With high liability in all areas of life, having various types of insurance is a must. Your policies are supposed to bring you peace of mind from knowing you have coverage no matter what accident or injury comes your way.
However, reality is not always this black and white. Insurance companies are businesses first, looking out for their own profits before your well-being. When something happens that leads to you filing a valid claim, you may unexpectedly find yourself facing a denial or other problems with your provider. You need to be able to recognize these behaviors so you can know when your insurer is trying to get out of paying you and what you can do about it.
Bad faith insurance
A carrier that refuses to pay claims is guilty of bad faith insurance. Some common ways a company may do this include:
- Continual delays
- Lack of communication
- Complicated requests
- Withholding of information
- Accusations of fraud
- Disputes over the extent of your coverage
- Policy changes or cancellations
Some insurers may go as far as harassing you, but most often the tactics are subtle to keep you from realizing what is going on. Many may not even deny payment, instead offering you much lower than what you deserve under your policy.
Prevention and action
Before this happens, the best prevention is preparation. Make sure you understand your policy completely and have everything in writing. When claims arise, have thorough documentation of the incident and follow all filing procedures so the company has nothing to use against you.
Then, if you experience problems with receiving compensation, have an attorney by your side – or better yet, from the get-go to avoid making any mistakes and reduce the chances of any issues. Lawsuits are costly to insurance companies, so it may be enough just to have a lawyer interact on your behalf. You likely will be able to settle the matter out of court. If litigation becomes necessary, a qualified attorney can defend your case so you can receive the money that is lawfully yours.