Category: Bad faith insurance lawyers

claim

I Submitted a Claim and The Insurer Is Ignoring Me

Insurance is all about risk protection. And although we would like the process to proceed as seamlessly as possible, unfortunately, there can be stress involved from the beginning. Just finding a reputable insurance agent can take some amount of effort, unless you can network through friends and family who have worked with someone for years and had good results. In working with an insurance agent, you should learn about all the different types of insurance and policy coverages, along with understanding what you need and how much it will cost.

Once you have a policy in place, there is the added and ongoing responsibility to make substantial payments to the insurer, whether on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, and these are not always easy to keep up with – which is why you expect to get what you pay for in the end. Unfortunately, insurers may not always want to let go of their money, and it can be extremely frustrating to find out that they are not going to follow through on their end of a bargain after you have been so diligent.

Every insurance claim should begin with an investigation. This usually involves the adjuster calling and asking basic questions about what happened and setting an appointment to look at damage if there is any, or possibly to interview you (this could occur over the phone or in person). If you have a substantial case against another party and the insurer, it is in your best interest to have an attorney handling all communication and transferring of pertinent files.

But what about the insurance company or adjuster who seems to make an initial call and then drops the ball completely after that? You may find this to be unexpected and confusing behavior. An insurance company will usually only avoid an investigation altogether if they have made a mistake and forgotten about you due to disorganization within their company—or they are trying to avoid paying the claim altogether. No matter what the case is, if you are getting nowhere with an insurance claim that probably needs to be paid expediently, it is in your best interest to have skilled legal representation to fight for your rights.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

insurance premiums

Insurance Companies Rely on Insurance Premiums to Make Profits

If you filed an insurance claim recently and found the insurer lacking in their timely response, you may be outraged—not to mention disappointed, frustrated, worried, and a whole lot of other not so positive reactions to their behavior; After all, insurance premiums usually do not run cheap, and you may have had to work hard to make your payments in a continual and timely manner.

It could be devastating to invest so much money and trust in a large company and receive nothing in return at the time you need it the most. Homeowner’s insurance is a good example here. If you have paid in your money for homeowners insurance and had to file a claim, it may be imperative that you are paid as quickly as possible because your living arrangements may have become extremely uncomfortable or you may have even had to move out of your home. In the case of a fire, your home could have been rendered completely uninhabitable, or a portion of it may be burned—still making it exceedingly difficult to live in such a situation. If the insurance company does not seem to be paying any attention to your claim, you may be panicking. They may have even issued a denial outright. If ongoing delays or sudden denials are occurring, you should be receiving reasonable explanations.

If you are not getting anywhere with the insurer despite the urgent need to have a claim paid, most likely the issue is unrelated to their financial health. The insurance industry reports billions of dollars in profits every year, and most large companies are in healthy shape, living quite large off from policyholder premiums. That is how they make their money, and giving it away easily is certainly not a habit or their business model. In fact, insurers may make it as hard as possible for you to have your claim paid. And in the case of a claim like a fire at your home, you may even find yourself at the mercy of a fraud investigation unit—causing the panic to set it exponentially.

And while you may have had nothing to do with a fire at your home (it could have burned while you were not even there and had an ‘alibi’) such an investigation may be quite routine for the insurer. If you are concerned that the insurance company is going to try any method possible to get out of paying your claim, it is time to consult with a bad faith insurance attorney.

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

 

earthquake insurance

Insurance Topics: When Earthquake Insurance Is Excluded

Purchasing insurance is all about protecting ourselves, and earthquake insurance is a prime example for residents of states like California. In many cases, it may also be about protecting property like your vehicle, and those of family members living with you. You may need to protect your business, as well as purchase insurance to ward off financial ruin due to a negligence claim. You may even need professional liability insurance to protect you in the case of a lawsuit against you in your career.

Protection of the home is particularly important, and unique, because it not only protects what may be the largest financial investment you’ll ever make, but it protects a valuable shelter for you and your family. As the old saying goes ‘home is where the heart is,’ and to have something happen to that area can be financially devastating, but also emotionally devastating. Because of that, when you set out to buy a homeowners insurance policy, it is critical to work with an agent who is experienced, and can direct you not only to understanding what your needs are but helping you to purchase multiple lines if needed, or added coverage.

In California especially, earthquake insurance is a big topic upon purchasing homeowner’s insurance. Because of the incredible, catastrophic damage that can be done, and the possibility for real financial strife if an insurer were to have to pay out for many policyholders at an astronomical cost, your insurer may only offer earthquake coverage as an addition to the regular policy. Make it a priority to ask your agent about whether your policy will include it, or if you need to make an extra purchase. While this may seem like common sense, only a small percentage of Californians have earthquake insurance for their homes or businesses and many do believe it is included—only to find out later that they are left high and dry after a disaster.

If you do have a claim, and you did purchase extra coverage, the insurance should be expedient about sending out an adjuster to begin an investigation, collecting the facts from you, and getting a settlement back to you expediently—especially if you have lost your home or it has been rendered temporarily uninhabitable.

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

insurance company

The Insurance Company Has Plenty of Money—Why Don’t They Pay My Claim?

Dealing with the insurance company can be frustrating. Even just handling the basic mechanics of the process can be a trial, from trying to find an insurance agent you trust, to dealing with an online service or chat format. After making your way through that first step, you must also attempt to understand your policy. No matter how many times you have bought insurance, and no matter what your educational background is, you may still find car insurance or homeowners insurance policies to read like a foreign language (one usually known as legalese).

After you have waded through buying an insurance policy and attempting to understand it comes the hard part: paying for it over the long haul. Protecting your property, life, and health certainly is not an inexpensive endeavor—and the insurance companies are more than happy to scoop up your money and put it in their coffers to earn interest. They are not empathetic or sympathetic friends, and they do not feel your pain when you may struggle to pay for a policy, or when you are suffering due to injuries from a car accident or the loss of extremely valuable property. There are many complications to insurance, and it affects us continually throughout life.

Most insurance companies are not hurting financially, so why don’t they pay a valid claim expediently? The answer is simple. They like to pay as little as possible, and for each claim, they want to spend as little time on it also. Insurance adjusters often get bonuses and extra commissions based on how many cases they can turn over with the least amount of settlement money paid out. In more extreme cases, exemplifying bad faith, insurance companies may act like you are the one at fault. Although a bad storm may have damaged your home, or you may have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, the insurance company may spend an inordinate amount of time turning the tables on you. They may even accuse you of fraud.

Insurance companies who do not pay on claims could just be downright hard to deal with, or they may be engaging in bad faith. The bottom line is either they are not paying your claim because they have a valid reason which should be clearly outlined, they are slow to pay because they investigate every claim meticulously (to see if there is any way to get out of paying a settlement), or they may be blatantly acting in bad faith. If a substantial amount of time has passed, it is time to consult with an insurance attorney from an office like the Bolender Law Firm.

Other signs that you are dealing with bad faith include intimidation tactics such as offering you lowball settlements and then intimating that you would not be offered anything else and you better take what you can get, asking for excessive documentation in an effort to run you off, intimidating witnesses by grilling them or acting aggressively over the phone or in interviews, along with unreasonable delays, outright denials, or wild accusations of fraud.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

insurance claim

Filing an Insurance Claim: Communications with the Insurer Should Be Easy

When it comes to the actual process of purchasing an insurance policy the steps are clear. First, and especially if you’re purchasing multiple lines of insurance, you need to find a good agent. Often our best suggestions come from friends and family. You may be having dinner with your parents or another relative and find out that they have worked with the same insurance agent for many years. In other cases, you may read about an agent online, and upon meeting them feel extremely comfortable and ready to purchase. The requirement should be that the insurance agent is educated about the types of insurance you need, that they are able to research and suggest all the facets required to protect your finances and property.

Once you have purchased your insurance, your job is to fulfill the details of the policy, agreeing that you will pay on time, mainly; however, there are of course other stipulations such as not making any changes to the existing property without letting them know, and following the proper steps if you do have an accident or damage to your home. Chances are, you have kept up your end of the bargain and paid the bill. And when you go to file a claim, everything should run just as smoothly for you as it did for them over the years while you were paying untold thousands in premiums.

Payments for premiums are not always easy to come by, and if you have suddenly had a problem or reason to file a claim, you probably feel quite serious about reaping the rewards now of owning that policy.

But what if the insurance company does not respond? What if they are difficult to deal with? What if they are disorganized, or what if they are completely nonresponsive? If you are worried about any of those things, you may be dealing with an insurance company acting in bad faith. This can be a very disturbing realization, and you will need the help of a skilled bad faith law insurance firm like the Bolender Law Firm.

Other red flags surrounding bad faith practices may include unreasonable delays or an outright denial that does not seem right. They may have somehow tried to convince you that the details of your policy are different from what you thought, meaning that you will be denied, or they may request excessive amounts of documentation, Hoping that you will bow out of the claim all together and just forget about it. If you are having difficulty with your insurance company, the first step is to ask what the problem is. It may be a clear-cut issue, or they may have had a snag in their investigation of your claim. But if you see any signs of bad faith, do not try to go it alone and continue communicating with the insurer or trying to set things right. This is the job for an experienced lawyer who will be able to protect your best interests.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

 

insurance adjusters

Insurance Adjusters Asking About Your Medical Condition: Why You Should Not Answer

If an insurance adjuster has just called, you may be somewhat startled by the speed in which they not only procured your phone number, but also how quickly they opened communications and began pelting you with questions. This is not always the most thoughtful way to treat someone who may have just been in a major or even catastrophic car accident, but insurance, as we all know, is about business. Insurance adjusters are heavily invested in protecting their company, and often their own finances too as they may be offered extra bonuses and lucrative compensation for saving their company time and money. This means that they have probably become very skilled at convincing policyholders to take the least amount of money as possible in a settlement, and quickly.

So, don’t be surprised if you get a call even while you may still be in the hospital. It may seem like an intrusion, and the truth is that you do not have to speak to them, then, or ever. This is a job for your car accident attorney, and if you do not have one yet, consult with an experienced injury firm as soon as possible. This could be vital to your case, and your settlement.

Insurance adjusters are very crafty at getting as much information from you as possible and then using whatever they can against you too. And as we often mention, the insurance companies are not your friend, and they did not become billionaires through attempting to win a popularity contest. So, if the insurance adjuster is on the other line and you are flustered or not sure what to do, you may give them some basic facts like your name, policy number, and the date and most elementary facts about your accident.

Insurance adjusters will ask for police records and medical records, and they may ask to tape record any or all conversations. Do not give out any information about your medical condition. Although you may be quite certain you know what is wrong; for example, maybe you have a broken leg. You may be tempted to pass on this seemingly basic fact when you speak to the insurance adjuster but as is common in car accidents, there may be some time before other medical issues emerge.

You could have much more complex health issues or internal damage than you realize, which is why you should not tell the adjuster anything about your health or the current injuries.  In many cases they will try to insinuate that an older injury is what is causing you pain or discomfort, when you are obviously suffering due to a car accident.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

bad faith

Bad Faith: When the Insurance Company Does Not Fulfill Duties to Policyholders

Most of us would prefer not to have to send any amount of cash to an insurance company—whether it is monthly, quarterly, or annually—but just as dealing with issues like household debt and jobs and a hectic lifestyle are often considered the American way, so is buying insurance, and one can only hope not to run into an issue with bad faith. Without it, you could be left miserable, homeless, and penniless in the event of a catastrophe. The problem is, however, if you have had a serious accident or suffered property damage to your home, you may already be feeling injured and miserable or even homeless and worried about your residence—and worried about finances.

This is where the insurance company is supposed to step in and save the day. Even though you are the one who purchased the policy and have been keeping up with your end of the bargain in paying premiums for countless months, when something does go wrong you are suddenly at the mercy of the insurer. You should not have to wait an excessive amount of time to hear back regarding your claim—especially if you are hurt after an accident—and you should not be held off indefinitely if you have had to move out of your home after a flood or fire. If red flags are waving all over the place, it is time to called a skilled insurance lawyer from a firm like the Bolender Law Firm.

Insurers may be used to throwing their weight around in attempts to avoid paying out claims, and to keep their money mounting in the bank, but they could be in substantial legal trouble over bad faith practices, forced to pay compensatory damages, and fines too. Delays are a common issue in bad faith, but you may also be experiencing other frustrating issues like a complete lack of response and complete lack of investigation of your case. Adjusters may try to intimidate you, and even witnesses, and they may also offer you a low-ball settlement that is so low you can’t believe your ears. They continue to get away with this behavior because often, policyholders are stressed out and intimidated, and may be worried that the one settlement offer they are receiving is the only one they will get. This may be exactly what the adjuster wants you to think too. The key is to reach out for expert legal help so that you receive fair compensation for what you are owed.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Bad Faith: You May Be Due Compensatory & Punitive Damages

The insurance industry is built around protecting risk. You probably don’t want to pay out thousands of dollars each year, writing checks that usually just seem to sail into thin air for lots of nothing, but it is worth it to protect your car(s), that home you just built or the wonderful apartment you are renting that holds all of your furniture and valuables, your business, your health and your life (estate planning), and so much more. And while sometimes it may seem like we buy ‘things,’ just to have to pay more money to make sure we can keep them, it is the way of life in the US currently.

You may be surprised to learn that the average consumer is spending twelve percent of their yearly income on insurance. Costs may rise in your area too, depending on changes in infrastructure, areas where traffic incidents or crime have escalated, or pockets of activity with storms and serious natural disasters. Purchasing insurance can be a serious endeavor, but once you have it, you expect to enjoy peace of mind in knowing that you are protected by your insurer in the case of an accident or other major issue covered y your policy. If that turns out not to be the case later, you may be devastated in dealing with injuries or damages to your home or business. Finding out the insurance company is going to give you a hard time can be extremely frustrating.

Evidence of bad faith on the part of the insurer includes massive delays (and this is where massive frustration usually sets in for you initially) and in some cases, there may be not even be any sign of an investigation at all, which is usually confusing and disturbing. The insurer may ask for massive amounts of documentation, to include items like tax returns even—usually if they are gearing up to cause delays and even to insinuate that your claim is fraudulent. You may receive a low-ball offer from the insurer, with the underlying tone being that if you don’t take it you will probably get nothing. Once these red flags set in, you need serious legal help from the Bolender Law Firm.

While punitive damages may not be possible in many other types of contract lawsuits, that is not usually the case when the insurer is found to be acting in bad faith. Let us review your case and discuss your options with you, considering whether you may be due both compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages will cover the expenses you were originally supposed to be paid plus damages and compensation for injury; punitive damages are much more serious and often more challenging to get as they ‘punish’ the other party. In this case, the insurance company would be punished, and in forcing them to pay punitive damages it is hoped that they ‘learn a lesson’ about doing it again, as well as serving as an example to other corporations that might be thinking about acting the same way toward customers.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

adjusters

Be Very Careful What You Say to Adjusters in Confidence

If you have had to file a claim, dealing with insurance adjusters is probably just exacerbating all the ills you may feel after being hit by another car, or a truck, or in having to find a way to have major home repairs made as quickly as possible. Those are only a couple of examples, obviously, as there are so many different types of insurance to be purchased—to include business liability insurance, health and life insurance, professional insurance policies, and the list goes on.

After being injured due to the negligence of another party, you may be shocked to hear how fast that phone starts ringing regarding your case. The adjuster for the other side will probably want to get down to brass tacks fast, and this means getting as many facts about the accident out of you as possible. While you may give them some basic information, remember that in no way are these people your friends. They may seem incredibly friendly, charming even, but it is their job to be smooth about many things—from extracting information from you to trying to get you to agree to a low-ball offer as quickly as possible.

You may also be told that anything you tell them is completely confidential. This can get tricky, however, and especially if you are roped into giving them a statement, or if you admit that anything was your fault. Keep in mind too that even if you think you are offering a description of the full scope of your injuries, there may be more than you know about if you have not had X-rays or a complete medical workup yet. The best rule is to consult with an injury attorney and upon working with them, let them do what they do best, which is communicating with the insurance companies. If bad faith is suspected, please contact our office as soon as possible. Do not go it alone!

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

Why an Insurer May Ask for Tax Returns During an Investigation

No matter what type of insurance you must buy, it is never as easy as it sounds—and filing a claim with an insurer is often the same way, unfortunately, even sometimes spurring on an investigation. Today, insurance companies bring in billions of dollars in profits, and some of that money is in thanks to you, paying premiums. Consumers in the US have much to protect, from their health to their estates, to cars, homes, businesses and professional liability, and more.

The transaction is supposed to be simple enough really, overall. You find an insurance agent you can trust and discuss all the details of what you are trying to insure. They sell you coverage that should offer you comprehensive risk protection according to what you need, money and policies and handshakes are exchanged, and everyone goes on their way. If you pay your premiums, you probably won’t hear from the insurer very much, unless there are changes or additions to your policy—and those are all details which you should be apprised of clearly.

On filing a claim, you may be expecting the same straightforward behavior you received before you were asking anything of the insurer. For many policyholders, this is a rude awakening. Suddenly, with the prospects of a substantial payout looming for your claim, the adjusters may not be as quick to complete an investigation—or worse, there may not be one at all. Delays upon delays may occur, and while for some this may not be a dire situation, but for example, if you have lost your home due to a disaster or if it has become uninhabitable due to a construction defect, there is probably a great sense of urgency to make repairs and get life back to normal. If your insurer begins acting in bad faith, it may seem like the world is turning upside down.

Outright denials, low-ball offers, and sudden differences in translation of how your policy works are all good examples of bad faith, but there may be other subtle ways that the insurer will try to intimidate you. Asking for excessive amounts of documentation, for instance, is not okay. Although the insurer may make it sound like asking for large amounts of paperwork is just routine—thus snowing you under with completing tasks—it is usually a tactic used to ‘encourage’ the policyholder to back down.

They may even require documents like your tax returns. This could be part of intimidating tactics asking for you to run around and find paper to supply them with, but a request for tax returns could also be their way of inspecting your finances to see if you would be motivated to file a fraudulent claim—or their backup for asserting so. Accusing or insinuating fraud is not only another common tactic, but a way to delay making a payout for a long period of time.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!