Bad faith is something that inherently sounds terrible, and the victims of bad faith tactics know the full extent of suffering and disappointment. Most people who have filed an insurance claim have certainly felt as though they deserved much more than their settlement. Others received a claim denial for no reason at all. So what is happening here? Isn’t that just how insurance companies work? Will a personal injury attorney in Tampa help me deal with the insurance company?
No, it shouldn’t be how insurance companies work at all because those are technically bad faith tactics. Unfortunately, most of this industry runs on bad faith tactics, but because it goes unreported, people aren’t aware of this substantial problem.
What Is “Bad Faith?”
Bad faith is an intentionally dishonest act that fails to meet the contractual standards or obligations of the relationship. What this boils down to is that your insurance company failed to do what they promised. This intentionally dishonest act can include a variety of behaviors, many of which seem completely normal to people who have filed an insurance claim.
Bad faith essentially could include any unfair act that could breach your agreement or policy contract. Remember that the contract provided in order to explain your policy applies to them too. They must stick to their own standards.
How to Identify Bad Faith in Your Claim
Most people don’t know how to read through their insurance agreement contract, so don’t be surprised if it all seems like nonsense. Those contracts are written to confuse people who aren’t well-versed in contracts or agreements. However, with a touch of research, you can make sense of it.
Look out for these major issues that come up during claim review:
- They demand that you only speak to their doctors.
- They assure you there’s no way you’ll max out your policy.
- You receive a settlement offer far below your damages and the extent of your policy.
- They refuse to provide compensation to the extent of your policy coverage.
- They won’t negotiate on your settlement.
- There was no opportunity to submit evidence from the crash.
Unfortunately, so many of these issues are commonplace. People frequently receive settlement offers far below their policy limits that still don’t cover their basic medical bills and the damage done to the car. They may also require that you go through an individual physical assessment with specific doctors. Finally, insurance companies are making it more difficult to submit evidence or request further evidence.
For example, if you suspect the person of texting and driving, you might work to formally request those documents from that network provider. The insurance company won’t put that effort into their claim resolution, so it’s left to you, although that should be the provider’s responsibility.
How Can You Claim Bad Faith Practices
Bad faith practices are something that you can, and should, report. You can file a complaint with the Florida Insurance Commissioner or file a lawsuit against the insurance provider. But, to do that, you’ll have to have solid proof that the insurer acted in bad faith.
Among the most common bad faith practices are:
- Failed to conduct an investigation within a reasonable amount of time.
- Provided an unfair valuation or settlement offer.
- Failed to approve or deny a claim within a reasonable timeframe.
- Delayed payment after approval.
If you waited months to receive a payment after receiving approval and reaching a settlement agreement, then you should move forward with a complaint. Additionally, if someone offered an extremely unfair valuation, you should move forward.
Your options vary a little bit, but ideally, you’ll focus on your car accident case and break down the bad faith practices before your claim closes. It’s much better to involve an attorney who can “call out” the bad faith practices with the veiled threat of an impending complaint or lawsuit than to allow the bad faith acts to happen.
Getting a Tampa Auto Accident Attorney Involved
Auto insurance claims in Florida seem like they should be exceptionally straightforward. Now, you might have already started your claim and realized that your case is far from normal or easy. You can always shift your course in your claim and get support from the Tampa attorneys at Winters Yonker. Our law offices fight for full compensation, and we intend to call out bad faith practices whenever we see the surface.
We know that everyday people have their lives drastically disrupted by car accidents, and then insurance companies take advantage of them. We’re here to stop that cycle and get you the compensation that covers your damages. Call Winters Yonker today to get started.