Purchasing insurance can sometimes be a pleasant experience, in the beginning; in fact, as you get a referral for an insurance agent and begin looking around and getting quotes, you may be impressed with their level of knowledge and guidance. Once you settle on a policy, a check is written, documents are emailed or sent by regular mail and they get put away for safekeeping. And there they stay, until there is a claim. In most cases if there is a claim, the insurer opens an investigation, and hopefully it is open and shut, with your payment being collected easily so you can go about your normal business and get back to your normal life.
There are other instances, however, that spell out trouble from the beginning. Let’s use a homeowner’s insurance claim as an example. This is a good one, because home fires are often an extreme point of contention. It is all too easy for the insurer to bring up the word arson and suddenly drum up a fraud investigation team that may scare the dickens out you. Obviously, no one feels comfortable being accused of fraud, and especially if there is the potential of going to jail too. This is an all-too-common tactic however, and insurers use it to their advantage to intimidate, delay, and deny.
Your first tipoff may be when there is no investigation of your claim. There may be no phone ringing at all from the adjuster, insurance representatives trying to get more details, or anything. This is a common red flag of bad faith practices, along with unreasonable delays—and often that is exactly where the fraudulent fraud investigation comes in! Such an experience can be extremely challenging too if your home has serious fire damage and you have had to move out. The disruption to your life can be epic, and a fraud investigation may add more stress than you feel like you can manage.
This is not the time to go it alone. You need an attorney to defend you against the fraud accusations, as well as help you get your claim paid. An insurance company acting in bad faith—and especially putting you through an extended period out of your home—may not only be severely fined in court, but they may also owe you compensatory and punitive damages.
If you suspect negligence on the part of your insurance agent or insurance company, contact the Bolender Law Firm. We 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!