Understanding the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act

Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act

Insurance is built on a promise, and laws like the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act are put in place to make sure they are followed through on. Like most consumers in the US, you probably have one or more policies, and each is a legal contract that promises to pay for coverage in the case of illness or death, an automobile accident, property damage to your home or business, potential harm to your professional life, and more. To say that the business of insurance is a big industry is a gross understatement, and all too often, greed takes over—meaning that companies sometimes practice in bad faith to keep from handing over large sums of money to policyholders who have kept up their end of the bargain.

If you have been injured or if you are suffering from other damages or catastrophe, your finances may be hanging in the balance—and having to wait on an insurance company worth billions of dollars to pay your claim can be an extremely stressful and frustrating experience. Luckily, laws have been enacted in many states, including California, to protect consumers at the mercy of insurance companies who are not fulfilling their obligations as stated in insurance policies. The Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act allows a range of different protective measures for the consumer, although the laws may be termed differently from state to state.

In California, Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations force insurers to stay in line or face penalties. Most of the regulations are geared toward typical bad faith practices, especially with delays. The insurer must have given you an answer within 40 days, whether they are accepting or denying a claim. Comprehensive investigations are required, along with written explanations regarding the claim or any denial of the claim. “Lowball offers’ are prohibited, and claims that are to be paid must be completed within 30 days. These are just some examples of the regulations, but if you suspect bad faith, don’t go it alone. Consult with a skilled attorney from an office like the Bolender Law Firm for assistance in getting your claims paid as soon as possible.

Other examples of bad faith may include verbal abuse or intimidation tactics used in the hopes that you will back down. This could include requiring volumes of documentation from you too, much of which may not even be relevant to the case and could be both difficult and time consuming to track down—again, causing more delays and allowing the insurer to keep earning interest on money which should be going to you over your claim.

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!

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