insurance companies are powerful and often place their own interests above their customer’s interests, which is why policyholders often need to turn to an experienced Texas insurance litigation attorney for help with their first-party insurance claims. The Voss Law Firm has helped many people successfully recover after a bad faith insurance claim. Call 888-614-7730 for a complimentary consultation and a complimentary copy of our book Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.