Insurance Bad Faith
Each day consumers dutifully pay hefty premiums to insurance companies with the expectation that in exchange for paying those premiums, the insurance company will be there for them when they need it.
But insurance companies’ number one priority is to turn a profit. And they do. Trillions of dollars in premiums are collected each year by insurance companies and used as investment income. And when an insurance company denies a claim or delays paying the claim, the company gets to keep that money and continue earning investment income on it. Insurance companies know that they make money by denying claims (or offering to pay far less than the claim is worth), so they systematically focus on doing just about anything to avoid paying. They count on you, the insured, to give up. And unfortunately, many consumers do.
Implied in every insurance contract is a duty of good faith and fair dealing. The process of unreasonably denying insurance claims, delaying the claims process, underpaying a claim, failing to adequately investigate a claim, or engaging in other unfair or abusive tactics, is known as insurance bad faith. Depending on the jurisdiction in which the claim is litigated, an insurer that is found to have acted in bad faith may be held liable for the amount owed under the policy, other losses sustained because of the company’s unreasonable conduct, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and in some instances, punitive damages.
At the Sequoia Law Firm, on behalf of individuals and businesses, we fight to hold insurance companies accountable for failing to uphold their end of the bargain. If you believe your insurance company has unfairly handled your claim and you would like to discuss potential insurance litigation, please contact us for a 30-minute consultation free of charge.