Tag: Insurance attorneys

bad faith claims

Bad Faith Claim: Delays and Denials

Insurance is meant to be your saving grace in the case of a disaster, and most of us would never expect to be on the end of a bad faith claim. This could be an event that is damaging or even catastrophic to your health, your home, your car, your business, or your professional reputation. Protection against such risk is supposed to offer you peace of mind, but there are often numerous complexities behind the purchasing of insurance to include choosing the best agent or agency to deal with, understanding what your needs are, and finding a policy that suits your budget. Afterward, you are ‘protected,’ but still may be struggling to pay exorbitant premiums. This is a problem for many citizens in the US today, and while there is a lot of attention paid to the high sums charged for health care insurance premiums, many other types of policies are difficult for policyholders to afford too, whether you are trying to insurance your residence or a commercial building or a vehicle for yourself or one of your children.

Considering the amount of time and effort you put in to finding the best insurance—and then paying for it—finding out that the insurance company is not holding up their end of the bargain can be extremely disappointing. Along with that, you may be under incredible stress if your home or business has been damaged and you are unable to move forward with daily life as you know it until the claim has been paid. It is important to understand the difference between valid claims issues, however, and those that are caused by bad faith on the part of the insurer. There are many different types of claims denials that are valid, such as lack of payment of premium, a breach of the policy, or lack of coverage.

There are numerous red flags to look for if your insurer is acting in bad faith, to include:

  • Delays that may be ongoing with little or no explanation
  • Outright denial of the claim
  • Requests for enormous amount of information/documentation that may be hard to get
  • Changes to your policy you were unaware of
  • Lack of investigation/lack of communication

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!

claims payment

Five Valid Reasons for Your Insurer to Delay Claims Payment

While some insurance and receiving claims payment can be extremely straightforward, purchasing other policies can be tricky; for instance, if you are buying a used car and just want liability insurance with standard limits, you may just be able to call an insurer and set everything up over the phone in less than 30 minutes. All your paperwork arrives over email shortly after or you may receive a hard copy in the mail later, ready to be tucked away in a drawer or file cabinet. Other policies require a lot of shopping, thought, and discussion with your agent, such as health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, commercial insurance, and more. The more assets you must protect—the more complex the policy will probably be.

No matter what type of insurance you buy though, and no matter how complicated it may be to get, one thing is certain: if you pay your premiums on time, you expect the insurer to pay out as promised if there is a problem. When that doesn’t happen, many policyholders become extremely frustrated—and understandably so. And if there are red flags such as lack of investigation, major delays, low-ball offers, and more, you may be ready to consult with a bad faith insurance attorney from a law office like the Bolender Law Firm. And although the insurer may be at fault for not handling your claim properly, there could be other explanations.

Here are five valid reasons they may delay:

  1. Unfortunately, there could be a problem from your end such as late payments or unpaid premiums which caused the policy to cancel or caused complication. This could lead to a denial, ultimately.
  2. They are waiting for evidence or more information in an investigation. They may also need to interview you and go over details regarding a claim.
  3. The company may not be dishonest, but just disorganized. While they may not have any plans to act in bad faith, their office may not be as fast as expected in terms of gathering all the facts.
  4. They may be struggling to pay out one claim after another as quickly as expected if there has been damage due to a natural disaster. This could go either way in terms of a claim just being paid out more slowly than you would like or turning into a bad faith lawsuit with the help of a skilled attorney.
  5. They may be taking time to eliminate fraud as a cause in the case. While most likely you have nothing to worry about, some claims may take longer to assess—like a fire—and if there is any doubt, adjusters may have a lengthier investigation.

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!

car wrecks

Car Wrecks: Make Sure You Have a Copy of the Accident Report

While some motorists travel as if on autopilot, commuting and running daily errands, many of us proceed with extreme caution every time we head onto the roads. With statistics showing that traffic accidents just continue to rise, everyone should be worried today whether they are traveling by car, on two wheels, or on foot. This means practicing more diligence and defensive driving than ever, along with knowing what to do if you are in an accident.

Most of us would rather think about a million other things than what to do or how to prepare for the aftermath of a car wreck; unfortunately, most drivers will be involved in at least one traffic accident in their lives. For some, a car crash means debilitating and life-changing injuries—for others it can still mean substantial property damage and trauma, even if it is just emotional. Depending on the severity of the accident, there may be grounds for a lawsuit or your injury attorney may be involved in settlement talks with the insurance company. What you do right after the accident could have a major bearing on your case though, so take time now to be prepared for such an occurrence later.

Making sure there is an accident report is the first course of action. This happens after you call the police. If you were in a wreck due to the negligence of others, they may not want to call the police, or it may seem like no one is hurt. In some cases, the at-fault party may just want to offer you their personal information or even just cash in exchange for everyone leave the scene without calling local law enforcement. Unless you have been in an extremely minimal fender bender, such behavior is almost always unacceptable. An accident report should be completed, and it is vital that you have a copy to pass on to your attorney, as well as the insurance company later.

If anyone is injured on the scene, an ambulance should be called immediately. If you have any question at all that you or a passenger (or if someone seems injured and unconscious or groggy in the other car) is hurt, it is still recommended that you act immediately. Keep in mind also that waiting to be treated may look questionable later if you are involved in a lawsuit regarding the accident. Contact information and insurance information should be traded as soon as possible after the accident, and if you have access to a camera, photograph both cars, license plates, and the entire traffic scene—to include road signs, traffic signs and lights, and any other pertinent information. Contact information should be requested from witnesses too.

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 and How Specific Parties Are Defined

Insurance may be required in some states for businesses or automobile owners, but most of us realize the value of coverage without having to be forced into buying it from the government or insurance companies—simply because we want to be protected from financial catastrophe, whether in terms of health care during an illness or after an accident, automobile accidents and liability, commercial liability, damage to the home, lawsuits over professional negligence, and more.

Understanding your coverages as well any limits or exclusions is critical. Most of us pay our premiums and sleep peacefully knowing we have insurance in place and a policy sitting somewhere in a drawer or a file. We hope and assume we won’t ever need to file a major claim. And as for that policy sitting in that drawer, it may not only seem like some pretty dry reading, but difficult to understand too. It is a legal contract though, so while the legalese is to be expected, you may have some trouble plucking out the main details that apply to you in the case of a major crisis.

One thing that can be very confusing is understanding how parties are defined by insurance companies and in the insurance policy itself. Mainly, differentiating parties is important for describing who would be getting paid by the insurance company in the event of a claim. It is actually very simple though by definition: the first party is the individual or business purchasing the policy from the insurance company. In such a ‘transaction,’ your insurance company is considered the second party as they take care of following through on the promises outlined in your contract/policy. The third party is another party who you are protecting yourself from, basically, as they may file a claim against you; for instance, if you own a business, there may be a claim filed by a third party if they experience a slip and fall accident on your property.

As the first party (say as the owner of an automobile insurance policy), if you have an at-fault accident where your car needs repairs, you must pay the deductible and deal with the insurance company—as well as repercussions such as increased premiums and possible points against your license. Are you concerned about a recent claim, or are you trying to understand your insurance policy? If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, the Bolender Law Firm 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!