Category: Insurance lawyers

Understanding the Examination Under Oath (EUO)

For most of your adult life, buying insurance has probably been pretty cut and dry, black and white, consisting of the insurer helping you protect your property—and you writing checks in exchange for such services, never expecting to be subjected to something like an examination under oath. This is often the case with car insurance, and even homeowner’s insurance, if you have been lucky enough never to have damage or to have to file a claim. And while no one enjoys making endless payments to protect a risk that in the end never had a claim filed on it, the bottom line is that you never know what could happen. If the worst does occur, it means everything to know that you are dealing with an insurer who will handle a claim expediently and honestly. It also means everything to know you will not lose your property or business or medical care.

If you are concerned that you are running into trouble with an insurer though, it is time to get out the insurance policy and read it from beginning to end, if you have not done so previously— along with making an appointment to meet with a skilled insurance attorney from an office like the Bolender Law Firm.

There can be much more to an insurance policy than you may realize, which is why it is critical to read every word, although realistically that may be a long and boring endeavor. You are protecting yourself in understanding everything the insurance company could ask of you in the event of a claim, along with what provisions they have in place to protect themselves.

If you have been handling a claim on your own, you may be surprised to find that the insurance company has asked you to participate in an examination under oath (EUO). This could seem very intimidating, and the insurance company may be putting you through aggressive motions so that they can get out of paying a claim; however, most insurance policies do outline the possibility of such measures, also making it clear that your claim could be denied if you do not agree.

Unfortunately, the EUO usually emerges as part of the claim process when the insurance company is investing fraud. During the EUO, which can be a formal proceeding, there is usually someone responsible for transcription, recording the process, and all your answers to what intricate legal questions. At this point you need strong legal expertise to guide you, and especially if a large insurance claim is at stake.

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!

 

claim

Am I Going to Have to Fight the Insurance Company to Get My Claim Paid?

The last thing you probably want to deal with is buying insurance or having to deal with a claim either. It is a necessary evil, as most of us are aware though, whether we are dealing with the purchase of a car, a new home, a commercial site, a boat, or other assets. If you own something valuable, insurance gives you the peace of mind in knowing that it is protected in the event of an accident, whether that may be moderate or catastrophic.

No one wants to feel like they are making a deal with the devil in purchasing insurance. This should be an above-board, honest transaction where you choose what lines of insurance you need in working with an insurance agent, purchasing your policy, with an understanding of when premiums are due and how much they cost. If changes are to be made, you should be given notice well ahead of time—not left hanging later after a disaster has occurred and you find there are problems with coverage.

If the time comes to file a claim, you may be under an unfortunate but understandable amount of stress. Your home may have been so damaged that you are forced to live in one small area or move out altogether. You may be without a car. You may be concerned about an incident that occurred at your business, or a potential lawsuit. At this point, the insurance company should be taking care of you. After all the premiums you have probably paid, it is now their job to set your mind at ease, pay your claim quickly, and allow you to get back to your normal way of life. If that does not happen, it is time to hire a skilled bad faith insurance attorney from an office like the Bolender Law Firm.

You may sense trouble from the onset if there is little response to your claim. While adjusters often are quick to begin calling and opening investigations, if that is not happening, chances are you should be worried—and any delays should be well-documented with clear reasoning for any substantial wait. The insurer should be offering you excellent customer service, rather than tasking you for excessive amounts of documentation, insulting you with lowball offers, harassing any witnesses who may have been on the scene at the time your property was damaged or you were injured, and ultimately, seeing to it that you are taken care of expediently.

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!

 

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!

delays

Sketchy Behavior? Delays? Denials? Get It All in Writing!

No matter what type of insurance claim you have submitted, there are bound to be many details that must be attended to—and some could be complex, whether you have filed a car accident claim, homeowners claim, or one pertaining to your profession or liability at a commercial site–but delays can be very frustrating.

Being forced to communicate with or wait on another individual’s insurer if you have had to file a car accident claim can be extremely frustrating, especially if you have been seriously injured and are worried about finances due to mounting medical bills and inability to work. The situation may be even worse, however, when your own insurance company gives you a hard time – adding insult to injury after you have been paying your premiums for what could have been many years as a devoted customer; in fact there may never have been any problem of any sort until you actually had a demand. It can feel like a real slap in the face to have maintained your standing in a contract with the insurer for so long, but when you actually need to cash in on the insurance that has been protecting you for so long, the company you trusted may not be there for you.

If you have begun to worry about bad faith practices, you may have experienced strange or disorganized behavior from customer service representatives or the adjuster, or even your insurance agent. You may have experienced long delays, a complete lack of investigation about your claim, or outright denials for no good reason. At this point, everything should be requested in writing as you may have to sue the insurer to get your claim paid. If there is a delay, ask for a reason in writing. If there is a denial, you certainly want that in writing and should have received a comprehensive notice regarding the reason. If there has not been an investigation at all, try emailing the company and seeing if you get something back in writing – but better yet, have your attorney handle as much of this is possible.

If you are forced to take an insurer to court for bad faith practices, you may be owed an exponential amount of damages after enduring such an experience.

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 companies

Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith Could Face Major Fines

It seems like insurance should be a simple business, right? The basic process is as follows: you hire an insurance agent to help you find the types of coverage you need, you buy a policy, you pay your premiums, and you go about your business with the policy hiding in a drawer or file cabinet somewhere (and if you are lucky, you will never have to look at it again). Meanwhile, the insurance company is collecting billions of dollars each year from policyholders, and you may never have filed a claim once in decades; however, if you have, you may shocked, and even panicking to discover that the insurer does not seem to be responding correctly.

As soon as you see red flags flying, warning you of bad faith practices, contact an insurance lawyer from a skilled firm like the Bolender Law Firm. Signs of bad faith may include a lack of investigation at all, or they may have called and spoken with you once, heard some of the facts surrounding the case, and just never called back. If you have filed an insurance claim and you have not been hearing anything back from an insurance adjuster, it is time to get worried and start making calls regarding the problem. If you’ve been denied with no good reason, you may have a case, and if the insurer has been trying to intimidate you or witnesses, that is another red flag.

The list of bad faith practice symptoms is quite long, but if your instincts are telling you there is a problem, you may very well be correct—and especially if communications from the insurer are few and far between.

With help of a skilled bad faith insurance attorney, you may need to take your case to court. This is a much more common occurrence than you think, and insurance companies can get in big trouble with the courts for bad faith; in fact, they could have to pay out many thousands of dollars in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. You are owed such compensation if you were forced to go through the stress of waiting on a claim that was clearly not handled properly.

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 policy

Always Have a Copy of Your Original Insurance Policy

Most of us have one or more insurance policies tucked away somewhere, whether for our car(s), home, business or more. While this is one of the most important contracts you will ever sign, and an extremely important document, as a rule, insurance policies are something we rarely look at again—until there is an unfortunate event that causes us to file a claim. At that point, you may be scrambling to figure out which drawer or file cabinet you stashed the policy in years ago.

The hope is if you have a car accident and experience property damage and/or physical injuries, that the negligent party’s insurer would be contacting you as quickly as possible to make sure you were compensated. Sadly, this is often not the case if you have a substantial case that may require a lot of time and effort and enormous payout. If you’ve had a homeowner’s claim, you may be living in a very uncomfortable situation after a fire or a flood, with many of your belongings demolished. Your world may be turned upside down, and you will be on the hunt for that insurance policy without a doubt!

This is precisely why you should always have a copy of your insurance policy on hand. Although these days, it may be resting in your email, but remember that it is always best to have a copy printed out. You must be able to remind yourself of what is covered, as well as understanding what the insurer is going to expect you after you file a claim. If your home has been vandalized, most likely you are responsible for covering it up and attempting to prevent any further damage to the home, with the same happening after a flood or some other event that has left the home still standing, even if just partially.

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!