Tag: Bad faith insurance lawyers

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!

 

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!

insurance company

Why Isn’t the Insurance Company Interested in Investigating My Homeowners Claim?

While all forms of risk protection are important and worth investigating, homeowner’s is one of the most critical types of insurance—and especially if you have a family to house. Home may be where the heart is, but often it is strongly tied to all your worldly possessions and the place where you made so many memories, from first birthday parties to many years of holidays and family milestones. Experiencing major property damage may in some cases feel almost as traumatic as having a physical accident, and you may be almost as uncomfortable if you are facing living in a home that is close to uninhabitable. You may have been displaced also, if the damage was catastrophic—with your life being extremely disrupted.

Most types of accidents and damage claims have a sense of urgency to them, so if the insurer is simply not responding at all, they are sending a clear message that they do not want to deal with you. There is the outside chance that their customer service department is completely disorganized and inept and unable to get to you, but you should be able to figure that out quickly. Continued red flags mean it is time to consult with a bad faith insurance attorney from a firm like the Bolender Law Firm.

If you have ever had a claim that was handled properly before, the adjuster probably contacted you almost right away. It was imperative for you to have all your information ready, an attorney for them to communicate with if necessary, all leading to a streamlined claims payment. So, when you hear crickets it is disturbing. And you may be growing increasingly worried about your financial future if your house has partially burned or been flooded or exposed to other serious issues.  Lack of investigation is often a sign of bad faith practices, along with long delays that seem to occur with no reasonable excuse or are followed by an outright denial. Other issues often include intimidation tactics such as requests for excessive documentation, or a pressing emphasis on how important it is to take a lowball offer.

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!

lowball settlement

Why the Insurance Company Expects You to Take that Lowball Settlement

Insurance companies know their stuff. They don’t churn out billions in profits through sheer luck each year, and they certainly don’t do so by being your friend. Adjusters often receive bonuses for keeping payout and time spent on cases to a minimum, and you can count on one thing: they are all usually very good at their jobs. This is precisely why if you are in a car accident, for example, you do not want to take on fighting the other insurance company by yourself.

Adjusters, unfortunately, may be quick to take advantage of you if you are not prepared. They may begin asking a lot of questions—and because most of us are naturally polite, it is often hard to shut them down—but that is exactly what needs to happen. Your injury attorney should be handling all communications with adjusters. This could be vital to your case, especially as they may begin asking if they can tape record your conversations, have access to medical records, and more. What you say to them, however, is what can make you most vulnerable, and many individuals walk right into such a trap after being assured everything is confidential.

With expert legal assistance, you can avoid many of the pitfalls possible if you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence of others, and have a case. Without any help, adjusters may try different tricks on you such as the delay. This could mean you are left hanging for unreasonable amounts of time as they try to find a reason to deny your claim, whether accusing you of fraud or other shocking reasons to get out of paying. One of the most common techniques on the part of the insurer is the lowball offer. With an attorney on your side, it is likely this would not happen to begin with—but if you are on your own, the adjusters may jump at the chance to give you the lowest offer possible and then also convince you that you should take it because there will not be another one.

Other intimidation tactics may ensue as well, to include asking you for so much accompanying documentation that you will be quickly exhausted and run the other direction, giving up on your case altogether. They may also try to intimidate witnesses. As soon as you begin experiencing any red flags that could indicate bad faith, your case is in peril. An experienced attorney will be able to help you fight the insurance company, along with helping you to understand more about bad faith practices.

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!

 

fraud

Are You Being Accused of Fraud? Why This is So Serious

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!

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!

emotional distress damages

Bad Faith: Can I Sue for Emotional Distress Damages?

You may have felt some amount of emotional distress just trying scrape the funds together to pay one or more insurance policies over the years! The situation may become very trying, however, when you have filed a claim, and nothing has been resolved. This can be extremely disconcerting considering anytime you were on the verge of being slightly late with a payment or returning a document to the insurance company, they expected an immediate response or consequences (in the form of having your policy canceled) would follow.

If you have reported a homeowner’s claim, for example, time may be of the essence in getting it paid so you can then make repairs to your home. Some cases may be extreme, too, due to a natural disaster like an earthquake or a landslide. Your home may uninhabitable, or very uncomfortable to live in, at best. Chances are, you will know something is wrong quickly as the adjuster simply does not come around to do an investigation at all, or they are right on time—but you are promptly denied without a reasonable excuse. Other red flags regarding bad faith practices on the part of your insurer may include long delays. They may put you off repeatedly, and without any reason. They may ask for voluminous amounts of documentation and begin making you feel as if you are under investigation for fraud due to specific questions and delays.

Often, bad faith practices occur simply because the insurer does not want to relinquish the funds for big claim—they are much better off with that cash in the bank earning interest, and they may not want to take the hit on their financial report for that quarter or year. Their customer service department may be disorganized, or your adjuster may be trying to earn an extra bonus for keeping claims to a minimum. If you are a victim of bad faith, however, this is not the time to go it alone. Contact a skilled insurance attorney from a firm like the Bolender Law Firm and along with taking the insurer to court for bad faith, they may also sue for punitive damages to include emotional distress, time you were forced to leave work without pay, and more.

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 All You Hear Are Crickets Regarding That Claim

For the policyholder, insurance, and the option of being able to file a claim, is central to one goal: protection. While mainly this is regarding protection of your finances, insurance can also help guard your health, your home, your business, and your property such as vehicles and valuable possessions. Most of us don’t find shopping for insurance enjoyable or entertaining, and while research should be thorough regarding what you need, that’s some dry reading too! Because of this, we rely on insurance agents to guide us through the process of quotes, applications, approvals, payments, and maintenance of policies.

The insurance agency expects you to comply with everything agreed upon in your policy, which mainly refers to paying on time. There is not much flexibility when it comes to payments, and cancellations may occur before you even realize you forgot to pay. If, however, you have performed all your required duties as a policyholder, you may be confused and very worried about why your insurer is not responding to a claim. In some instances, this may be due to an issue that requires more time for examination due to complexities in the case, but if red flags are popping up and alerting you to a potential problem, consult with experienced attorneys from the Bolender Law Firm as soon as possible.

Signs that you may be at the mercy of an insurer guilty of bad faith include:

  • Complete lack of investigation – this is where hearing only ‘crickets,’ may occur in terms of bad faith, as in most cases, you will begin to hear from adjusters right away
  • Long delays – if long periods of time are passing during communications with the insurer, you may have concern to worry, and especially if excuses seem unreasonable.
  • Intimidation tactics – this could take many different forms, from intimidating witnesses in a case to intimidating you through asking for excessive documentation that insurers know it could be hard for you to get, along with trying to strong-arm you into taking settlements by making you think that is all that will be offered at any point.
  • Lowball offers – this is one of the most common forms of bad faith, and many policyholders fall prey to taking lowball offers simply because they are worried it may be their only chance to receive compensation.
  • Denials – unfounded denials are common in bad faith cases, and you should not attempt to fight the insurer without skilled legal assistance.

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 claims

Insurance Claims: The Adjuster Wants to Speak with You—And Quickly!

Insurance and handling insurance claims is all about risk management—and this goes for both sides. While you want to protect your finances in the case of a catastrophe, the same goes for the insurance company, with their definition of a catastrophe being paying out too much! The insurance industry thrives on premiums and fees, rolling in over a trillion dollars in the US annually. And while you can bet your insurer is worth millions or billions, they did not attain that position by being friends with everyone.

Your insurance agent may be a different story, and in fact they may be a trusted friend, or someone who was referred to you by a colleague or neighbor as you run in the same social circles. Insurance companies are big business, however, to say the least, and while adjusters may seem warm and even charming in some cases, beware. They are trained to extract as much information from you as possible in the beginning—and do not be fooled, they will use it against you if possible.

Car accidents and resulting claims are a good example of what to expect from adjusters, and how to react. If you have been injured or experienced property damage due to the negligence of another party, you may be especially surprised at how quickly they begin calling you regarding what happened and your current state. This is your cue to begin speaking with an car accident or injury attorney and referring all calls to them. Beyond the most basic facts, you should not share anything with an adjuster. Why? Because, again, any information sharing could inadvertently damage your case.

Adjusters may ask about your injuries—but you may not even know the full scope of what harm what done to you (or to your car!) during a crash. Along with requesting a full account of what happened, they may also request police reports, medical documentation, and may also ask to tape record your conversation. Again, refer them to your attorney.

In the case that you do not hear much from the other side, you may begin to worry that the other insurer is acting in bad faith, evidenced by a lack of investigation, unreasonable delays, requests for outlandish amounts of documentation, or even an outright denial that seems to have no validity.

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 company

Five Reasons You May Need to Sue Your Insurance Company for Bad Faith

Due to the intangibility and general nature of insurance, you may not discover how unhappy you are with a ‘product line’ or insurance company until long after your grace period has expired (and in that case, you will probably still not get all your money back). In most cases, this is not like a retail item that you discover is a poor fit and decide to return for a refund at a customer service counter with few questions asked. Most of us purchase insurance because it is either required by the state we live in or it is highly recommended, meaning that if you don’t have it you could find yourself in a state of utter ruin.

The process of buying and owning insurance may be completely pleasant, and this could continue for years while you enjoy the basic give and take of paying premiums and dealing with customer service representatives; however, this positive perception of the insurer may come to a screeching halt once you file a claim, and this could be due to adjusters giving you a hard time, or even worse, paying you no attention at all. The term ‘bad faith’ may not be something you were even familiar with until being forced to recognize it via the reluctance of an insurer to pay a claim.

Here are five signs that you may need to sue due to bad faith:

  1. No action at all on the claim – while delays and denials can be disturbing, a complete lack of investigation can be most unsettling of all, especially in comparison to how quickly adjusters set to work when they are motivated to settle a case.
  2. Delays, delays, delays – the insurer may give you a variety of different excuses for delays, some of which seem unreasonable, and perhaps even insinuating that they are investigating you for fraud. This is one of the biggest red flags in bad faith insurance claim issues.
  3. Low-ball offers – this is extremely common as so many policyholders try to deal with the insurer on their own, without the help of an experienced attorney, and find themselves worrying if they don’t take the first offer extended, they may not receive anything at all.
  4. Excessive requests for documentation – this can actually be a form of intimidation by the insurer as they ask you to run around collecting so much paperwork (much of it which may be difficult and time-consuming to put your hands on) that you just give up on the case completely, without receiving any settlement, or by accepting a very low one.
  5. Unreasonable denials – at this point, you need legal help to defend your claim! The insurance company may choose any host of reasons to deny your claim, including misrepresenting the wording in your policy, asserting that there were changes which make the claim valid, and more.

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!