Charleston Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
After experiencing an emotionally or financially damaging situation, victims often turn to insurance companies. This often occurs after one gets into a debilitating car accident, work injury, and more.
People place an immense amount of trust in the hands of insurers, but unfortunately, insurance companies do not always act in their insured’s best interest. If you or a loved one has been the victim of insurance bad faith practices, contact one of the experienced Charleston insurance bad faith attorneys at the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC.
What is Insurance Bad Faith?
Insurance companies have a duty of honesty to their insureds. The company must provide coverage, stay true to the policy terms, and pay any valid claims. If an insurance company intentionally fails to do any of these things then it is acting in bad faith.
Bad faith happens with first-party insurance claims or third-party claims. In first-party insurance bad faith, the company refuses to pay a claim because of absurd or unexplained reasons, or when the company does not investigate the claim. Third-party bad faith claims involve a similar issue, but occur when a third-party insurer refuses to pay liability.
What Are Common Insurance Bad Faith Tactics?
Failing to Conduct a Thorough or Timely Investigation
Insurance companies must investigate claims quickly and extensively whether they pay the claims or not. The investigation must occur reasonably soon after the incident, and the insurer must look at all sides of the case. If a company decides on a claim after a suspiciously short time or the reasons the insurer provides seem invalid or unreasonable then the company may be acting in bad faith. If you’re not sure whether an insurance company spent a respectable amount of time on your case, speak to a personal injury attorney in Charleston, SC for help.
Asking for Excessive Amounts of Paperwork
There is, however, a difference between a company being thorough and a company being excessive. Some insurers will continue requesting information that may not seem relevant to the claim. They also may ask you to fill out large amounts of paperwork. Unreasonable requests may indicate that the company is trying to put off deciding on your claim hoping that you will become impatient and drop it or that it will find a reason to deny it.
Not Following an Insurance Policy
Insurance policies, like many other contracts, contain seemingly endless information that is exhausting to read all the way through. Some insurers count on the fact that you have not read the fine print and misrepresent the policy. Many people will trust the company and not review the policy, allowing the insurer to violate the policy without you knowing.
Canceling a Policy
Some insurance companies may try to cancel policies. They may try to find a technicality or a mistake with the paperwork when you signed up for the policy. Canceling a policy does not automatically indicate insurance bad faith, but it can be a red flag. If you are currently experiencing this, contact a Charleston insurance bad faith attorney for more guidance. They can help you take a closer look at the case.
Offering an Unreasonably Low Amount
An insurance company negotiating or questioning your opening request is common. However, the company sometimes taints negotiations by offering an absurdly low amount in the hope it will be able to pay less than you deserve. Offering an extremely low amount may make someone think his or her initial request was unreasonable, which raises the insurer’s chances of paying less than it should.
Creating confusion and frustration is a central tenet of insurance bad faith practices. Switching adjusters in the middle of your claim will delay the claim. The insurance company may be hoping that you will become frustrated and drop the claim.
Find an Insurance Bad Faith Attorney in Charleston
If you believe your South Carolina insurance company is acting in bad faith then you need an experienced and dedicated Charleston insurance bad faith lawyer on your side. Contact the Max Sparwasser Law Firm, LLC for advice and representation.