Category: Bad faith insurance lawyers

fraud

Is the Insurance Company Insinuating Fraud Due to Your Financial Issues?

One of the worst parts about dealing with an accident that brings on an insurance claim is the element of surprise—and for sure, it’s not a good one–especially if you find an insurer is acting in bad faith or even accusing you of something like fraud. A car wreck is a perfect example. For most of us, any day is busy, and as we travel along our neighborhood streets or city highways, our usual goal is to get to work and then come home, along with completing errands, and getting children wherever they need to go, safely. Dealing with a car accident is much more than an inconvenience. It could even be catastrophic, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.

Most of us are aware of the basic steps to take after a car accident, from seeking medical care to calling the police and sharing contact information so that we can file an insurance claim in a streamlined manner and with evidence—including everything from photos of the damage to the details of the police report to contact information for witnesses who were on the scene at the time; or, you may have endured some other type of disaster such as damage to your home. Homeowners’ claims are particularly devastating not only because as they say, home is where the heart is, but also because this is where you want to live and need to rest. To be uncomfortable in your own home or forced to leave in the case of damage can be incredibly stressful. To have unreasonable delays from the insurance company in the face of such distress can be extremely frustrating too, leaving you at your wits end.

While you may have done everything just right from beginning to end, from researching your insurance needs and finding an insurance agent, to paying your premiums, keeping up with your policies, and filing any claims in a timely manner and in good faith, the insurance company may not respond how you would expect or want, and especially if they are in the habit of practicing bad faith. This is often demonstrated with outright denials, unreasonable delays, and lowball offers, but there are many other forms of bad faith.

Unfortunately, intimidation of policyholders is all too common too, and you may be experiencing one of the most aggressive tactics, which is to accuse you of fraud. While just asking for excessive documentation or delaying indefinitely could be enough to cause some policyholders to get sick of the process and walk away—giving up thousands of dollars in the process—accusing someone of fraud (which could be a felony) takes the process to a new level.

The insurer bringing in a fraud investigation unit means more delays, plus the opportunity to put you in the hot seat. In the beginning, your claim may have seemed very straightforward, but in the face of such aggressive action, you may wonder if it was worth filing a claim when you are suddenly being asked to give tape recorded interviews, submit to many questions, and perhaps even give an examination under oath. This is when the process becomes scary, and you should not be navigating it alone. Consult with a bad faith insurance attorney who knows how to handle large insurance companies and will act in your best interest when they are not.

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!

legal representation

Insurers Behave Much Differently When You Have Legal Representation

After a car accident, no matter how mild or severe, you expect your insurance company to be there to help without having to enlist legal representation. This is exactly what they are paid to do, after all—and paid well according to ongoing statistics that show billions of dollars of profits pouring into the insurance industry annually. You are probably already aware that the insurance industry is definitely set in the favor of massive corporations living off consumers who many times are living paycheck to paycheck but still invest in insurance for the peace of mind in having protection of assets, even if that just means one or two cars.

The point is that we would all like to see everyone treated fairly by insurance companies, but that is not always the case—and without a skilled injury attorney or insurance lawyer, you may not receive the same level of respect from the insurance adjuster, who has a lot of power in the claims process.

Most of us are aware of our responsibilities before a car accident occurs. As policyholders, we are expected to pay our premiums, keep up with the details in our policies and uphold what we promised, and we are supposed to act in good faith, being honest and factual in the case of a claim. Most policyholders are very good about this from beginning to end, but unfortunately, insurance companies have become famous for giving the average consumer the short end of the stick.

On receiving a claim, the general idea is that the insurance company will act in good faith, take all the information into consideration, and generate a fair payment for any damage that is covered under a policy, settling a claim expediently. Sadly, even the best insurance agencies may drag their feet or delay or even treat a policyholder poorly if there is a substantial claim at hand and no legal representation. This is because insurance companies are fixated on the bottom line—not your best interests. If you are out there operating on your own—hoping to beat an insurance company in the legal system—you may be in for a very rude awakening, and especially if there is a substantial claim hanging in the balance. Remember: an insurance adjuster’s goal is to open and shut the case as soon as possible, with as little time and money expended on you as possible.

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!

policyholders

Insurance Claims: Policyholders Usually Have a Sense of Urgency

In nearly every case for policyholders, the insurer will have a great sense of urgency about getting a policy set up quickly—connecting customers with an insurance agent, finding out what lines of insurance are required, and then waiting for that check—often a hefty one! And while you are being offered a ‘product,’ and an important one in terms of risk protection, the process is mainly about the insurer getting your money. Nothing happens without your payment, and nothing stays in effect without you getting those payments in right on time—and we all know how quick an insurer is to cancel due to lack of payment or lack of action on the part of the policyholder.

Once a claim has been filed, you will also have a sense of urgency to see action and payment—but on your part, the overall situation could be dire due to a recent accident, extensive property damage, or an issue that may have been considered catastrophic. An insurance settlement will normally help cover all the bills caused by such an unexpected event. As a homeowner, if damage occurred at your home, it could have been so bad that you were forced to leave and stay elsewhere. No matter what your accommodations are outside of your home though, it is extremely stressful—and often extremely expensive—to have to leave. You may also be extremely worried about rebuilding if there was a fire or flood or other devastating problem.

In most cases, we do expect the insurance company to be on the up and up and to be expedient about paying the claim; after all, they expect fairly perfect behavior from us—so why can’t we have that in return? If you are experiencing unreasonable delays, a complete lack of investigation of your claim, or an over investigation of your claim where an insurer may even be accusing you of fraud, consult with an attorney from the Bolender Law Firm right away. Other signs that you are dealing with bad faith include intimidation tactics toward you and witness, lowball offers that the insurer is aggressive about, and of course, outright—and unfair—denials.

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 Issues: When a Hit-and-Run is Involved

When an insurance claim erupts, you may be worried about how smoothly everything will get ironed out; after all, there have probably been piles of bills stacking up during the interim, with more to come. This can be especially true if you were injured. A car or motorcycle crash is an example of a typical accident where a payout is required from another party’s insurer if the driver is found to be negligent—and significant sums can be required. Automobile insurance is supposed to be there to pay out regarding liability if you cause a car accident that hurts someone else or damages their car—and vice versa. In the case of a hit and run, you may be confused and very worried about how the claim will be paid.

After an accident, other motorists may have stopped to help you, and the police may have been called. This means you may have much-needed assistance and attention after the incident, but the other motorist has fled. In most cases, a hit-and-run driver is never found, which means their insurance company (assuming there might be one), is never found either. The responsibility falls on you—and your own car insurance policy. This type of scenario outlines clearly why it is so important to always call the police and file a report, because that is the only evidence you have of the hit-and-run, so that your own car insurance policy and your insurance agency should have no problem providing payment for your property damage.

Not only that, there could be extensive medical expenses. You may not be able to go back to work, and you may need restitution for lost wages too. Often, a hit-and-run driver may take off when they realize the severity of the accident, meaning that they could be leaving you behind in significant physical pain. They may also leave you in financial pain as you are responsible for paying your deductible and perhaps some parts of the claim that are not covered in your policy.

The situation can worsen if your insurer is not quick to respond and honor your own policy for paying the claim. While this is the last type of stress that you need, it is all too common, and immediate ‘bad faith’ red flags should erupt if there are strange delays or little communication. While an extensive investigation could be worrisome regarding bad faith, no investigation at all usually indicates a problem too, along with any suggestions 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!

denial

Understanding Your Options When a Denial Needs to Be Challenged

No matter what type of insurance claim you may have filed, chances are you are hoping to have it settled quickly, and fairly, without any worrying about a denial. And while many cases are open and shut, black and white, and present no trouble at all, all too often, trying to get your settlement paid can be a massive headache. Consumers in the US should not have to live in fear of large corporations like insurance companies when something has gone wrong and their finances are deeply at risk, but sadly, insurers do hold much of the power due to their massive financial resources, with billions of profits pouring into their businesses each year.

For many policyholders, anxiety and panic set in quickly as bills start piling up due to an issue like a car accident due to the negligence of others that may have resulted in serious injuries; or, if you have experienced a huge homeowners claim, you may have nowhere to live during the interim. Insurance companies are aware of their power, however, and they use it to their advantage. And while they do not have your best interest in mind, a skilled bad faith insurance attorney from the Bolender Law Firm will.

You may have been worried from the beginning, after filing a claim and then not getting much response. Most adjusters are very quick to begin calling and asking questions (all of which should be referred to your attorney) so it can be discouraging when a claim is not being followed up on, and there does not seem to be any initial investigation. While delays are concerning, if you have received an outright denial that seems completely unreasonable, you may want to take legal action, but it is critical to understand your options first.

Having all the evidence in hand will be very important to your case, so save all documents and communications with the insurer to pass on to your attorney. Often, the best option is to start by having your insurance lawyer call the insurance company. You may be amazed at how quickly matters are resolved; however, if that does not work, letters may need to be written, reviews may need to be requested—and all the while you may be dealing with repair bills, medical bills, and you could even be healing from an accident while waiting. Do not attempt to go it alone against the insurer, especially if the only recourse is serious legal action requiring you to take the insurer to court for bad faith processes and an unfair denial.

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!

Before Buying that Insurance Policy: Know What to Ask Your Agent

Although you may be excited about making a large purchase such as a car or a home, the dream and the concept of doing so could be much more exciting than the actual process as there are many details to take care of, whether you are buying a piece of property, opening a business, or taking on a new profession. Most of these endeavors require risk protection, in the form of insurance. As a consumer, you may require multiple lines of insurance, but no matter what, you will need to work with an experienced, ethical insurance agent.

While you may have found a suitable agent online or even nailed down all the details without leaving your desk and computer or phone, it is also common to meet an insurance agent through networking with friends and family. Many insurance agents work for the same companies throughout long and profitable careers and have knowledge of the insurance industry and products that can be extremely valuable to you. If you are getting ready to buy one or more insurance policies, know what to ask your prospective agent:

  • Ask what types of coverage they think you need. While you may be aware that you need insurance for your car, home, or business, there are many different facets of insurance, and items that need to be covered. Your insurance agent may shed light on many details you are not aware of.
  • Ask if the agent can help you find the best rates. If a prospective insurance agent does not work for a competitive company, you may find yourself throwing money into an unnecessarily unexpected policy.
  • Understand what the ramifications are of carrying minimum limits. While you may want the cheapest policy, that could get you into trouble later if you must file a claim.
  • Inquire about the claims process. What type of reputation does the company have? Would there ever be a reason to worry about bad faith? Try to avoid problems from the beginning.
  • Are there exclusions or added types of coverage that you should purchase? For instance, will you be covered if there is a bad storm or an earthquake?
  • What happens if you are sued by another party? Your insurance policy should cover you in terms of liability, but it is critical to understand how far those limits will extend.

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!

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!